Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

03/03/2020 - 06/03/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details


Get your fix of fresh new talent! Lift-Off is your one-stop sample of brand-new work from artists emerging onto the Capital’s performing arts scene. See tomorrow’s taste-makers live and firing on all cylinders at Lift-Off!

Dance Music Physical Theatre Performance Parts No Restrictions
7.30pm daily
Price General Admission $18.00 Concession $15.00 Fringe Addict $12.00

Te Auaha – Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro

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Wheelchair access available

Dance , Physical , Music ,

60 mins

Highly engaging triple bill

Review by Caitlin Halmarick 04th Mar 2020

Lift-off is the perfect title for three juxtaposed yet complementary multi-disciplinary works of theatre. All three works of the evening centre around the theme of lift off, whether in the context of a young person realising their sexuality, a woman reflecting on her growth from childhood to present day and the mental health issues she has faced along the way, or a dynamic group dance piece that plays on the energy generated from dancers capitalising on their purely physical talents. As a collection of a diverse range of artists, each with a high talent of multiple disciplines, Lift-off is a show for everyone interested in the performing arts.

The first piece of the night is presented by a group of artists who have an exceptionally high skill level in the vocal and physical presentation of character, gave an exemplary vocal performance of original song, performed entertaining accompanying dance, and successfully delivered subtly played yet highly effective comedy. This collection of artists is a very talented group, each with profound ability in many different disciplines of performing arts. The narrative of this piece is a heart-warming coming out story, where a young woman gets caught up in denying her own sexuality all to realise, rather embarrassingly, that she is in fact in love with her best friend. The use of fourth wall breaks, tableau, and spotlights give the audience an inside scoop on the main character’s true feelings and thoughts in each situation, leading to some highly comedic moments.

The second piece, a presumably auto-biographic solo, opens with a projection of a home video, clearly an authentic film of the artist’s early childhood. This endearing film of the young performer singing, positions the audience firmly in the context of the artist’s childhood, and from there we are led through the use of dance, song and speech through the artist’s development of self as she matures. Through her journey of self-discovery, the artist battles with mental health issues but then learns her own strength, and powerfully yet tenderly learns to triumphantly become friends with her own inner demons. The dance is firstly beautifully gentle and fluid, and then assuredly strong and fierce as she battles with her mental health, only then to regain the signature calm fluidity. The song and speech are presented in the artist’s native tongue, beautifully placing the audience in the artist’s world and childhood experience. A beautiful piece that leaves a knowing, endeared smile on the audience’s face.

The third and final piece of the night is a celebration of pure dance. The eight dancers engage in an exploration of energies, whole group dynamics, and duets to produce a piece that requires no hidden subject or connotation, it simply presents to the audience the pure enjoyment of these captivating dancers moving in space. All core elements of entertaining dance performance were present; explosive unison work, intricate spatial patterning, unique solo moments, an enchanting intimate duet, and highly engaging performers to deliver the choreography. An enrapturing end to the show.

Lift-off is a highly engaging show presented by a diverse range of highly talented, multi-disciplinary emerging artists. I’m sure I speak for many when I say I am excited to see the developments of these artists’ careers.


Nell Williams March 4th, 2020

Thanks for coming along, Caitlin, and for submitting such a thoughtful review -  especially during this busy festival season!

A quck note on show dates: Lift-Off is on at Te Auaha till Saturday 7th March (one night longer than is noted at the top of the page).

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