McCormacks Bay Property, Mt Pleasant, Christchurch

27/02/2015 - 01/03/2015

Production Details

Lucid, The Visual feast
Dance, Music, Sculpture, a collaboration.
Created by Fleur de Thier and Megan Platt.

This unique event gives access to the works, studios and personal art collection of Sculptor Llew Summers and Visual Artist Robyn Webster.

Enjoy the home and studios at the McCormacks Bay Property and watch a full length dance work inspired by sculpture, form and the chosen environment.

With professional dancers, Julia McKerrow, Madeleine Krenek, Chancy Rattanong, and Sarah Elsworth

44 Aratoro Place, Mt Pleasant, Christchurch

Friday 27 February 2015, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday 28 Feb 1pm & 6pm
Sunday 1 March 1pm & 6pm

Tickets $25 (children free) – door sales available

Suitable for all ages, children free. Walking shoes suitable and off site parking only. 
For extreme weather postponement call 0212809990 or join our Facebook event and follow our progress.

Professional dancers: Julia McKerrow, Madeleine Krenek, Chancy Rattanong, and Sarah Elsworth

Hagley Dance Company

Guest performers: Bina Iris, Jessica McLachlan and Sarah James

Musicians: Lizzie Cook and Chris Searle

Site-specific/site-sympathetic , Performance Art , Multi-discipline , Improv , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

3 hours

Dance, music and sculpture in an exquisite venue

Review by Emily Napolitano 28th Feb 2015

Lucid, The Visual Feast, created by Megan Platt and Fleur de Thier, is truly a banquet for the senses. A dance, music and sculpture collaboration, Lucid is set in the picturesque home of  Sculptor Llew Summers and Visual Artist Robyn Webster. The diverse performances that make up the evening wend their way through different locations – the gardens, the kitchen, the workshops. This exquisite venue gives us a rare look into the everyday life of an artist. Dancers Madeleine Krenek, Julia McKerrow, Chancy Rattanong and Sarah Elsworth become Otherworld guides as they lead us through the magical grounds on the tantalizing journey of an artistic vision through to the finished creation.

We are met at the front gate by Hagley Dance Company members, who walk us down a winding path to the garden and a complimentary glass of wine. As we wait for the show to begin, we have a chance to admire the extensive array of sculpture in the garden. Particularly intriguing are Robyn’s cast woven sculptures, ethereally suspended on wires.

The show begins with live music, played by Lizzie Cook and Chris Searle, from the tower balcony as Hagley Dance Company members walk through the audience and onto the main lawn. As they dance, the elegant Candice Egan begins a slow procession down from the tower, carrying a long bundle made of knotted reeds. Once on the lawn she spreads out her reed bundle, forming a gorgeous cape or train and, followed by the dancers, she invites us in. I feel a bit like Alice on the threshold of Wonderland.

In the shrubbery colonnade, the four principal dancers are positioned in front of four of Llew’s sculptures, each depicting something completely different – lovers entwined, women standing, a crouching form. As the dancers begin to move, they seem to be dancing the emotion that has been captured in stone. The sculptures become the foils as the dancers move and engage with the stone.

We continue the journey through the house and into Llew’s workshop, where two dancers perform a duet on a workbench. They re-enact the task of forming the clay, shaping the model, and paying homage to the modern dance improvisation technique of ‘sculptor and clay’.  Outside the workshop, two dancers are shedding gravel and stone shards as they metaphorically emerge from the stone and become the living statues.

A lighter dance occurs in front of a huge sculpture of birds in flight. The dance seems to embody the elation of the artist as he sees his vision taking shape. This dance is followed by its dark counterpart, as the artist struggles to channel the muse, violently trying to force his vision into reality. An extended duet involving a dancer being thrown around by her long hair brings home the painful labours of the artist as he strives to create.

The lovely and delicate reed cape reappears in another studio workspace, draped from the ceiling. Behind it, a dancer moves, surrounded by intricately woven sculptures. She slowly removes the reed hanging and carries it outside, where she continues her intimate dance with it, before leaving it spread across the ground.

The most challenging and thought provoking piece of the evening occurs next. This dance, featuring the Hagley Dance Company, takes a hard look at the ego of the artist, and at his place in society. As crowds hurry by unseeing, the four principal dancers take bows and jocularly refer to themselves as champions. The old proverb of there being truth in humour comes to mind as they represent the creator’s ego. The dancers try to make the hurrying crowds stop and watch them, even join them.  What is their purpose? Will they go too far? Will they ask for more than they can safely handle? Through the insanity, Candice reappears, and tying the reed sculpture around her waist she majestically saunters back up the stairs, sweeping everyone before her.

Interspersed throughout the show we are treated to charming vignettes including a German cabaret song (sung by the lovely Bina Iris in steampunk) and a Charleston duet straight out of the roaring twenties danced in the kitchen by sequin clad beauties Jessica McLachlan and Sarah James.

The evening ends back on the lawn where it began, though this time we are invited to watch from the balcony. This view point, the setting, and the vigorous dance bring the Otherworld celebration full circle. Indeed we have been treated to an intersection of worlds – dance, music, sculpture, emotion and creativity – this evening.

There is plenty of time left to stroll back through the gardens, revisit the sculptures, study Llew and Robyn’s extensive personal art collection inside the house and chat with the artists and dancers. As I step out of the mushroom circle and leave the Otherworld behind, I can’t help feeling a wave of regret that the evening is over. Do go see Lucid, The Visual Feast – it is a rare treat not to be missed. 


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