Fuzzy Reception

The Auckland Performing Arts Centre: TAPAC, Auckland

12/10/2006 - 14/10/2006

Tempo Dance Festival 2006

Production Details

Choreography by Georgie Goater and Tracey Purcel; Janine Parks; and Colette Arnold

Back-Lit Productions

Dancing the finer shades of being alive makes ‘Fuzzy reception’ deadly serious and hilariously funny. The nightmares and the dreams, its all a real-life movie… So lock your windows and make sure you run in the wrong direction towards our show.

Performed by
Tracey Purcell, Colette Arnold and Lucy Miles
Georgie Goater, Annabel Harrison and Rosey Feltham
Tracey Purcell, Miles and Mandy Leckie

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hr, no interval

Body poetry

Review by Nik Smythe 14th Oct 2006

The title refers to the words of Kazuo Ohno, which choreographer Janine Parks uses to introduce her showpiece SHIFT in the programme:  There are always hidden words, those of the heart, and if you know how to accept them, you will discover the pain and joy which is impossible to express with words.  You will reach the realm of poetry which only the body can express.’

Fuzzy Reception comprises three dance routines and a film, although ‘routine’ doesn’t seem that appropriate to describe the avant-garde antics of the seven young woman who command the stage.  Suffice to say, the levels of skill and imagination are high within this troupe.  While I had some interesting ideas in the quest to interpret each movement’s meaning along the way, it’s simply impressive to watch physically without even trying to understand it. 

The first piece, ‘Threads’ – choreographed by Georgie Goater and Tracey Purcell and danced by Purcell, Colette Arnold and Lucy Miles – has a trio of characters each doing their curious own thing, alone and interactively in varied combinations. 

Next we have Parks’ SHIFT, performed by Goater, Annabel Harrison and Rosey Feltham.  Inspired by Butoh and Japanese horror films it’s a dark sojourn within an intriguing sort of twisted inner-bodily mental creature world. 

Finally, Colette Arnold’s DANCE-mart, with dancers Purcell, Miles and Mandy Leckie, is the most lighthearted and theatrical piece, in which the performers verbally share (true life?) experiences they’ve had working in retail whilst painting a quirky and comical dance-picture of department store ‘life’.

It’s uncommon to review a show’s programme notes but I couldn’t help noticing it contains no credit to the makers of the entertaining and brilliantly shot film that played between the 2nd and 3rd routines.  Also, credit to the sound designer(s) and operator?  I assume each of the choreographers designed their own soundtracks, which were excellent, well structured and interesting, driving the energy but never upstaging the visual performances.  Omission no. 3: costume design.  The first & second pieces in particular had the dancers deliciously clad in fashionable and original looking garments.  The dress that became a sack to hide in at the start of SHIFT would be my favourite. 

I don’t know if Back-Lit Productions has any mandate regarding being solely female.  Either way what they’re doing is good and Fuzzy Reception is certainly not lacking for want of any non-female input.  There is a strong sense of solidarity among the seven dancers.  You can see they trust each other and feed off one-another’s energies with compounding effect.  Fuzzy Reception lives!

Please note, we would welcome answers to any of the questions asked in this review by way of adding a comment.


Annabel Harrison October 20th, 2006

The film 'The secret finger club' was made by Rampion Productions in assosiation with Back-Lit. Rampion are Claire Cowan (composer) Rachel Wells (Fine Arts) and Annabel Harrison (dancer). Annabel is also a memeber of Back-Lit. Thankyou very much for such a good review, I am glad you enjoyed the show.

Raewyn Whyte October 19th, 2006

A Tempo production Award also went to Rosey Feltham for best costume for Shift in the Fuzzy Reception show.

Raewyn Whyte October 19th, 2006

NB The critics Panel of Tempo dance festival presented Backlit's Fuzzy Reception with a Production Award for Excellence in overall production, and the Director of Tempo presented them with her Spirit of the Festival Award

nik smythe October 16th, 2006

Warm thanks to Lucy Miles, dancer and producer for Fuzzy Reception, who supplied me the following info on the film and other questions: RAMPION PRODUCTIONS In association with BACK-LIT PRODUCTIONS Presents: THE SECRET FINGER CLUB A ritualistic game. A secret society. Be careful where you tread…. for the fate of your fingers may not be pleasant. Devised and Directed by Claire Cowan, Rachel Wells and Annabel Harrison Set design/construction: Rachel Wells Music/Sound: Claire Cowan Choreography: Annabel Harrison DOP: Claire Cowan Editing: Rachel Wells, Claire Cowan Starring: John Knox, Shannon Mutu, Rachel Wells, Anne Wells, Emma Reynolds and Annabel Harrison. Much thanks to Anne and John Wells, John, Shannon and Emma. The film came to us at very last minute and unfortunately the programmes had been already been printed. We did put an insert in with it detailing the film on the 2nd and 3rd night though. Costumes for all works were sourced ourselves, but Rosey Feltham made the costumes for SHIFT. She also performed in this work, and was the woman that dissappeared into the skirt. BACK-LIT won an award for costuming thanks to her! BACK-LIT isn't an all-female dance company, it just so happened that it was just the women performing. Ambrose! and Desmond Gul decided to take on roles behaind the scenes for this project. Ambrose! is our resident techie and it was thanks to his great efforts that we had such fantastic lighting. With the sound tracks quite often we do make our own either designing our sound scores or collaborting with someone... Each choreographer found music in different ways and often a combination of their own, others and commercial sounds tracks that have been mixed or remixed to coincide well with the dance as a whole. I hope that helps... Thanks again for coming to the show, and we're so pleased that you enjoyed it. Lucy

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