GREArT: Pointy Dog Dance Company & Friends

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

20/12/2011 - 22/12/2011

Production Details

Each year Pointy Dog Youth Co brings to TAPAC a new selection of contemporary dances. The first half of the show, sets the scene to reveal evolving styles and vocabularies and, allows us to witness them experimenting with their performing experience. The second half is charmingly explorative. The GREArT thing is that some of these young dancers and choreographers go on to become professionals. That is, Pointy Dog Dance Co provides seed beds for training in performance and choreography for young dancers committed to contemporary dance. They work with professionals who contribute to the creative process of dance making. The experience provides aspiring dancers with a connection point to the world of professional contemporary dance.


INTRO: Choreo/ Dancers  –   Pointy Dog Dance Co and Unitec dancers; Music – Josh Tilsley

Winter: Choreographer – Gaby Thomas; Music – This Room, Fat Freddy’s Drop; Dancers                   Pointy Dog Dance Co

Neapolitan Dreams:   Choreographer – Kate Mitchell; Music – Neapolitan Dreams, Lisa Mitchell; Dancers  – Alannah, Genevieve, Lizzie, Lydia and Sophie

I do so solemnly swear:  Choreographer – Jessie McCall ; Music  – Babys, Bon Iver; Dancers – Amber, Jahra, Joshua, Lisa, Lucy, Rose, Sofia and Tracy

When we were seventeen: Choreographer – Caitlin Thompson; Music – Music Box Intro, Abby Dobson; Coin Laundry – Lisa Mitchell; Dancers – Annie, Genevieve, Hana, Jordyn and Kendall  

The dance game: Choreographer – Genevieve Connell; Music  – Monkey Man, Amy Winehouse; Dancers – Annie, Briana, Caitlin and Genevieve

These are the days: Choreographer – Joshua Graves; Music – Einstein on the Beach (Knee 5), Philip Glass; Dancers – Amber, Jessie, Lucy, Rose, Sofia and Tracy

Treats   Choreographers – Jessie McCall, Sofia McIntyre & Rose Philpott; Music – Handful, Kelis; Dancers –  Alannah, Annie, Caitlin, Genevieve, Jordyn, Kendall, Lizzie and Lydia


We’ll Call Her Nebraska:  Choreographer –  Carlene Newall & High Jinx Youth Company; Music – Settle Down, Kimbra, Vows (rearranged by Carlene Newall); Performers – Abby, Alexandra (Tue & Thur), Sienna, Victoria (Wed) and Zoe

Falling: Choreographers – Pointy Dog Dance Co; Song performed by Alannah, composed by Gaby Thomas; Dancers –  Alannah, Annie, Briana, Caitlin, Genevieve, Jordyn, Kendall, Lizzie and Lydia

Affect:  Choreographer – Lydia Connolly-Hiatt; Music –  I know you are but what am I, Mogwai; Dancers – Alannah, Jordyn, Kate, Kendall, Lizzie and Sophie 

Bird: Choreographer – Gaby Thomas; Music – Bird, Raffa and Rainer; Dancers-  Alannah, Annie, Briana, Caitlin, Genevieve, Hana, Jordan and Kendall

Suck it up:  Choreographer – Anitra Hayday; Music – Miss You, Trentmoler ; Dancers –  Amber, Jessie, Lucy, Natalie and Rose 

The Pointy’s picked a Pickled Piper: Choreographer – Katie Burton; Music –  Smoke on the Water, Thunderstruck, Upside Down at Eden Court Medley, Red Hot Chilli Pipers; Dancers – Pointy Dog Dance Co

About our friends

High Jinx Youth Company is one of the four Youth Companies of the Performing Arts School of New Zealand. The Company creates new circus arts performances with a pleasing balance between aesthetics and entertainment. We aim to inspire and empower young people to challenge the perception of themselves as performers. Participation in this intelligent, physical arts activity builds confidence, focus and breathtaking physical skills.

Following last year’s successful collaboration, the Unitec dance students were delighted to be asked to be Pointy Dog Dance Co’s friends again for this GREArT end of year show. Unitec has been, is, and will be the home of many excitable Pointy Dogs. The vision and approaches of the fine tutors that we share connect our dance worlds together. The opportunity to dance alongside one another is a satisfying and inspiring way to honour our links and to consider and celebrate where we have come from and where we have yet to go


Pointy Dog Dance Co                     
CaitlinThompson, Elizabeth Turner, Genevieve Connell, Kate Mitchell, Sophie McIntyre, Hana Kirk, Lydia Connolly-Hiatt, Kendall Jones, Briana Chapman, Alannah Prins, Jordyn Wright, Bronte McMillan, Annie Lines

Unitec graduates and students
Amber Gribble, Anitra Hayday, Jahra Wasasala, Jessie McCall, Joshua Graves, Lisa Greenfield, Lucy Lynch, Natalie Clark, Rose Philpott, Sofia McIntyre, Tracy Trinder

High Jinx Youth Company           
Abby Madden-Smith, Sienna Mark-Brown, Zoe Stowers, Alexandra Holt, Victoria Court

Lighting and Sound                         Ambrose Hills-Simonsen
Soundscape                                    Josh Tilsey
Stage manager                               Chelsea Adams
FOH                                                 Aidee Walker & Helen Sheehan
Ushers                                            Kind people including Tess & Alessandra

1.5 hrs

Joy on Earth

Review by Dr Linda Ashley 22nd Dec 2011

Youth dance is vital and important, indeed it is vitally important to the future of dance in New Zealand, and in the many other countries where it operates. Now in its sixteenth year of development from the founding by Anne Dewey, Pointy Dog represents both of these qualities, and this programme of fourteen short works proved the ‘point’. The current company are in good hands under directorship of one of the founding dancers of Pointy Dog, Katie Burton, and its highly capable producer Felicity Molloy. Such committed artists are another important feature of youth dance, and their commitment is to be admired and valued.

I came out of the show feeling inexplicably Christmassy, full of ‘Joy to the World’, and I shall try to explain why. The 13 young dancers in Pointy Dog danced with a joyous quality throughout the show, and along with 11 Unitec graduates and students and High Jinx Youth Company, who create new circus performance, the performance is a vibrant and youthful experience for the audience.

All 14 choreographers provide the dancers with movements to suit their ages, interests, physiques and personalities. Contemporary dance technique is fluidly, confidently and safely performed. The works on show range widely in their feel from the soft humour and playful of winter scenes and feathered fun (Gaby Thomas), through to more sombre subjects as in I do Solemnly Swear (Jessie McCall), These are the Days (Joshua Graves) and Suck it Up (Anitra Hayday), but all the pieces hold the attention. The running order adds to the impact, as do the fluid transitions using movement from the previous and next dances to move the show along smoothly, holistically and at a good pace. I will give a special mention to the collaboratively choreographed piece Falling because of its strong imagery and live singing from Alannah Prins (song composed by Gaby Thomas). Are there other young musicians out there who could collaborate in the future? Music choice throughout also supports the fresh youthful feel, and the lighting (Ambrose Hills-Simonsen) provides a sensitively ‘dancerly’ environment.

What I found most joyous, however, was the way in which the dancers perform with each other. They expressed real feelings of caring, supporting and enjoying each other as equals through their dancing; the world could do with a great deal more of this goodwill, and not just at Christmas. This vital warmth is best experienced by going to see the show in which you find all the positive things that Aoteaora could wish for in their Christmas, and for the next generation, not just of dancers but kiwis generally.

In the programme a statement draws our attention to the likelihood that some of these young dancers will go on to become professionals, and this is indeed GREArT. However, I would like to see some of these amazing young people go on to work in other professions because we need dancing politicians, lawyers, scientists, engineers and economists. In such roles these young people, with their genuine warmth and feeling for what is truly human-and Christmassy, may bring a little more joy than some of the current world leaders. Also, importantly, this joy was achieved through dance by some special young dancers and the very generous artists who support and run Pointy Dog.

Pointy dog and High Jinx both receive support from The Performing Arts School of New Zealand, and in turn, in a gesture of Christmas spirit, they deserve the community’s support. Merry Christmas one and all!


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