Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

21/02/2023 - 25/02/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

Tessa Redman - creator, performer
Lekis Poblete Teirney - lighting and set designer
Jackie Jenkins - sound design

Welcome to Romance: Tessa’s POV.

Continuing her ongoing research into the glory, madness and intensity of what it means to fall hopelessly in love, Tessa Redman returns to Te Whanganui-a-Tara with a blatant new conversational dance about (you guessed it) love.

An innocent, raunchy, empowering, heartfelt investigation into the ebbs and flows of love within all facets of our life. A deconstruction into the human heart, a remapping of a young woman’s heightened emotions. Join Tessa as she dives deep into erotic love, romantic love, jealous love, familiar love, disgusting love, painful love, desperate love, uncomfortable love, cheesy love.

Inspired by her first-hand experiences of being in love, whether that be through her family, friends, crushes, fanfictions, snogs, body-image or boybands, Tessa will attempt to experience what romance really feels like and how it manifests in and around the physical body. Get ready to embark on a journey of falling in and out of love again and again and again and again.

Te Auaha – Tapere Iti, Level 1, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro
Tue 21 – Sat 25 February 2023

Tessa Redman - creator, performer
Trantham Gordon - photography, marketing, set construction

Physical , Dance ,

1 hr

Beyond the sexy strut, beyond a flat silhouette captured in a mirror.

Review by Lyne Pringle 22nd Feb 2023

Tessa Redman likes to bop, likes to abandon herself to the frenzy of love. LOVE/LOVE/LOVE/LOVE/LOVE is the latest instalment of her ongoing thesis on the perils and ecstasies of ‘love’. 

This performance is less text driven than her previous work I’m Not Going to Lie to You. Rather the content of the performance comes from muscular momentum. It relies on choreography driven by emotional impulses. Her body is taut and purposeful.

Dropping in and out of a ‘performance’ mode Redman, with her large vivid eyes scanning back and forth, informs us of the title for the upcoming scene. These signposts are welcome  and the interrogation of her material disrupts theatrical presentation. 

She rigorously investigates her various topics with – for the most part – grounded, gyrating, arm driven moves. In the beginning the air is slashed, and jangled as strident movement is extruded from the core. Hands are blades, the torso spirals as she riffs on her heartbeat.
In the ‘love I felt on 3rd October 2022’ scene, her movement is swirling, thrown and soft capturing the agony and the ecstasy of the unrequited.

A deeper less derivative choreographic investigation would strengthen the work in these early scenes.

Scenes flow: erotic self-love which ‘fills me up, colours my life . . .’, lifted from the genitals and shimmied through a writing spine – gorgeous.

Her collaborators enhance the experience. Elekis Poblete Teirney lights elegantly by subtly massaging the performance space whilst manipulating the audience experience with changes in house light. Jackie Jenkins creates a sympathetic soundtrack. Trantham Gordon has created the set and marketing.

In the peak scene, boldly naked, Redman utterly abandons herself in hilarious, breathtaking fashion.  She becomes witch like with a tinge of irony,  evoking the work of early expressionist Mary Wigman. This is her struggle against objectification as she reclaims her right to a ‘truthful’ body. Beyond the sexy strut, beyond a flat silhouette captured in a mirror.  She shatters the male gaze.

The works gifts us a corporeal and emphatic portrayal of the many loves we can feel for ourselves and others.

There is invention and cleverness throughout. Redman continues to refine her modus operandi, her work is maturing as richer tones and flavours come through.

A few of the scenes could do with a trim, for example a warm up sequence goes on for a very long time.

Nevertheless this is a brave, raw, honest portrayal of a young woman’s visceral pursuit of love. She is given charming help from her very groovy Mum.  In a surprise ending we get an insight into where this performer’s vibrant ‘love’ comes from.


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