Fresh Cuts 2010
04/10/2010 - 06/10/2010
Monday, 4 October 2010: 6PM
Tuesday, 5 October 2010: 6PM
Wednesday, 6 October 2010: 6PM
Duration: 1 hour
100 Motions Rd, Western Springs
Free Parking and Station Cafe Bar will be open
$1 for online bookings
$4 for phone bookings
Click here to book online
Ph: 09 845 0295
Phone Bookings are open Mon – Fri: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Box Office open 1 hour prior to show
Continuities and Challenges
Review by Dr Linda Ashley 05th Oct 2010
When I reviewed Fresh Cuts 09 last year I asked: “Where were the biographies in the programme?” This year my question was answered, but others arose.
This year’s inclusion of choreographer’s bios gives a most welcome insight into legacies. For the record, background information could add value to what audiences see – especially if an audience is presented with the unfamiliar (not weird). My preoccupation with legacy in dance is longstanding and its importance was emphasised by watching last Sundays forum Merchants of Venus, which, because it is not a ‘dance performance’, is not reviewed. Maybe it should be?
Anyway, I digress and so I shall continue to do so before I actually review Fresh Cuts – it’s great being a reviewer! Merchants of Venus presented the audience with dance history incarnate in the form of Felicity Molloy, Shona McCullagh, Debra McCulloch and Marianne Schultz. Their recollections put some of what we see in tempo into meaningful perspectives. (By the way, I often ponder why there is a relentless need for innovation that seems to appear from nowhere – but I don’t think that the editor will let me get away with another digression).
Last year I also pondered: “What else is out there for us to contemplate as ‘fresh’?” In this regard, Justin Haiu’s fresh Pacific flavours in Call to Wallis makes the cut. Haiu revisits his last year’s autobiographical ‘dancelife’ story, Resilience, but the result is far more successful in terms of exploring “the possibilities of the relationship of accompaniment and dance, transitions and adaptation of the dramatic to avoid the simple melodramatic”. Yes folks – that is what I wrote last year.
Haiu’s choice of group ensemble, traditional vocabulary, street dance, fierce humour, voice and live drum (drummer unnamed in the programme) hits the notes that make for a vibrant set of cultural continuities – for me the freshest cut this year. A coherent choreographic structure and sticking to continuities of accompaniment establish a status of emerging choreographer in the dance industry deserving of further development and investment.
Also there is lots to admire in Fresh Cuts’ contemporary dance pieces. For instance, inventive use of props is an eye catching feature, as in clothing and simple red stools (Zahra Killeen-Chance’s and Emily Campbell’s Heel Ruby), or paper in Junita Jelleyman’s Touching You and Serene Lorimer’s Fold Me Finite. Lorimer’s trio is particularly balanced in structure and pacing. It feels considered in its integration of the origami, use of voice throughout and choice of involving vocabulary that avoided the technique class style.
Pieces of You (John Purcell-Puleitu and Gina Janus) seems to favour of a mix of jazz, contemporary, contact and a sliver of the hip hop ‘with a difference’ that we saw from Purcell-Puleitu in last year’s tempo. It would be interesting to find out what brought about this piece that explores the language of love. Purcell-Puleitu’s appearance in Haiu’s piece is a touching legacy.
In terms of challenge and freshness, I wonder if choreographers might reflect on the comfort zone of pre-recorded music in their otherwise involving and refreshing work. The tendency to go off at tangents rather than develop the main focus of the performance and emphasise continuity in structure also features in many of the works.
Some of the choreographies have lineages that seem more in keeping with the Tertiary Colours programme rather than that of showcasing choreographers who are making their way in the world of hard knocks. Continuities and challenges in choreographic terms and in reference to lineage are the solutions and questions arising from of this year’s Fresh Cuts for me, but I would highly recommend going along yourself – and ask questions.
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