Gizza Hoon

BATS Theatre (Out-Of-Site) Cnr Cuba & Dixon, Wellington

08/03/2013 - 16/03/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

Hey, I just twerked you, And last night’s hazy, 
But here’s my number, Gizza hoon, maybe?

Pinwheel Dance Theatre Presents Gizza Hoon

Pinwheel Dance Theatre returns to the NZ Fringe Festival in 2013 with a brand new dance work, Gizza Hoon. The premiere at BATS Theatre will explore the relationship between commercial pop music and Kiwi social interactions. Inspired by the YouTube generation and late night Courtenay Place antics, Gizza Hoon offers dark comic insights and hot sensory explosions.

The creative collaborators behind the critically acclaimed OCD dance work Thricely? Precisely. A pocket full of pips, and surreal rom-com Don’t Eat the Bed have reunited for a third Fringe offering. Choreographer Brigid Costello and composer Tane Upjohn-Beatson along with a variety of skilled dancers and designers are creating an original pop story which steps outside of their comfort zone into the shiny, amplified world of auto-tune, twerking and relentless thumping beats.

Director Brigid Costello is fascinated with the power pop music has over young people. Through her work with teenagers, she has discovered how genuinely captivating and exciting the Top 40 can be for its target audience. ‘There is some pretty explicit content, but it is far from shocking to these followers. They watch and listen to it constantly through their headphones and smartphones, and it directly informs the way they interact with peers and make sense of their world’.

Tane Upjohn-Beatson is an expert sound designer and musician. He recently worked on Project Born with Sir Richard Taylor who said that ‘his skill at weaving an emotional state and journey through a sweeping composition completely enthralled and amazed me’.

Upjohn-Beatson is intrigued by ‘formula pop’ and was keen to get involved in the creation of Gizza Hoon because pop music ‘is what 90% of the planet not only listens to by choice, but also genuinely loves. I want to crack open the pop formula and find exactly what it is in there that captures or hypnotizes brains.’ He says: ‘I want to see if I can suck myself into the pop ecstasy, something I have until now assumed impossible’.

Joining the creative team as set designer is Robin Aitken of Athfield Architects. ‘I see this as an opportunity to explore how both the set can inform the dance and the dancers can inform and change the shape of the set’ says Aitken. ‘This reflects the ways in which people shape and are shaped by a pop culture environment.’

Gizza Hoon
Where: BATS Theatre
When: 8pm, Fri 8th – Sat 16th March (no show Sun/Mon) Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $18 Full / $14 Concession / $12 Fringe Addict
Book at: or (04) 802 4175

Gina Andrews
Kirsty Bruce
Anna Edgington
Amber Gribble
Melissa Phillips

Director: Brigid Costello
Composition and sound design: Tane Upjohn-Beatson
Set Design: Robin Aitken and Alex Keegan
Lighting Design: Ben Williams
Lighting operation and technician: Grace Morgan-Riddell
Publicity Design: Alex Keegan and Matt Paterson
Dramaturgy: Thomas McGrath
Stage Manager: Kirsty Chandler  

1 hour

A night out with the YouTube generation

Review by Ann Hunt 12th Mar 2013

In Gizza Hoon director Brigid Costello and composer/sound designer Tane Upjohn-Beatson give us their response to pop music in 2013.

Inspired by the YouTube generation and late-night Courtenay Place antics they explore the relationship between commercial pop and young Kiwis’ social interaction. It’s funny, frenetic and in your face.

On an empty stage, designers Robin Aitken and Alex Keegan have hung three long rectangular lanterns which are manipulated up, down and around by a dancer at the side of the stage. Bright lights illuminate them and the dancers can clamber inside as well. [More


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A night out on the town

Review by Virginia Kennard 10th Mar 2013

Maybe it was because I had International Women’s Day on my mind. But watching five mini-skirted women dancing to house music and watered down remixes of Top 40 music, incorporating overtly sexualised gestures with their vapid smiles, was not the way I had expected to spend my Friday evening.

I had interviewed choreographer Brigid Costello prior to viewing this show, and she had talked about being motivated by examining the relationships her high school students have to top 40 music. Obviously a fantastic premise, with the potential for exploring the effect of pop culture on social interactions.

However, the show seemed to focus on a singular aspect of this theme, following a group of young women preparing and heading out for a night on the town. Their getting-ready phrases including putting on deodorant, waxing (the vulva) and spraying their hair. True 21st century creatures would have also been engrossed in their mobile phones at some point, but instead we watch the women give blowjobs to invisible men. Are they practicing or fantasizing? (The latter maybe if they are younger.)

The work may have been inspired by teenagers, but it was very unclear as to what age group the performers were presenting: 16 year olds, 19 year olds, or the mid-20s/real ages of the women performing? And whether the choreographer intended to present a literal take on the social rituals of young women, a social commentary thereon, or was heading towards a parody, was unclear.

The movement vocabulary was restricted, veering between aerobic dance and sexual gestures. The dancers ‘flossed’ their vulvas, bobbed their heads a lot and did many high kicks with their right legs. Compositionally, there was lots of follow the leader and movement motifs repeated in varying sequences.

There were hints at the awkwardness of attempting to conform to a group, but also to just enjoy being one’s self in a social setting. There were certainly moments of recognition – “cringe, I do that/have done that/will probably do that again when drunk” – but not enough of these for it really to engage us with what the material was trying to say.

Connection to music leaves much open to investigate.

As it is the premiere of the work and at the Fringe, I assume this was  a work in progress, with material having been set aside for now in order to round out the point of this piece. Certainly there is a glimpse of irony from Melissa Phillips’ angsting heartbroken character as her friends ineffectually rally to make her feel better. Her compelling stage presence and the physical energy of Gina Andrews and cool factor of Amber Kimble (despite her manic grinning or because of?) are noteworthy. As are the amazing legs of all performers, if my neighbour’s responses were anything to go by.

The set, consisting of white cylindrical tubes that unravel from the ceiling to the floor, provides a great space for the dynamic lighting design by Ben Williams. It would help if the tube centre front was raised for the latter half of the performance to enable a a more adequate view of the rest of the space. These tubes also had a certain phallic air about them, made all the more disturbing when the dancers entered them in pairs. However, there is a glimmer of hope to be had in these tubes choreographically – frenetic shaking within strobe lighting transformed these tubes and the performers into something more desperate, obsessive, intriguing.


Sally Reece March 11th, 2013

I am very interested in your view of the show. You chose to read it very literally and narratively. You also chose to watch it with your unique understanding of what international women’s day stands for and it seems that this gave you a wee chip on your shoulder for the entire show. 

   I also I think i’m right in thinking the music was entirely original – no ‘watered down remixes of top 40 hits.’ Though, congrats to the composer for leading you to believe they were top 40 hits.  

     I felt the show wasn’t endorsing mini skirts, good legs and female sexual freedom (through overtly sexualised gestures and waxing/ flossing the vulva) but was in fact commenting, ironically, on what ideals are being sold to the young women (and men) of today who are ‘into’ todays pop culture. I think this social commentary was highly relevant to Internationals Womens Day, provoking us to reflect upon what is being fed to the younger female generation and asking why so many girls are connecting and looking up to such drivel.  I definitely felt that the whole show was clearly social commentary.

      I certainly didn’t feel there was a clear narrative to the show – the girls didn’t seem to be 'preparing and heading out for a night on the town.' I found the structure more a set of sketches addressing a number of aspects of the pop world. The grotesque buffoonery at the beginning seemed to me to be commenting on the dangerous way girls are focusing entirely on partying, getting ready, social status etc and that being one’s main source of self esteem. Then there was a sketch commenting on the dark side of pop – having children dance to tracks that were either heavily dowsed in innuendo or even explicit lyrics of a sexual nature. Look on youtube and you will no doubt see young girls dancing to Rihanna’s ‘Suck my cockiness, Lick my pussuasion.’ The comedy in delivering these sketches rendered it all the more powerful.

     The repetitive dance movements seemed to go hand in hand with the idea ‘same same but different’ that was written over the dancer’s t-shirts so I really didn’t mind this. In fact I found it really rather hilarious.

   I thought it was a highly entertaining show that probed (scuse the overtly sexualised word) many issues that are in real need of addressing

Benny Vandergast March 10th, 2013

I thought it was obvious that the set pieces were giant condoms rather than ambiguously phallic. And that it was also obvious that the centre one had broken 5 minutes into opening night, hence it obscuring a lot of the show. Well done to the amazingly-legged performers for keeping it together!

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