Into the REM Zone

Manakau TelstraClear Events Centre, Auckland

29/08/2006 - 31/08/2006

Hamilton Community Theatre, Hamilton

23/08/2006 - 25/08/2006

Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington

17/08/2006 - 19/08/2006

Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre - Upper Hutt, Wellington

12/08/2006 - 12/08/2006

Production Details

Devised and directed by Peter Wilson
Choreography by the Dancers

Design by Tollis Papazoglou, animated props constructed by Debz Ruffel, Sue Hill and Rebecca Wild
Sound design, composition and playing by Stephen Gallaghe
Lighting design by Stephen Blackburn


four dreams + four dancers = one spectacular fusion of dance and drama!

Dive into the zone of dreams in a brand new dance/drama show presented by Capital E National Theatre for Children with dancers from Footnote Dance Company.

Experience four of New Zealand’s leading contemporary dancers in this high-energy dance-drama fusion. You’ll enter another dimension where things are witty, weird and surreal as you watch four dreams come alive on stage.

Let the performers take you between worlds, between the states of consciousness one enters while sleeping and dreaming.

Don’t miss this new theatrical experience – a show with bite and a radical sound track; ideal for young people aged 8-12 years.

The first-ever collaboration between Capital E National Theatre for Children and Footnote Dance, Into the REM-Zone mixes the skills and experience of two of New Zealand’s leading arts organisations to create this multi-genre theatre exploration.  

AGE: Ideal for 8-12 year olds

Halina Wolyncewicz
Hannah Stannard
Anita Hunziker
Lance Riley

Dance , Theatre , Children’s ,

Magical, whimsical, surreal, delightful

Review by John Smythe 13th Aug 2006

[For further dates and venues, and other details, click on the production details above.]

Inspirational is the word that most readily springs to mind in describing Into the REM Zone. Pitched at children from 8 to 12 it is likely to mesmerise younger children, teenagers and adults alike and inspire all sorts of play and further discovery at many levels.

Named for the Rapid Eye Movement that accompanies dreaming, it is a ‘black theatre’ show that conjures up four dream sequences using dance, puppetry and illusion through the creative skills of dancers, designers (Tolis Papazoglou; lighting by Stephen Blackburn) and a composer/ musician (Stephen Gallagher), all working in collaboration with deviser/ director Peter Wilson.

At curtain call I expected a team of black-clad puppeteers to file on after the dancers, only to realise the four dancers had done the lot! I imagine that getting their turn at being a silk pyjama-clad sleeper/dreamer/dancer would have been the least challenging task of those that kept them all so busy for 80 non-stop minutes.

Which is not to say what is visible to the audience is frenetic; far from it. As in his previous work, Peter Wilson’s confidence in communicating with children produces no fear of stillness or the gentle dynamic of a quiet, private imagination. Thus the lively sequences express much more than the wacky superficiality that TV producers especially seem to think is necessary to maintain the interest of kids.

The choreography itself is not exactly challenging and the verbal content is super simple, which seems inconsistent with the 8-12 target audience. It is the magic of ‘black theatre’, where objects are animated in horizontal cross-light, that captures the imagination and is likely to inspire further enquiry and experimentation from inquisitive members of the audience.

As we arrive, subtle shadows play on a large ice-blue pillow, isolated in deep black space. The first dancer, Anita Hunziker, loves her pillow: “We do everything together” – and so they do. In her dream the pillow has a dancing life of its own. A silver-gloved hand beckons through a closed door … In the silver doorway, a magician does extraordinary things not only with objects but also his own body, quite losing his head at one point … Truly magical.

Halina Wolyncewicz falls asleep reading a book which becomes the key to her dream, ejecting letters, releasing a small wooden puppet and eventually spilling long sheets of paper that themselves become dancing shapes, taunting her by hiding her new-found friend. Whimsical.

A large sunflower with a short life, it seems, is the key to Hannah Stannard’s dream. “Sometimes the day begins and ends with nothing to look forward to.” The world is passing her by and she’s getting nowhere fast. Drawers pass by and reassemble as a dresser. A long-necked man looms … A red armchair offers comfort only to consume her in its fabric … Bits of her emerge impossibly from different parts of the dresser … Surreal.

The final work starts with a video of all four performers dining on noodles. Lance Riley gorges on them, so when – in live performance – he drags his burping self to bed, it’s indigestion that drives his dream. He regurgitates a huge noodle, then another … and from where he tossed them into the dark, a chorus line of squiggly noodles leaps into the light to dance. Large tentacle noodles invade his space … Stumpy little slinky noodles expand and undulate like airborne huhu grubs … The spectacular finale involves huge silver slugs, one of which turns him into a caterpillar, in a reverse metamorphosis that’s more fun than Kafka’s dark version. Delighful.

Stephen Gallagher’s music varies from five-finger piano playing to a multi-instrument score, fully synthesised and capturing states of being in dream-state from languid to lively. Illuminated by Blackburn’s ingenious ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ lighting, Papazoglou’s animated props (constructed by Debz Ruffel, Sue Hill and Rebecca Wild), in unseen hands, create the illusion of a large cast show. Well worth it.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council