The Auckland Performing Arts Centre: TAPAC, Auckland

06/03/2008 - 09/03/2008

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

08/10/2008 - 10/10/2008

Production Details

October 2008

A journey through silence and sound, light and dark.

”There is always two sides to a story, we never see the same thing twice, Flicker explores that theory and more through in a physical language.’ Ann Dewey

Ann Dewey’s contemporary dance company Spinning Sun returns to the stage with the highly interactive work for 2008. Following a successful 2007 with previous youth dance collaborations and the touring work Paper Tiger Ann returns to Tempo with a new perspective in dance. A lyrical and energising dance work that leaves you feeling invigorated after watching. Flicker is a humorous series of images, thoughts and half remembered stories from the childhood memories of Choreographer Ann Dewey.

‘Dewey is a pure artist; her work describes the rich complex mix of stories of a lived-in life’ Felicity Molloy, Theatreview.

Four dancers elegantly create a sense of magic from light to dark, silence to sound. With just a flick of the wrist, the sway of the hips, an embracing roll, and your mind is provoked into a kineaesthic memory of a carefree world. Leaving a trail of constellations, childhood pranks and innocent teasing from a youthful remembrance.

As the layers of choreography, illumination and stunning music from John Gibson and David Kilgour hypnotise you, the dancers reveal the hidden truths glimpsed within their bodies. A 4-strong ensemble of dancers who are all soloists in their own right, Ann Dewey fuses accomplished technique with a innocent and quirky zest for life.

‘You can’t help but feel good after watching her performances’ Francesca Horsley, DANZ Quarterly.

Ann Dewey and the dancers have developed the work for the last year. All the four dancers have worked with Ann previously and returned with enthusiasm after the success of works such as ‘Queen Camel’. Flicker features dancers Zoe Watkins (Spinning Sun), Julie van Renen (Pointy Dog), Sophie Ryan (Black Grace), Liz Kirk (Auckland dance Co.) John Gibson, David Kilgour and Ann Dewey.

Dates: Wednesday 8 October – Friday 10 October, 8pm
Venue: TAPAC Theatre, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs
Tickets: $28 Waged and unwaged $25 door sales available
Booking: Tickets available through www.iticket.co.nz

March 2008

Award winning choreographer Ann Dewey returns to Auckland in March with the performance ‘Flicker’, a new season of contemporary dance developed by her company Spinning Sun.

Flicker opens at TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs on Thursday 6 March for a strictly limited season of four performances.

Ann has been developing the work with a group of four dancers for the last 8 months. Following the successful tour of Paper Tiger in 2007, Ann wanted to bring a longer length work to the Auckland and after collaborating with composer John Gibson and music artist David Kilgour, Ann brings a high impact performance equally balanced with music and choreography.

"I wanted to create a work that stimulated the audiences senses. Something they could engage with I feel I have achieved that with Flicker"-Ann Dewey, Choreographer

Flicker is Spinning Sun’s sixth season of works. The company was established in 2000 after identifying a gap in the market for young contemporary dance. 

Flicker is at TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs from 6-9 March, at 7.30pm. Tickets available through www.iticket.co.nz or call 09 361 1000. 

Liz Kirk
Julie van Renen
Zoe Watkins
Sophie Ryan  

A fine work, with shades of refinement

Review by Jack Gray 09th Oct 2008

Flicker is a choreographic body of work by Anne Dewey and friends, that explores the idea of four dancers controlling much of the stage theatricality through the use of hand held lights. Dewey’s aim is to manipulate precise images in a shifting landscape of idiosyncratic abstract movement to/ around/ with a textured and ‘raw’ score by composer/ collaborators John Gibson and David Kilgour.

Performed at TAPAC Theatre after a successful recent Christchurch season, the set design consists of a huge hanging white curtain made up of several pleats, offset by an upside down hanging map of the South Island and a North Island map/ screen set up on the opposite side of stage.

The dancers – Liz Kirk, Zoe Watkins, Julie Van Renen and Sophie Ryan – make their entrance with a mysterious light show; shadows, silhouettes of bodies, females, youthful, ponytails, baring long legs through basic cream pantaloons and singlet tops. Twisting, fast limbs, hops, all accentuated by mini lights attached to different parts of their bodies: hip, collar, waist, knee and foot …

A jazzy introduction, we see this light play and get the feel of the first ‘flicker’ as their leaps, unders, overs and shifts in-between, give us changing perspectives and a sense of their range of motion across the space like constellations in a night sky.

A duet: dancer carefully balanced on another’s back in an intimate light begins a build towards painting a more fleshed out view of the body. Precision of weight transference, unfussy partnering, release, surrender and an unfolding to a guitar track give us a taste of Dewey’s careful and detailed movement approach and philosophy.

Throughout, little glimpses of light create transitions that draw our eye towards various aspects of the space. A torchlight on the NZ map, a big bright reflection off the papery backdrop, or dancers standing on different levels pointing torches towards the others illuminating them in a myriad of ways. More dance sequences abound, bodies moving like moths, circling, nudging, long arches and quick bounces to show her deep fascination with choreography.

The dancers possess a mercurial quality, like children intrigued by blowing bubbles, as they sustain an engagement throughout an eclectic range of movements and styles.  A dancer smiles before the trio, faces moulded of elastane, flowing hair, seamless shifts of energy and dynamic inhabiting states from light to dark.

Solo dances extend upon their repertoire; developed with facial expressions, elbow isolations, flicks, swipes performed to a ukulele sound. Back to a trio with movement that flows from the back, extensions contrasted with undulations, gestures juxtaposed with linearity, unpredictable yet beautifully phrased.

As the work digs deeper and deeper into the psyche, we uncover the performers’ states of consciousness, riding and going through the music yet maintaining their individual line of focus. Little subtle touches and hints for each other, a foot placed succinctly near a heel sets another dancer off. This timing and connection was obviously fine-tuned during the works year-long gestation period in Leigh.

Other sections offer other expressions of humour, quirkiness and character, mesmerising faces lit by a small light while a red blinking light bleeds across the backdrop. Other figures also emerge, such as nymphs, fairies, Siamese twins and the crone.

The work wraps up with a series of faux endings, an exposition of movement themes already explored. Finishing with my favourite image of the dancers silhouetted by a light partly submerged under someone’s skirt, before a dancer reaches towards a line of light that gradually becomes so small it disappears.

The dancers deserved their two curtain calls for their commitment. Blending joy, spontaneity with a specific performative focus, which Dewey said was deliberately anti "po-face", the work is made up of ideas that interest her and reflect a personal priority all mature artists should have.

"Flicker" is a fine work, with shades of refinement present that distinguish Anne Dewey as an important singular choreographic voice in both the festival and nationally. Satisfying! 


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Exquisite treasure must be seen

Review by Felicity Molloy 07th Mar 2008

Going to a dance show choreographed by Ann Dewey with her now distinctive, and I imagine fairly collaborative, artistic ensemble is a bit like going to dinner with a group of old friends. Doesn’t happen enough but when it does it really is memorable and very, very satisfying.

Dewey is a pure artist; her work describes the rich complex mix of stories of a lived-in life: imagination at full play. Flicker is peopled by four excellent dancers but actually they become more like threads and seams; insects, landscapes, constellations, light, play versions of a more dreamlike tapestry.

The sound score is awesome. John Gibson, master of choreographic music in this country, together with David Kilgour, weaves a reverberate sound into the light and also people through distinctive instrumental and rhythmic voices, key to a danced connection of family, memory and friends. He leads us often through an enchanted, ancient tunnel. I kept feeling like I was under a Central Otago sky as a child, alone and never lonely. The rush of vastness I felt there was present in this spacious, thoughtful choreography.

The dancers have been hand picked. Gracious elegance and occasional tremulous passion is controlled and exhibited by Liz Kirk. There was never enough of her – she was like the integral silk thread but she kept disappearing and I would watch her seated on the side of stage just to soak her presence.

The other dancers are younger and their virtuosic counter play is sometimes like a question mark. Julie van Renen takes on choreography and rips it into her body. She and the other two dancers, Zoe Watkins and Sophie Ryan are so attuned to the movement that their bodies leave trails, enhanced but not overpowered by an inventive uses of light.

Flicker is an exquisite treasure and must be seen.


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