I’M NOT GOING TO LIE TO YOU
27/10/2021 - 30/10/2021
10/03/2021 - 11/03/2021
What do you see in me?
What do I see in you?
Are the impulses I feel a legitimate expression of the deeper self?
Are you dreaming of me the way I dream of you?
I’m Not Going To Lie To You is an exploration into female performativity, the self and desire. This part improvised movement inquiry will explore the binary between a human’s invisible inner turmoil and the visible, physical body. This investigation aims to enhance an understanding and conversation surrounding our individual and unique vulnerabilities.
How crazy are our inner thoughts? How desperate are our desires?
BATS Theatre – The Studio
1 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington
I am my own lover.
You deserve to miss me.
Thanks for the fantasies.
I am the same person I was when I was seven, only taller.
A long passionate snogging session.
Vulnerability is not vulnerable.
Say I’m enough.
“A fabulously intimate, polished show, both engaging and original, with a sense of vulnerability and honesty that we could connect to.” – Theatreview
I’m Not Going To Lie To You is a solo exploration into female performativity, lust and uncontrollable desire.
Tessa Redman returns to BATS after a successful premiere season at the 2021 New Zealand Fringe Festival. This redevelopment will be an ode to self-love, to romanticism, to the bedroom. The dance we have been dreaming to perform since we were born.
Be prepared for some raw, over-dramatic, sexy goodness in the form of a dance theatre explosion. An absurd, ridiculous, heartfelt investigation delving into what it is to be in love, to be wanted and to be alone.
BATS Theatre, The Dome
27 – 30 October at 6:30pm
The Difference $40
Full Price $22
Group 6+ $20
Concession Price $18
Sound by Tyler Redman
Lighting: Jackson Davis
Choreographed/written/performed by Tessa Redman
Design by Trantham Gordon
Sound by LANCE
Lighting by Elekis Poblete Teirney
Image by Trantham Gordon
Physical , Experimental dance , Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance ,
A wild gorgeous creature
Review by Lyne Pringle 02nd Nov 2021
Pre-show pop dancing to a repeating girly-pop playlist, she is totally ‘in it’.
This framed cartoon princess in a pretty dress on repeat, lip synching and gesturing extravagantly, brittle, yet exuberant. Who is she convincing as the socially distanced and masked audience chatters and looks at her occasionally? No matter, she’s having her own party – ‘you can’t mistake my biology’ she syncs.
Music stops she keeps moving, then wilts in and out of a particular pose, the cheerful persona is deconstructed then reconstituted in a clever journey of back and forth. Searching for the groove after the vibration and tune has gone. Her mouth now freed into a cacophony of weird and wonderful in-between-language sounds.
The brilliant lighting creates a red shadow strip on her pretty pink dress. Weird and wacky sounds, morph into amusing text, guttural kisses and unexpected screams. Her steady focus is compelling, belly laughs reverberate from the enraptured audience.
Tessa Redman is brave and skilled. She is a consummate star on the rise. Keep your eye on her. This second iteration of her solo show I’m Not Going to Lie to You is even better than the first. The content has morphed and shifted, a reflection of her rich and everchanging inner life. ‘Shows can change’ she confides – ‘I’m less heartbroken, less angry now’.
Is she really being autobiographical or is she playing with us, her show title actually a big fat lie? It’s hard to tell. Whatever! It’s a gripping yarn nonetheless. It’s theatrical – ‘sorry to disappoint if you expected a trained dancer to dance’ – there is no disappointment in watching the frenzy of her highly articulate movement. She is like a radio dial trying to find a station, glimmers of sense amidst the static.
A lyrical dance with sweet cheesy soundtrack, sweeping lilt with flowy arms and unformed gestures – we wait for the ‘catch’. The dancer’s heart thrums like thunder. A winsome woman in a window, looking wistful and talking about her Nana and roses and sanity. In dim light she changes into a ‘red date dress’, gives the odd hilarious tweak to her g string and there she is with her heart on her chest, not on her sleeve.
Teasing out the spatial chemistry of love, the magic of first eye contact leading on a fast track to a first mortgage, the ‘what ifs’ of potential interactions in the bar after the show. Fantasizing, hoping we go along with it, falling and falling into the lovely tension she creates.
Its admirable that this version has a more sophisticated script, the show has been allowed to shift, grow, stay current: this ‘in the moment’ diary of a young artist, a dancer who ‘wishes she was an actor’ but is in fact very much an actor searching for love and trying – or not – to lie through her teeth. Rolling her eyes charmingly she searches for someone ‘who knows my script perfectly’. It all resonates with us watchers.
Inventive manipulation of the swinging frame, a major part of the set, as it becomes an innocent swing, an object of desire and a representation of a less than satisfactory bonk. Who knew a rectangular object could be so erotic. She flails, becoming a banshee of the feminine in skimpy underwear, the transformation is astounding. She claims her rights for sensual pleasure, dances out her sanity, distorts herself into solo deconstructed sexual gymnastics – body in distorted bridges, laid bare, turned inside out, beguiles us, flirts with us, holds our gaze with her amazing eyes and never flinches.
A soundscape by LANCE is perfectly matched to her journey amplifying or toning down the emotional punch as needed. The lighting by Elekis Poblete Teirney is inspired, an equal player in the action and the design by Trantham Gordon creates a fabulous play pen.
Tessa Redman is a wild gorgeous creature. Free spirited, the truth lies in her body which she eventually tucks back into her ‘pretty’ dress for a final swing, with a brave little smile. This last scene is intensely moving, leaving us to contemplate the honesty required to totally reveal oneself.
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A fabulous, intimate, memorable exploration
Review by Anna Persson 28th Oct 2021
An ode to the myriad of women that dwell inside of us, I’m Not Going To Lie to You, takes us on an intimate journey across deeply personal, complex and yet utterly relatable terrain.
With incredible direction and exceptional performance from Tessa Redman aligned with striking music by LANCE, exquisite design by Trantham Gordon and swift lighting by Elekis Poblete Teirney, I’m Not Going To Lie To You is a memorable piece. One that manages quick jumps between joyous, sensual, and flirty to sinister, dark, and maniacal – often both – with ease.
As we enter The Dome, we see Tessa, centre-stage, clad in a girlish pink-lilac dress as she enthusiastically, and almost maniacally, dances behind a hanging white empty window frame to the likes of Kylie Minogue and The Veronicas. With soft pink-orange lights on her and an array of pink and purple potted plants gracing the back of the stage, I am uncertain which direction I’m about to be taken. Whilst everything presents with a certain joyous naivety, there is also an underlying feeling that something’s not quite right.
I have to commend Tessa for dancing with such zest to no less than 6 tracks whilst the audience takes their seats. She’s clearly a very skilled dancer. As ‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud fades out, she performs a series of sharp, intense, gyratical movements before announcing, “I like dancing… amongst other things,” followed by unbridled, silly gestures, movements and unrestrained noises, proving a knack for blending comedy, theatre, and dance right from the get-go.
I’m Not Going To Lie To You feels incredibly intimate throughout, with Tessa’s bubbly addressing of the audience lending itself to powerful juxtapositions in later scenes, wrought with intense emotion, dramatic mood, and powerful dance.
The hanging frame proves as an excellent prop piece with Tessa dancing and moving in, out, around, and beneath it. It’s a simple device that lends itself to multiple metaphors and surprising uses throughout the show. We end with it being used as a swing, the show having returned to a girlish simplicity, and with excellent use of lighting and sound, it proves a memorable visually-striking scene.
We are taken on quite the journey. Each scene brims with a raw vulnerability that is at times intense and extremely relatable. Tessa is an extraordinary performer. She brings a humorous self-awareness to the more theatrical scenes and absolutely shines in the dance sequences, able to convey deep and complex emotions with powerful ease. She displays an incredible range as a dancer and fully commits to everything her character is. Her dancing holds a polished intensity, whilst expressing disjointed mania and effervescent reclamation, and delivers a truly memorable performance.
The committed collaboration between Elekis on lights and LANCE on sound transports us into the mood, tone and nuances of Tessa’s performance. Utilising a dreamy yet diverse lighting palette, Elekis assists in transforming scenes with ease. The sound by LANCE is equally powerful, from delicate pianos and rainscapes to deeply unsettling pulsating drums that take us emotionally further into the more intense, darker scenes.
I’m Not Going To Lie To You is a fabulous exploration of girlhood and womanhood, silliness and severity, realism and dream, theatre and dance. Intimate, memorable, and featuring an exceptional performance from Tessa Redman furthered by the strong design, sound, and light from Trantham Gordon, Elekis Poblete, and LANCE, it is a show that will stick with you.
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Immaculate story telling
Review by Lyne Pringle 29th Jul 2021
Review of New Zealand Fringe Festival 2021 dance performances.
By Lyne Pringle
Three standout solo dance works by courageous and talented woman are highlights in the latter part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. They are well told and moving tales of resilience.
Soliloquy in Sweat is an utterly compelling and unique performance, choreographed and conceptualized by powerhouse performer Katrina E. Bastian.
Tasked with collecting half a-litre of sweat within 40-minutes, Bastian whips herself into a frenzy of movement in a plastic suit worn over gladwrap.
Then, naked, panting and trembling she scrapes the accumulated sweat from her body with a credit card and wrings the product of her toil into a measuring cup. Through-out this mad tortured dance she recites over and over facts about: the credit card debt taken out by her mother to pay for her lessons; the real cost of training to be a dancer; the paltry sum that dancers will earn; the sums not adding up and a life time of debt.
So much toil and sweat but never enough. ‘Who can afford to be a dancer?’ It’s a good question for the audience. We are left grateful that this sublime dancer with incredible articulation has chosen despite the odds, to bring us such a funny, yet poignant and resonant, piece of theatre.
I’m Not Going to Lie to You, choreographed and performed by Tessa Redman with sound by Tyler Redman and lighting by Jackson Davis is a beautifully integrated and crafted work.
Redman, with her massively expressive eyes, delights through swerving mood shifts, sharp precise moves and impeccable delivery of text. There are surprises in the terrain it covers. She cavorts, pouts and poses in what feels like a bedroom with clothes discarded around the walls. In this gorgeous pallet of pink and red, Redman’s vulnerability is eventually revealed. Her heart broken truth cleverly hidden until the end. Immaculate story telling.
Georgia Kellett has multiple talents as performer, producer, deviser, co-director, lighting and sound designer in The Burdened. Anna Secker co-directs in a slick, pared back exploration of despair. Kellett, in a unique white costume takes us into the world of a World War 1 nurse. She uses spare repetitive gestures whilst the excellent lighting and soundscape takes into a rich imaginative realm. Repeated trauma becomes the burden this individual must carry.
Three inspiring and uplifting works by artists to watch for in the future.
In the work I Don’t Know How to Dance British alt folk duo, Good Habits and New Zealand dancer Cade Hansen wrestle with defining why some of us dance and some of us don’t. Singer-cellist Bonnie Schwarz and accordionist Pete Shaw are ‘nomad musicians’ stranded in New Zealand due to Covid 19. With Hansen, who is a consummate and precise mover, they invite the audience to contemplate dance as a social ritual. A series of recorded interviews are layered with rich acoustic sounds and unique choreography. Whilst the work doesn’t entirely lift off, due to being overly complex and subdued, there is great heart in the presentation.
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Fabulously intimate, polished, engaging and original
Review by Helen Balfour 11th Mar 2021
As we enter the BATS Studio, Tessa Redman, costumed in a baby pink floaty dress, is posing in semi-provocative yet frivolous movements to candy-like music, egged on by the immensely supportive audience. The space is small with a rosy glow, the atmosphere invites curiosity.
The performance begins and what a performance it is. The juxtaposition of language and dance is cleverly developed and well placed in this self-devised exploration of one’s deeper self. To hear her speak is at first a surprise: “I like dancing.” From then, the audience is left waiting and wanting to hear her velvety, eloquent voice again.
Intense movement follows: a series of contraction and release-inspired actions that build and rebound until they transition seamlessly into a costume change. Items are selected from one of the many piles of red clothing that perhaps symbolise child-like treasures.
Redman is a truly capable dancer who manipulates her body with powerful articulation. Her performance quality enchants, engages and captures interest. Her eyes wide and bewitching, her body beckoning. Her innate vulnerability connects intimate and associable situations with humour and converse intensity.
Much of the movement is impulse driven, either through repetitive action, vocal sounds or breath, interspersed with ritualistic like transitions that often make the audience laugh, followed by random and humorous apologies for performing so intently.
At last Redman relinquishes herself to the floor and produces copious low-level, wretched, contorted movements as though dispelling impurities. From this she stops and sits rag-doll-like and speaks again: “I’m sick of waiting impatiently for time to heal … Don’t buy me flowers again.” The audience laughs; a relatable and timely phrase after such intensity, to be reminded about the ‘make-up’ flowers.
The sound by sibling Tyler Redman compliments the piece with simplicity and gathers us into the situation and space, providing mood and location with ease. The interaction that the Redmans have at one point during the piece, as technician and performer with sibling-like banter, works a treat, especially in the intimate space.
Jackson Davis’ lighting provides the work with blushing, rose tones that enhance the overall intentions.
As Redman returns to the ‘fun dress’ that she began the piece in, she spends the last moments whirling and twirling with playful, honest freedom concluding with a tender, slightly unexpected moment.
A fabulously intimate, polished show, both engaging and original, with a sense of vulnerability and honesty that we could connect to. Thoroughly worthy of the standing ovation.
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