MAKE NO MISTAKE
11/10/2019 - 11/10/2019
Live dance. Live music. Live decisions. Live a little. One night only.
Have you ever had that dream where you stepped out onto stage before realising you don’t remember or even know any of the moves? Well maybe it’s time to see someone else live that dream. This is the premise for Tempo’s newly renovated improvisational tertiary dance showcase tuned by improvisation master Kristian Larsen. Make No Mistake is performed by some of New Zealand’s finest dancers in the making from Unitec and University of Auckland dance programmes, featuring collaboration with live on-stage musicians.
Improv , Dance , Contemporary dance ,
Solidarity in score mode
Review by Julia Harvie 15th Oct 2019
There is something different about the exchange between audience and performers when work is improvised. The work is the work, it cannot pretend to be anything else and it is created and shared in the moment in solidarity.
Make No Mistake is a first for Tempo, it is a completely improvised, cross-tertiary collaboration between Dance Studies – University of Auckland and UNITEC, facilitated by Kristian Larsen
The decision to showcase the tertiary dance students skills in this format in the festival context really hits the mark. The audience gets to celebrate the students’ choreographic, performance and technical dancing prowess and added to this see the maturity and surprising sophistication of being able to respond and create in real time in front of an audience.
The audience enter to encounter twenty dancers on stage already in score mode and two bespectacled men, Kristian Larsen and Chris O’Connor who are sitting cross-legged between the light booms stage right providing an interactive live musical score. This pre-show section was particularly satisfying and engaging, holding our attention for at least ten minutes while we all arrived to take our seats. The performers made use of focussed observation of one another, working together to build small satisfying moments of interaction. No doubt it was a device used to get the performers in mode as well as a way to warm-up the audience and it was highly effective in doing so.
The work unfolds as a series of solos, duos and trios. Each performer must find a way to enter and begin, build their scene and relationships with space, time, the audience and each other. Transitions between scenes can be tricky and entering with that first offer is a major hurdle to overcome. There were bold, witty and striking entrances made by all.
The first two duets of the night from Aimee Edwards and Katie Shaw and Abi Jones and Jess Crompton were particularly strong with well crafted decisions that broke the fourth wall, played on multiple entrances and exits, humour, light and the space as well as building distinct relationships and movement languages. A trio from Olivia O’Brien, Aimee Robinson and Sigrid Marin had a refreshing opening as Olivia appeared from behind the back curtain. Olivia’s strength lies in her humour and timing of delivery, be it comic or otherwise. She is clearly an intelligent maker in her element in the process of real time composition.
The performance inhabits and makes use of the space in its entirety, using the seating block and audience theatre entrance as well as the two stage entrances and the back cyclorama tabs. Paul Bennett created some beautiful lighting states that added a sophisticated and dramatic visual element to the work. Bennett responded to the tone of each section with consideration to both support and add to the action on stage.
Larsen and O’Connor are both well honed performers and exceptional improvisers in their own right. They supported and added rich layers of sound with text, percussion and electronic sound that was at times delicate, playful and intelligent giving depth and breadth to the work and never overwhelming or taking over from the action.
Sensitivity, subtlety, complexity and simplicity, intelligence and awareness are all skills to be applied to the real world as well as art making and it is a pleasure to see these performers deftly applying them on stage.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer