Hi Jinx

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

07/10/2010 - 08/10/2010

Tempo Dance Festival 2010

Production Details

Hi Jinx is a solo piece performed by Liz Aggiss that pays homage to the seminal early twentieth century dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Heidi Dzinkowska. Through dance reconstructions, film archive and Dzinkowskas highly influential dance commandments, this loving portrait, fuses past and present whilst asking the audience to think sideways about its desire to create historical icons from the past.

Liz Aggiss is an un-disciplined artist with an un-disciplined body of work. Since 1980 she has been a Wild Wiggler, Grotesque Dancer, Diva, Guerrilla Dancer, Trout, Golem and Performance Lecturer. A performer, choreographer, screen dance film-maker and Professor of Visual Performance at the University of Brighton, she creates her work for stage and screen.

Aggiss’ interdisciplinary practice is driven by content, embodies feminist dance practices and is framed by the politics that challenge and resist the ‘authority’ of formal conventions. She continues to dodge categorization and enjoys being classified as unclassifiable.

Liz Aggiss was born on Nanny Goats Common, Essex, England, a post war baby in a repressive era in the suburbs, where parents were truly in charge and children were definitely seen and not heard. After a startlingly conscientious school career from Ink Monitor to Prefect, Liz had no idea what to do next. She just knew she would like to be seen and heard.

After cantering into the sunset as soon as was decently possible she accidentally stumbled into the arts and started moving in a mysterious manner and shouting. After serious dance study in New York at the Nikolais/Louis Dance Theatre Lab. and with dance legend Hanya Holm, she returned to the UK, and commenced her study with Hilde Holger.

She choreographed and performed with the visual comedic troupe The Wild Wigglers throughout the UK and on TV, culminating in a stadium tour with The Stranglers, established Divas Dance Theatre in 1986 and began some serious ‘board treading’ creating the now legendary solo Grotesque Dancer.


Hi Jinx to be presented at Tempo Festival on 7th and 8th October 

Thursday, 7 October 2010 – 6pm
Friday, 8 October 2010 – 8pm
Duration: 1 hour

100 Motions Rd, Western Springs
Free Parking and Station Cafe Bar will be open


Adults $30 | Concessions $27 | $1 for online bookings | $4 for phone bookings


Click here to book online
Ph: 09 845 0295
Phone Bookings are open Mon – Fri: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Box Office open 1 hour prior to show

What nonsense!

Review by Briar Wilson 08th Oct 2010

Crash, bang, the screen lights up, and Liz Aggiss has our full attention. Dressed in a black petticoat, she introduces herself as performer, choreographer, video maker and professor, to talk to us, the audience, mostly with house lights on, to entertain and make us laugh in a very engaging way.

The show is about the life of the famous and amazing early choreographer and contemporary dancer, Heidi Dzinkowska. We see her first angst laden film (made in 1902 no less) where her “boat of skin” swims in blood. Such pain! This we, the audience, then begin to feel for real as Aggiss performs Heidi’s dance Joints, in which, accompanied by loud clicking sounds, she proceeds to “pull” all her joints!

As you may have guessed, this is not a serious performance. It is one with a message that sends up pretentiousness, as the fictional Heidi produces all the nonsense that nobody really, really wants to see or hear.

Her diary notes how she was told that the way ribbons on pointe shoes are tied reveals sexual meaning – which, of course, everyone knows. Another film clip (of 1911) shows Aikiko (guessed spelling) on one leg, moving lovely arms to finish with hands over an ugly scrunched up face – an early denunciation of the cult of beauty? After that Aggiss puts on the black frock and cap of the promotional photo to perform Heidi’s dance, choreographed by Nijinska, about Kikimora (the malicious Russian creature), reminding us of L’Apres Midi d’un Faune. 

Aggiss gives a lesson in technique based on the seven basic positions introduced by Heidi, performing a short angular dance with them, tucking up her dress when modesty might suggest.

Then there is another film Lei Lui e L’Altro (of 1920) demonstrating Heidi’s dance trainer. This is a stand for clothes on wheels, joined to the boots of the dancer, probably by lengths of wood, so that the dancer, sitting on a chair, can manoeuvre the two stands (with jumpers on them), as if they were people. Who could think this ridiculous? 

More drama for Heidi arises when she is shot in the back by her lover – but, living for art, she makes use of this event with a very meaningful dance film I Forgive You Anthony (of 1921).

Finally a lesson from Heidi – her five dance commandments:

·      Always improvise in the bathroom
·      Never run around the stage for no reason
·      Look the audience in the eye
·      Never wear unitards in white made from artificial fibre
·      Say what you have to say and stop. If you have nothing to say, don’t start

What nonsense! 

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