I Don't Wanna Dance Alone

Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

15/03/2024 - 17/03/2024

Auckland Arts Festival | Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki 2024

Production Details

Created and directed by Cindy Jang-Barlow
Choreographed with the performers to an original soundtrack by Rewind Fields

Jang Huddle Company

Jang Huddle

Jang Huddle presents a community-led contemporary dance show exploring themes such as family, intergenerational dynamics and empowering the inner child. 

I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone 혼자 춤추고 싶지 않아 is about how everyone can dance. The work celebrates the joy of movement and connection through all ages, featuring an all-Asian cast of 12 people from diverse dance backgrounds.

Created and directed by Cindy Jang-Barlow and choreographed with the performers to an original soundtrack by Rewind Fields, this fresh rendition of the show evokes a sense of belonging, nostalgia and the fun in shared movement. 

Audience participation is welcomed but optional!

Jang Huddle은 뉴질랜드 커뮤니티 현대 무용의 발전과 새로운 주제를 끊임없이 추구하고 선보이는 단체로서, 세대를 아우르는 활력과 각각의 내면에 잠재된 단순하고 순수한 어린 감성을 꺼내 표현하고 있습니다.

이번에 선보이는 커뮤니티 댄스 ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone 혼자 춤추고 싶지 않아’는, 모두가 춤출 수 있는 즐거움을 다루며 가족, 세대 간의 관계, 그리고 각자가 가진 내면의 아이를 보여줍니다. 

다양한 댄스 배경을 가진 12명의 아시아 출연진들로 구성되었습니다. 14살부터 70대 이상에 이르는 출연진들을 통해 움직임과 연결의 기쁨을 여러분과 함께 공감하고 즐기고자 합니다.

한국인 교민 2세 Cindy Yunha Jang Barlow가 기획•감독하고 댄서들이 직접 안무에 참여하였으며, Rewind Fields의 오리지널 사운드 트랙에 맞춰 생동감있는 안무를 선보일 것입니다.

Dance , Community-based theatre ,

60 mins

Ideas of community, Asian togetherness,

Review by Maddie Paget 16th Mar 2024

I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone! is the latest contemporary-driven work from the Jang Huddle collective led by choreographer, and director, Cindy Yunha Jang-Barlow. The cast (Angela Yang, Caryn Yachinta, Elsa Lee, France Tan, HyeJin Jeon, Joanne Huang, Jiwoo Yeam, Kevin Tay, Samantha Cheong, Sophia Zhang, Timothy Romero, and Xixi Xian) featured a superb and diverse line-up of movers of various Asian, and dancing, backgrounds. The work, within its show programme, pre-empts us as the audience to witness a reimagining of one of Jang-Barlow’s narratives. Such a narrative encapsulates her upbringing as an Asian woman in the contemporary dance world, highlighting a need and demand for more Asian voices to be represented. To respond to this demand, ideas of community, Asian togetherness, intergenerational embrace, nostalgia, and diversity are meshed into the bodies of the cast, enriching their movement and performance as a result.

The piece opens as I step through the doors to the stage of the Q Theatre Loft floor, my eyes pan over to the stage where a small set, designed to envision the bedroom of a young female in 2004, was in motion as the young girl character fiddled, seated on the bed. This bedroom-esque site evoked an aura that bubbled in pastel-ly hues and a fairytale glimmer. The nostalgic ambiance immediately put me into a dreamlike trance – gesturing me to find a seat so my curiosity, about what was to occur in front of me, would be soothed.

My anticipation heightened, as the familiar light dimming occurred over the theatre seating. The cast paraded and lept onto the stage – bursting to the brim with energy, charm, and glee. An idol-like essence flurried and flourished throughout. I leaned forward on my seat, envisioning my childhood self looking at the celebrity pop artists’ posters on my bedroom wall – desiring to one day be like them. Means of humor and cheek were spackled through the dance, allowing the audience to breathe and giggle alongside the cast. Just as you could maybe start to relax in your seat again, you were then shunted into a stark contrast of emotion, staging, and music.

Dystopianism and discomfort as aesthetics were shifted onto the dancers, perhaps imbuing the harsh reality that Asian voices and dancing bodies are underrepresented and marginalized.

Following such, the audience further gazes into the narrative of a young girl growing older, lost between her Asian culture and dance studio lifestyles – entrapping herself between them somewhat. Moments of vocal poetics and conversation add an artistic touch to the sound composition (through the work of Rewind Fields – Callum Lee) constructing pure and raw emotion within the context of the work. The linguistic artistry throughout said work reminds the audience of the significance of culture and communication to one’s lifestyle. In a metaphoric sense, I could feel the leaves of the deeply enrooted family tree brush against my face of the Asian community that was staged in front of me. The bittersweetness and loving presence of family and community within the cast’s characters remind us as audience members to look at what and who raised us.

It is the joy to dance that embellished I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone! That age, identity, culture, and just overall who you are, should not define whether you can dance or not. We can all dance and as Jang-Barlow perfectly captures within the show’s programme “Let’s dance together; we don’t wanna dance alone!” I look forward to seeing the future workings and artistry form the Jang Huddle collective and Cindy Yunha Jang-Barlow herself, hoping that the collective continues to further push and strive for the representation of Asian voices in the dancing global society.

I Don’t Wanna Dance Alone! Is on at the Q Theatre until Sunday 17th March.


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