Here, Now

Wellington Performing Arts Centre, Wellington

21/11/2008 - 22/11/2008

Production Details


Here Now brings together acclaimed dance works on identity, migration and arrival by an exciting lineage of New Zealand dance makers.

Kilda Northcott and Lyne Pringle rekindle their award winning chemistry to present a teaser from their new dance work Lily.

This poignant piece orbits around the central character of Lily Stevens played with great sensitivity by Northcott. With their trade-mark hilarity these seasoned performers navigate a thread through preparation for dancing competitions into the catatonic state that ensues after Lily’s end of year recital and on into a vivid celebration of Barefoot dancing. In this sensuous scene to Chopin’s piano, Lily is joined by her ‘students’, an ensemble of young local dancers choreographed by Deirdre Tarrant.

"Presented by some of our most accomplished performers…providing a heady and hilarious insight into the life of long-serving Dunedin doyenne and ballet teacher Lily Stevens." – New Zealand Herald

Following their October performance in TEMPO, Auckland’s Festival of Dance, Northcott was awarded the Tempo Supreme Performance Award. Adding this to previous TEMPO Awards for Choreography, Performance and Production,  Northcott and Pringle prove they can refreshingly and expertly draw in their audience:
"One of the highlights of the show has to be the image of Kilda [Northcott] as a collapsed Lily, completely transformed by the crown of a tiny tutu – a tragic portrait of theatrical, owl-eyed exhaustion… Lily is a work of beautifully inter-woven narrative and great comedic timing."

Liana Yew was named Best Female Contemporary Dancer 2006 by the Listener for performances with Black Grace, Alexa Wilson and Chris Jannides: "Liana Yew was outstanding: her integrity and technique allowed her to perfectly execute the choreographer’s intent, yet create a distinctive presence in demanding works…."

Yew’s work Kiwi (TEMPO 08’s Best Choreography by an Emerging Artist) follows the story of her grandfather’s migration from Guangzhou, China to New Zealand and the subsequent process of assimilation and loss of identity. This solo is an uncompromising, provocative and emotional look into cultural misconceptions and the multiple identities of a 2nd generation New Zealander. Combining movement, text and video, Kiwi includes original music by Josh Rutter and footage filmed during Liana’s return to her mother’s village in rural China.

Claire Lissaman’s recent performances include Michael Parmenter’s latest work TENT, Malia Johnston’s Dark Tourists and Raewyn Hill’s White and Angels with Dirty Feet. Theatreview commended her performance in Dark Tourists; "Claire Lissaman brings a quiet beauty and luminous grace. She is the innocence of the work and we are grateful for her presence. She dances with feeling, fluidity and gorgeous pathways through space." 

With "…mesmeric purity and authenticity…" Landing, by Lissaman, maps three concurrent journeys that converge in the present, involving loss and ignorance, reinvention of an ancestral migration, and the contradictions and confusions of knowing whether one has at last arrived. It is motivated by curiosity with the process of mapping — remembering and forgetting, recognition and translation, transformation and exchange. Landing is performed with live music by Wellington musicians The Turns.

Don’t miss this revealing offering of dance by some of our most accomplished performers.

Here, now is presented with support from Wellington City Council’s Creative Communities, DANZ’s mentoring programme, Big Image Print, EdgarSt Productions and Framework Solutions.
What: Here, Now
Where: Wellington Performing Arts Centre, 36 Vivian St
When: 7.30pm 21 & 22 Nov, 5pm 23 Nov
Cost: unwaged/waged – $15 / $18
Doorsales only, Cash only

youtube clip of Lily <

Choreography and performance - Claire Lissaman
Live music - The Turns; Hermione Johnson, Nell Thomas, Erika Grant

Choreography and performance - Liana Yew
Music - Joshua Rutter
Editor - Joseph Jowitt

Choreography/Script: Lyne Pringle
Final section: Deirdre Tarrant
Dancers: Kilda Northcott (MNZM) and Lyne Pringle
Featuring students from the Tarrant Dance Studios
Music:  Chopin Etudes Opus 10
Flower Girl:  Lola Morrison
Music:  Chopin Etudes Opus 10
Producer/Technician:  Paul Forrest
Rehearsal Direction:  Megan Adams
Choreographic Development:  Megan Adams, Claire Lissaman, Rhys Latton, Julia Milsom

Lighting design and operation: Geoff Pinfield
Stage management: Corinne Simpson
Sound: Jeff Nelson  

Supported by Wellington City Council Creative Communities and DanceAoatearoaNZ

Mapping time and space

Review by Jennifer Shennan 28th Nov 2008

This hour-long programme offered such interesting and contrasting content that I could have sat through a repeat of it all immediately. My impression is that the sizeable audience would agree. 

Claire Lissaman, performing her own solo work, Landing, explored the notion of mapping. In thoughtful progressions of lines and shapes, she matched The Turns, a group of three improvising musicians, in a modest but intriguing choreography-by-cartography. Dancer and musicians shared a concentrated rapport that filled the time and the space in a well-judged opening work.

Liana Yew, in her solo work, Kiwi, about identity as a New Zealand-born descendant of Chinese family, made a poignant danced and filmed story about her experiences. The honesty of her thoughts gave a fresh start for Jospeh Jowitt to add the film element, and Joshua Rutter’s music was equally supportive. This strong and smart dance would make an ideal stand-alone contribution to some event of the recently formed Confucius Institute, which supports Chinese language learning and cultural awareness in New Zealand.

In Lily, Lyne Pringle has embarked on a project to explore the life and soul of Lily Stevens, an early dance teacher in Dunedin. This is a teaser for the full-length work planned for 2009, but by this showing it is clear that there is material aplenty to choreograph from.  Lyne’s own performance communication is always direct and energized. Her colleague Kilda Northcott, who plays / will play Lily, brings the qualities of Janet Frame-like sensibilities to her own  performing, and will reincarnate Lily Stevens in the process.  This review is unashamedly intended as a testimonial for the wisdom of funding the work’s further choreographic development.   

Wellington Performing Arts Centre has proved a valued venue for performers over a number of years. Jim and Jenny Stevenson who have made it available (but who are apparently soon to end their enterprise) are to be sincerely thanked and congratulated for their support of the city’s dance life. 


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Presenting the past: three works with further development potential

Review by Jan Bolwell 24th Nov 2008

As mature performers Lyne Pringle and Kilda Northcott continue to act as role models in the contemporary dance field. They are tenacious, multi-skilled and engaging dancers who have a very clear idea about the work they wish to stage. In this case it is Lily, the story of Lily Stevens, a well known Dunedin dance teacher who taught Lyne’s teachers and who danced with her grandmother Linda.

Says Pringle: ‘At its heart this new work celebrates the generous and wildly inventive soul of Lily Stevens and the rich legacy of private sector dance teachers.’ It is a terrific idea but still has some distance to go before being fully realized. Both artists acknowledge it is a work in progress which they hope to preview in 2009.

The work contains about as much script as it does dancing, and therein lies the problem. While the choreography is reasonably honed, the script is not. There are too many words and they are insufficiently integrated with the choreography. The artists could very usefully employ the services of a dramaturge to help structure the language and a theatre director to coach in its delivery.

The character of Lily herself is full of marvellous potential, and Kilda Northcott is fully up to the task: she is simply a wonderful performer. However, at the moment, the characterization is too one-dimensional and at times comes dangerously close to caricature. That is a pity because we are denied the pathos of Lily’s descent into mental instability as the imminent dance concert becomes too stressful for her to bear.

Pringle serves as a wonderful foil for Northcott in this scene but it needs a more gradual and subtle build.

The use of young dancers from the Tarrant Dance Studios, representing Lily’s pupils, is a lovely theatrical idea, but again it needs development. Rather than use them as a backdrop to Lily’s teaching it would be so much more interesting and dramatically powerful to see Lily interacting with these young girls. We need to see her humanity as well as her passion and freneticism. I am looking forward to the next version of Lily. 

Joining Pringle and Northcott in this programme are two younger contemporary dancers.

Claire Lissaman performs her own solo work Landing: ‘a movement investigation into the ideas, actions and processes of mapping.’ Lissaman has a clean, articulate dance style but somehow the dance fails to fire. The work begins slowly in a single shaft of light as Lissaman agilely crawls backwards on a diagonal line to end a larger pool of light where she ends up one her feet with powerful, fast and flailing actions. There are awkward gaps between each of the three sections of the dance which are no doubt intentional but which allow audience attention to drop.

The second section is much the stronger choreographically and musically where Lissaman explores a quirky dance language that is full of unexpected dynamic changes, well matched by the musicians. She is accompanied in this work by a live trio, The Turns. This collaboration between musicians and dancers still feels tentative and one is left with the impression that this also is a work in progress.

Kiwi by choreographer/dancer Liana Yew is described as an ‘ongoing journey of self discovery – acceptance of one’s cultural heritage and knowing that one can belong to more than one place.’

Yew makes extensive use of home movies, both stills and moving images in this piece, and it raises all the usual problems. The lighting is dimmed so we can see the images clearly but then we miss so much detail of the actual dancing figure, and especially facial expression. There is over use of the visual imagery. A few very strong images would have sufficed instead of a family slide show.

The most powerful section is where we see the live dancing figure interacting with the dancing figure on screen. Yew is a beautiful technician with a strong stage presence. This work is worth further work and editing. 


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