Flying Down Sand Dunes

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

28/11/2019 - 07/12/2019

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

06/03/2019 - 09/03/2019

NZ Fringe Festival 2019

Production Details

Well Fare State

After an amazing season in The New Zealand Fringe, this collective is the recipient of the Parkin Development season. With the help and support of Chris and Kathy Parkin and the team at BATS, Well Fare State brings“Flying Down Sand Dunes” back to BATS.

These artists are proud to have the opportunity to redevelop and share their choreographic voices in New Zealand’s cultural capital.  Inspired by the  concept of the human condition, the work plays with natural responses to both external and internal cues. Particularly focusing on the ideas of fragility, love, strength, and loss, they explore these states of being and what answers follow from this explorative journey.

Contributing to the Wellington arts ecology through their visionary contemporary dance, these artists are proud to develop and share their choreographic voices in New Zealand’s cultural capital.

28 November – 7 December at 6:30pm
DURATION 60 minutes
The Heyday Dome

$20/$15 Group – 6 @ $15

BATS Return season (Nov-Dec 2019)

Cast:  Sebastian Geilings, Hamish Phillips and Gabriella Mersi, Alanna Main, Jareen Wee, Lachlan Broughton


NZ Fringe season 2019

Well Fare State - Sebastian Geilings,  Olivia Foley, Braedyn Humphries, Alanna Main, Jareen Wee, Lachlan Broughton (recipients of the Toi Pōneke Choreographic Residency, supported by Wellington City Council.)

Lighting: Elekis Poblete Teirney

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

Interrelational dynamic in action

Review by Anna Bate 01st Dec 2019

Dance collective Well Fare State present, Flying Down Sand Dunes at BATS Theatre in Wellington for a ten-day season. This work debuted during The New Zealand Fringe Festival (2019) and has been reworked and restaged with support from the NZ Fringe Parkin Development Award. The collective is directed by Sebastien Geilings and Jareen Wee and comprised of recent graduates from the New Zealand School of Dance.

Loosely framed by the notion of exploring ‘the human condition’, the work traverses a series of distinct physical states, including, (in the words of the directors); naivety, curiosity, truth, apprehension, compassion and pleasure.  

For me, ebb and flow emerge as a concept that permeates movement vocabulary, transitions, physical states, structural and design elements. As a viewer I sync into the work’s flows and enjoy the easeful precision of the performers. I feel as though I am carried through the work, by some form of dance trickery and magic.

The opening sequence unfolds with subtly attuned dancers spiraling, simultaneously, out and in. I work to shift my perspective of the sequencing away from contemporary dance class material; the sound, designed by Jack Jenkins, gets me there. A computer game feel produces an effect of bodies being shifted by external and internal forces, as the performers navigate what appears to be a state of gentle curiosity. The impetus for movement is clear within the dancer’s bodies, and they move as an inter-connected, in tune collective. As audience we look into their sphere, viewing a microcosm in action.

Following a series of ebbs and flows there is a jolt in the work, as Jareen directly address the audience. She asks a series of questions pertaining to her (presumed) personal circumstances. “What should I write for occupation? If I am a waitress am I still a dancer?” Whilst some members of the audience clearly appreciate this shift in tone and direct appeal, it irks me. So, why does this personal verbal outpouring seem like a mismatch in the context of the rest of the work? How could a disruption or a jolt be embedded in a way that doesn’t seem so meta? Or how could the content remain (as the work is personal), but the approach to verbalising be treated with greater choreographic specificity?

The most intensely driven sequence of ‘Flying Down Sand Dunes’ is fore fronted by Sebastien who appears to be passing through a disturbance in his mind that permeates throughout his body. His performance is startlingly captivating and infects the actions of the rest of the dancers. They dance in support, shadowing his experience and finally, subtly, infiltrate and change his state.  

What rings true, for the duration of the show, is that Well Fare State are an intricately connected collective. This is showcased through this choreographic work as they traverse an emotional landscape together, forever listening, reflecting and supporting as they go. It is this interrelational dynamic, (between dancers, sound and lights), that captures and holds my attention. I look forward to future iterations of this dynamic in action.   


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A full sensory experience

Review by Natasha Thyne 07th Mar 2019

Flying Down Sand Dunes is slow to get off the ground but when the dancers show off their skill, they soar.

Presented by Well Fare State, Flying Down Sand Dunes explores the concept of the human condition, focusing on fragility, love, strength, and loss. Over the hour-long performance a full spectrum of emotion is most definitely covered; from calmness to uneasy frenzy to pure joy and back to shavasana [stillness, deep rest].

Entering the Heyday Dome, a sense of serenity engulfs you. Haze hovers low and music akin to that at yoga studio or day spa plays as the six dancers, all recent graduates of the NZ School of Dance, are sprawled artfully across the floor and each other, slowly creeping forward as the audience take their seats.

This slow, subtlety is carried on throughout the first half of the performance as they come together to create tableaus with their bodies entwined. This connectedness and team dynamic is evident throughout the whole production.

They are fluid and effortless in their movements, however, at times action tended to drag with unnecessary prolonged repetition. Never the less, once the music speeds up and more dynamic dancing kicks in, we are finally able to see just what they are capable of.

A full sensory experience is created with the use of the dome being lit to match the emotion (warm sunset oranges to cool blue and purple tones), aural arousal with the music and live vocal elements, and the great use of every inch of the stage floor.

It’s clear these dancers are very talented and passionate about their craft, leaving everything out there for the audience in their first full-length work as emerging artists. As they continue to hone their skills, I am very much looking forward to whatever future work they create as the next generation of choreographers and professional dancers of New Zealand.


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