Infatuated By Verses

298 Mt Albert Road, Mt Albert, Auckland

27/09/2008 - 18/10/2008

Production Details

How many dancers does it take to change a light bulb?

Infatuated by Verses, a show developed for Tempo 2008. This site specific work is thrown in the mix, deviating from mainstream black box presentation. A show to take in the sites and sounds of urban Mt Albert.

Intent on providing an avenue for creative indulgence and totally willing to have a good time, are an eclectic bunch of mishaps, having just tumbled out of tertiary education. Here we are presenting to you five of our willing members prepared to put their pawns on the line.

Kate, Charlie, Katie, Rebecca and token male Chris invite you to a viewing of a site specific dance theatre work presented by yours truly productions. An experiment of a kind, utilizing choreography, acting, singing and a combined total of 112 years of mid-twenties angst.

Come have a seat and lap up the entertainment amongst our shifting existence within our flat. Conversational and habitual, the movement sits you down, walks on the ceiling and leaves you wanting your own cupcake. Shifting, exposing and provoking beautiful and ugly emotions yours truly presents a complex work wrought with, well, everyday complexity.

Watch as we navigate our way through this moment in our life. Take a comfy seat and share with us the delights of new experiences and dancing moments. Find a way to identify with our shortcomings, forgive us our trespasses and mind the stains.

Dates: Saturday 27 September, Sat 4, Sat 11, Sat 18 October 7pm
Venue: 298 Mt Albert Road, Mt Albert
Tickets: $5
Booking: Door sales only
For further information please call 09 620 1232

Fantastic first performance

Review by Celine Sumic 29th Sep 2008

From proscenium arch to black box to 298 Mt Albert Rd, we have arrived; it’s a new era in dance-theatre and its here at your door.  Applause for Yours Truly Productions’ unassuming grace and lemon cupcakes.

I had the privilege last night of attending the inaugural performance of Infatuated by Verses. This beautifully crafted work is the result of Yours Truly Productions, a new ensemble of five consisting of one actor and four dance majors from the UNITEC 2007 graduating class. 

Seated in the living area of a suburban flat and home of director performer Kate Bartlett and her partner Chris Tempest, I waited expectantly, taking in the elevated aspect, the Sky Tower dancing in the distance…  Katie Just tidies an adjacent bedroom in virtual fashion via a live feed projected onto the living room wall.  Soft toys are given their place on the bed as people drift into the flat, casually greeted as if just dropping in for a cup of tea.  Lines of red yarn link the projected image on the wall to the living room floor, attached with pieces of sticky red tape…

Welcome to the set of this richly layered work that moves lightly between physical expression, digital technology and culinary sensation.  The performance began gently, much like its origins.  The vision of director performer Kate Bartlett, Infatuated by Verses had its inception in the idea of the intimacy afforded by suburban living.  A collaborative work that evolved organically through extended discussions between the company members, it was subsequently work-shopped at the performance site over a period of months.

Across the divide of a familiar expanse of student-flat-coloured carpet, lies a carnival of black and white chequered vinyl announcing the kitchen-dining transition and demanding it be recognised as a stage.  The show proper begins as the lights are lowered and our voyeuristic focus is drawn to Katie in the adjacent bedroom as she dons a set of headphones and begins a troubled and increasingly strident love song dramatically enacted with her cast of soft toys.  We watch via the live feed projection on the living room wall and hear her singing echoing down the hall…

Based on real words and deeds, the apparent fiction of Infatuated by Verses resounds with a close-to-home authenticity.  Comedic moments give way to dramatic tension as the theme of domestic disturbance and human emotion coast in and out of frame along with the appearance of love interest Chris Tempest and friend Charlie Helliwell.  A sophisticated use of frame and opacity, both pictorial and acoustic, gives depth to this work as does an engaging variety of movement vocabulary.  Ranging from pedestrian to contemporary and incorporating a startling vignette of Les Mills-style-body-attack (masquerading as a video game on TV), Yours Truly takes morsels of emblematic movement and sews them together with apparently effortless ease.

While grounded in the real, there appear at times to be metaphysical forces at work in this show, or at least a hint of Alice in Wonderland…  For example, when Katie suddenly disappears out the window at a somewhat surreal angle, apparently vacuumed from our presence by a mysterious poltergeist, one has to wonder, could it be The Secret has a tighter hold than we imagine?!  Trio abruptly dissolved by Katie’s abduction, Rebecca Solomon and Kate Bartlett resume their duet on the vinyl bench seat as Charlie’s singing from the sliding door distantly intersects with Chris’ vocals inside…

Congratulations to Yours Truly for their integration of live and digitised media, creative use of levels and apprehension of spatial opportunities within this work.  I particularly enjoyed the canonic changing of costume prior to the last sequence, via a partial descent on the stair.  The closing sequence finds the girls, having been swallowed by a kitchen backdraft, returned on a breeze of domestic bliss with spray cleaners in hand, to frame Chris in a crowning cabaret.  Dancing together at last with Class as an accompaniment and pale blue beanie notably removed, Infatuated by Verses could even claim to bring some form of emancipation to the plight of the contemporary kiwi male…

I found this show an uplifting performance by a bright, explorative ensemble.  One is ultimately left to interpret the work in their own way, with the cupcakes and discussion at the end serving to extend the performative exchange.  I greatly recommend Infatuated by Verses as an entertaining, richly considered theatrical experience and look forward to a promising future for Yours Truly Productions.


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