Founders Heritage Park, Nelson

24/10/2019 - 27/10/2019

Nelson Arts Festival 2019

Production Details

Herelessness is a mesmerising outdoor performance featuring bungee-assisted dance and landscape design.

Critically acclaimed choreographer Chloe Loftus and award-winning designer James Wheatley bring their rich international experiences together to explore the vitality, grounding and power harnessed through our connection with nature.

This compelling gravity-defying duet between dancer and water is not to be missed.

“Chloe Loftus had me absolutely spellbound… she was spectacular. Not the kind of thing you see everyday, that’s for sure.” – NZ Herald

Presented by Nelson Arts Festival.


8.30-8.50pm daily at Founders Heritage Park87 Atawhai Dr, Nelson, Nelson / Tasman

Solo , Site-specific/site-sympathetic , Physical , Outdoor , Family , Dance ,

20 mins

Connecting with nature, beautifully

Review by Trish Sullivan 25th Oct 2019

As the sun sets at Founders Park, home to many Nelson Arts Festival shows, we wander across from the warmth of a brazier towards a soundscape of forest birds, and take a seat aside a shallow pool of water, complete with a delicious bank of native grasses. Above us, from an elasticated line strung in the trees hangs a single carabiner.

The human (Chloe Loftus) casually strolls into the grassy area in front of us and after a brief exploration, discards her shirt and shoes and deftly attaches herself at the waist, to the bungee-style rope hanging in the centre of the space.  She continues to explore, her physical movements gentle at first but curious.  As the space she discovers widens, so does the beautiful, sensual dance. It is mesmerising. She stops still occasionally, seemingly hovering just above the grass, the bungee supporting her; a sense of weightlessness, or is it heaviness…?

The soundscape develops into a pianistic dance with the human. She teeters on the edge of the water, she rushes away and creeps back towards. Her movements sometimes now have more energy, more volume. The interplay between the water, the human and the space is totally seamless. I think I feel the audience sway a little with her as she sweeps across the space in kind of slow motion gallops.

We are completely transfixed. I’m sure not everyone is understanding the story being told but it doesn’t matter. The dance with nature (space, earth, water, sound) has a visceral effect on us all.

The discoveries complete, the bird-scape returns and our human is once more contemplating the air, the grass, the space. But now she knows something different. Something new, perhaps.

Loftus demonstrates superb athleticism for this performance, whilst maintaining such serenity and calm. It’s certainly a chilly night to be dipping your face and limbs into a cold pool of water.

She created this piece, with soundscape from Tym Miller-White and landscaping from James Wheatley, as an expression of something she is truly passionate about; humans’ connection with nature. I congratulate her for achieving that expression, and in a truly dynamic and thought-provoking way.

I hope one day this performance is developed to include a bigger pool of water, in a larger space, and that the audience could somehow be seated where we could better view the ripples in the water created by the differing resonances in the soundscape. I also note that from other seats, seeing the human’s reflection in the pool gave an additional visual dimension to the dance.

But this free, outdoor, 20 minute solo performance certainly does not disappoint. As the audience disperses, the word I am hearing mentioned most, is simply “beautiful”.



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