Light Way Out

The Open Stage, Hagley Community College, Christchurch

27/11/2014 - 29/11/2014

Production Details

Their final fling for Hagley Dance Company (in 2014 at least)

It’s graduation time for our current Company, time for them to show their skills and fly.

Join them for one more lap around The Open Stage.


The Open Stage

Hagley Community College, 510 Hagley Ave

27 – 29 November, 7:30pm

$15/$10 (concession or group bookings over 10)

Bookings: (door sales may be available)


Dancers: Holly Thompson, Tayla Coulbeck, Jhawan Raika-Morgan, Jessica Probert 

Humour, intimacy, and wonderfully idiosyncratic choreography

Review by Emily Napolitano 28th Nov 2014

The four talented young members of the Hagley Dance Company offer us a fascinating array of dances in their graduation show, Light Way Out. Intriguingly unconventional choice of props and clean choreographic lines characterize the evening. Filmed biographies of each dancer intersperse the pieces, lending a feeling of intimacy to the performance as we are introduced to each dancer sharing their thoughts with us.

Light Way Out begins with Megan Platt’s choreography, A Collection Of Short Stories, appropriately lit by head lamps worn by the dancers. Quirky, repetitive choreography allows the dancers to demonstrate strong body control and an impressive command of muscle isolation. The fifth piece, Trail, choreographed by Fleur de Thier, revisits the use of lit costumes, with blue fairy lights attached to long trains which in turn support boxes dragged across the stage. Sara Anderson gives us a peek into a ballet class, and solos by three of the company members punctuate the show. The evening ends with choreography by Sarah Elsworth which explores the frenzied pace of the modern world along with some of its more disappointing values.

Highlights include The Long And The Short Of It, Parts I and II, choreographed by Fleur de Thier. In this dance the long hair of one dancer is used dramatically as a prop, illustrating the ways we are fascinated by, idolize and yet torment those who have what we want. The object of desire gets her own back at the end, surreptitiously cutting off the hair of her imitators.

Another beautifully dark piece is Feed The Backs, choreographed by Company Director Candice Egan. This 1950s rock-n-roll flavoured dance gives us a humorous look at an eccentric relationship and some basic human desires before segueing into the delightfully twisted denouement. The sound tracks, Bread and Butter by the Newbeats and Lilac Wine by Nina Simone, are perfect choices and the animated interaction with a bag of bread is impeccably played.

With only four dancers on stage, we are treated to an intimate portrayal of their individual qualities as performers. Holly Thompson is delicate yet strong, bringing an appealingly fresh stage presence while remaining wholeheartedly committed to the dance. Tayla Coulbeck possesses strong technique and graceful polish. Jhawan Raika-Morgan expresses a physically demanding style while also being remarkably light on his feet. Jessica Probert brings an enthusiasm that is catching.

I have had the pleasure of watching these dancers develop their skills and repertoire throughout the year and am pleased to say that all four will be continuing their dance studies at a tertiary level in 2015. You will want to catch this graduation show – an entertaining mix of humour, intimacy, and wonderfully idiosyncratic choreography makes for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council