MANUFACT

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

01/03/2022 - 05/03/2022

NZ Fringe Festival 2022

Production Details


Direction

Georgia Hall & LANCE



Choreography

Georgia Hall



COMPOSER 
LANCE




MANUFACT addresses the simulation hypothesis – a speculative metaphysical proposal regarding the nature of existence which posits that all of existence is an artificial simulation. How do we move in simulation, what is truly human if we are tuned into a rhythm dictated upon to us from birth. Survival of the fittest is the key to success – but what if one strays from the production line.

A collaboration between movement, sound, and light..


CAST


Georgia Hall

Tessa Redman 

Wade Walker Berben

Chloe Jaques

Molly Wake

Angus Syben




LIGHTING DIRECTOR

Elekis Poblete Teirney



COSTUMING

Georgia Hall & Tessa Redman


Physical , Experimental dance , Dance-theatre , Dance ,


‘Are we living in an artificial simulation?’

Review by Lyne Pringle 03rd Mar 2022

MANUFACT  asks the questions: ‘What is the nature of reality?’ ‘Are we living in an artificial simulation?’ For the most part the work serves this inquiry well, with committed performances from a cast of five performers: Angus Syben, Chloe Jaques, Georgia Hall, Molly Walk and Wade Walker Berben. They are pre-set in an evocative line, black robbed figures rocking like the devoted at a prayer wall . The detail in costuming, by Lance, is satisfying: hand knitted balaclavas, black finger and toe nails and lines painted on the bodies. 

In Act I performers are faceless and strident in their rough flung yet detailed movements. Counterpoint is used well. The unison – expressionistic, compelling and choreographically cohesive in this first section – gradually transforms into a multi headed, multi limbed hydra; amorphous and amoebic, rather than human. Georgia Hall choreographs and directs alongside Lance who is a multitalented collaborator also composing the skull rattling and prevalent soundscape. The performers are united in their despair and the comfort they find in each other as they navigate this suffocating world.

A segue between scenes that lingers in blackout with the sound of breath is powerful. 

Elekis Poblete Teriney has designed appropriately moody lighting throughout. It evokes dark territory that becomes a golden realm in Act II with shrouded undulating pupae – blinding light in the eyes of the viewer (left hand side of the auditorium), alongside less interesting movement, ruins the impact of this scene.

Act III sees the performers evolving into more human form with boneless exploratory movement. They escape through a wall of smoke and light into a new reality, where emotion and interactions with others becomes available. Pure movement has integrity and is executed with satisfying individuality and rawness. With the performers faces fully exposed and varying skill levels in terms of ‘dance acting’ the work loses momentum, despite the weight of oppression lifting off and a sense of levity and joy pervading their bodies. 

Reprieve is brief and eventually the constraints return, via a beam of light, as the performers are locked back into the rocking line motif of the beginning. This representation of the cyclical nature of experience and reality is a strong end to a work where dramatic success ebbs and flows. 
Anemoia – this particular tribe of creatives – deserves  credit for the amount of concentrated work, on many levels, that has gone into this production. The metaphorical bones of MANUFACT are sound,  but some content choices could be reinvestigated.

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