FRESH (2017)

Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

12/10/2017 - 13/10/2017


Production Details

Choreographers Amelia Chong, Ben Mitchell, Elijah Kennar, Zoë Nicholson and Emma Cosgrove

The FRESH emerging choreographers showcase demonstrates physical stamina, innovation and

Choreographers Amelia Chong, Ben Mitchell, Elijah Kennar, Zoë Nicholson and Emma Cosgrove have
stepped up to the challenge for 2017 to create new works in collaboration with a contributing
artist outside the discipline of dance.

Scrambling The Planes: Amelia Chong in collaboration with visual artist Kerryanne Mayhew and set
designer Stef Gwilliam. The round brilliant cut of a diamond consists of 58 facets. Every facet has
the potential to change a light ray’s plane of travel.

Obsess: Elijah Kennar with Lulu Tepaeru-Ariki French An obsession is not always obvious.
What may be obvious is being obsessive, aggressive, and massive. These obsessions affect us.

Pursuit: Zoë Nicholson & Emma Cosgrove
Is it within our reach or on the everlasting horizon? How will we know when we have reached it? Is
it worth losing what’s real in order to secure it?

Intro: Ben Mitchell with production designer Chloe Alderton You two are just gorgers

Thu 12 Oct 6.30pm Fri 13 Oct 6.30pm

55 mins

$23.50 – 29.50*
*Booking fees apply


Scrambling The Planes:
Amelia Chong in collaboration with visual artist Kerryanne Mayhew and set designer Stef Gwilliam

Obsess: Elijah Kennar with Lulu Tepaeru-Ariki French

Pursuit: Zoë Nicholson & Emma Cosgrove

Production designer Chloe Alderton

Multi-discipline , Contemporary dance , Commercial dance , Dance ,

55 mins

Some new names on the to watch list

Review by Kerry Wallis 13th Oct 2017

FRESH is a platform for emerging choreographers to showcase their work during Tempo Festival but this year a little twist on the norm sees the five choreographers each collaborating with an artist outside the discipline of dance. This leads to some stunning imagery and creates a world unknown to those who haven’t experience a house party at 5am.

Loft is set up in the round and there is a giant white fabric pyramid in the middle of the stage as the audience walks in. The opening work, ‘Scrambling the Planes’ by Amelia Chong with set designer Stef Gwilliam and visual artist Kerryanne Mayhew, starts in the same way as all the others to come, with voiceover and projection onto the middle of the dance floor. Slowly we see hands pressing against the inside of the fabric before they emerge. The structure collapses and the two dancers slowly break apart the geometric structure inside. The work continues with sinuous movement, however, I am left feeling deflated when the work ends as I think it has the potential to be something a lot more than what was delivered and they have only just scratched the surface of a larger idea and collaboration.

The second work, ‘Pursuit’ by choreographers Zoe Nicholson and Emma Cosgrave is in collaboration with landscape designer Peiwen Tan and this piece packs a lot of dirt and a lot of punch. Created around the idea of humans’ desire to be perfect and create perfect things, the three female dancers emulate Stepford Wives down the garden path. With a score of outdoor sounds, the dancers completely engage us with their little potted flowers, insane tree cutting, and innocent smiles before chaos ensues and the need to be perfect weighs them down. The highlight of the evening.

A solo work, ‘Obsess’, choreographed and performed by Elijah Kennar with costume designer Lulu Tepaeru-Ariki French, also engages with the audience by asking us to keep his rhythms through clapping and feet stomping, which I find to be quite a risky move. There are several times where the perfectionist in me finds the audience to be speeding up or stopping without being asked to stop, however, Kennar keeps his composure and does not let this affect his strong and athletic performance. His idea of obsession not being obvious is cleverly portrayed by the neat folding of clothes but excites grunts and exclamations.

The final piece, ‘Intro’ by Ben Mitchell in collaboration with production designer Chloe Alderton, is a hot mess of a blue explosion. Not sure what to expect at the beginning, three female dancers put on aprons before exiting and entering several times to set up the dance space. They gradually add medical masks, goggles and shoes while asking the front row of the audience to cover themselves with blue fabric. A sheet is laid down in the middle and then a fourth dancer is brought on stage with a blue cake and several coffee cups. What can only be described as a frenzy occurs and all four dancers become covered in either blue liquid, paint or icing with perfect nonchalant expressions. UV light at the end is a nice touch and a different way to engage with the world Mitchell is creating.

Altogether an interesting evening and definitely has put a few new names on the “to watch” list.


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