Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington

11/03/2015 - 14/03/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2015 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details



The 2009 tsunami in Samoa rocked the Pacific, with more than 189 lives lost and twenty villages on the island of Upolu destroyed. Some lost the lives of family members spanning up to four generations. Twelve months after the Tsunami hit, we around the world watched as people restored their homes, their communities, 
 their businesses and their lives; 
 a brave expression of commitment 
 to continue a life with meaning,
 in the memory of those lost.

The strength required by the people of Samoa moved us throughout the South Pacific.

This event inspired Taofi Mose-Tuiloma and Sasha Gibb to create ‘IMPACT’, a tribute to the inner strength we have as people of the Pacific. IMPACT’ captures the raw and deep felt loss that comes with tragedy, and questions, at what point do you just give up? 

…we must always look back to continue moving forward…

Devised and choreographed by Taofi Mose-Tuiloma and Sasha Gibb, ‘IMPACT’ began its life during Taofi’s post-graduate studies at Whitireia NZ and was presented as her graduation piece in 2010. In 2014, Taofi collaborated with Jandals Inc to further develop ‘IMPACT’. The work completely transformed, from a 20 minute movement assessment, into a graceful and moving piece of contemporary pacific theatre. This was produced for the Measina Festival, a celebration of pacific work in support of Samoan Language Week.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. People just got what we were trying to say. It was incredibly humbling” – Sasha Gibb, Artistic Director

Jandals are excited to present ‘IMPACT’ as part of the Fringe Festival with support from Creative NZ, the Wellington City Council and the 2015 Fringe Festival. They look forward to sharing their journey with you.

Whitireia Theatre

60 mins

11  – 14 Mar, 7:30pm plus 14 Mar, 1:00pm

Fringe Artist $12.00 / Concession $12.00 / Fringe Addict $14.00 / Full $18.00

Pasifika contemporary dance , Dance-theatre , Dance ,

1 hour

Story told through great rhythm and strong dramaturgy

Review by Lyne Pringle 13th Mar 2015

This performance is a ritual of healing for all that was lost in the 2009 tsunami in Samoa. It portrays a map of grief; how a person can get lost of in the wilderness of sorrow and a message of hope that there is a way back to the love of family. Jandals Inc, a company of Whitireia graduates delivers, performances that are heartfelt and moving.

Director Sasha Gibb and choreographer Taofi Mose-Tuiloma have created, with their ensemble, a work that has great rhythm and strong dramaturgy. It draws us in and keeps us guessing as they develop their own unique way of telling a story.  

A movement vocabulary well suited to the abilities of the cast has been found and this dance component is delivered with strength and well-grounded ease.  There is elegant use of concurrent scenes to develop the texture of the story and evoke the life of a family and village. This leads to a satisfying juxtaposition of images. The impact of the tsunami plays out in the human psyche and tremors continue long after the event has passed.

Lameka Nehemia and Te Rau Oriwa Mitchell are very fine in the central roles. Lameka has a tender and eloquent stage presence which allows us to fully connect with her plight and distress. Her monologue delivered in Samoan (despite my not understanding its full meaning) was moving; her beautiful imploring face tilted to the light.

Alternating between the spoken word, dance and mime is an ambitious stretch for the leads. Their performances would be strengthened by the continued development of their acting skills for the delivery of text. 

There is some elegant partnering and the chorus of four women move with control, the torque of the body expressing pent up energy and the shift of the ocean before they explode into dynamic sequences that unleash the power of these elemental forces – this is satisfying. A potent scene arrives when Te Rau Oriwa Mitchell delivers a monologue with another dancer interpreting his words in a dance solo full of invention and clarity.

Attention needs to be paid to the mime segments, either achieve greater clarity and skill or find a more inventive stylized way to evoke the tasks of the domestic realm. Whilst there has been care and consideration given to the sound track, some of the tracks spell out the emotion of the scene too much – it would be interesting to lose the track and find something less literal to accompany the movement once the mood and emotion has been found. Finding a less clumsy way for tracks to fade out is also important and the projection had an unclear purpose.

More could be made of the ending as the work came to a sudden conclusion,; as if there is another scene not yet realized.

Impact should be toured to high schools around the country and to communities affected by the tsunami, both here and in Samoa; it would be well received and could open up lively discussion.

It is refreshing to see such honest work with meaningful content coming from this group of artists as they work to fulfil their stated mission – to create, develop, produce, support and present artistic work that is relevant and culturally significant to Pacific Island people in New Zealand.

Their next project is to present a Pacific Island Festival of performance.


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