23 Princes: 23 Princes St, Dunedin

23/03/2019 - 24/03/2019

Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

14/08/2018 - 18/08/2018

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

11/04/2019 - 13/04/2019

Dunedin Fringe 2019

Production Details

We are Dance Plant Collective. Our vision is to create politically challenging and transformative performance work grounded in an ecological framework. The roots of our practice are planted in a desire to nurture community, uphold the interconnectedness of all things, and honour the body as a locus of understanding. Our collaborative practice is inspired by the genius of rhizome ecosystems: think mushrooms, underground tree-root networks, or your friendly (tasty) ginger-root. We embrace both absurdity and authenticity, trusting the spontaneous cross-fertilisation of view-points to produce startling new material staged in equally surprising spaces.
Goodbye conscious consumer, hello Capitalist perfection, from farm to fridge all neatly disguised for your ethical pleasure.

MEAT is a contemporary dance-theatre work choreographed by Tui Hofmann in collaboration with DANCE PLANT Collective. It unwraps the meat industry and exploring its social and environmental implications. MEAT offers an immersive and penetrating dive into the unsettling psychology of consumption; what are you consuming and what consumes you?

We would really love to see you there and hope you can make it! You can purchase tickets here.
Much love,
Dance Plant Collective xx

MEAT premiered at the Basement Theatre in Auckland, 14-18 August 2018. 
2019 — Dunedin performances at 23 Princes Street 
SAT 23 March, 06:00pm and 08:00pm
SUN 24 March 5:00pm and 07:00pm

Price $17.00 – $20.00


*Fees may apply

2019 Wellington performances 

6.30pm 11 and 122 April; 7.30pm 12 April

Artists: Brittany Kohler. Natasha Kolher, Bella Wilson, Jaz Yahel, Tui Hoffman, Rosie Tapsell

Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

Conversation-stoking commitment

Review by Brigitte Knight 13th Apr 2019

Tui Hoffman’s Meat is a full-length dance/performance work pulsing with suggestion and attack.

Four members of Dance Plant Collective undertake a serious commitment to movement with this piece; the floor in Bats Theatre is unforgiving, access to the performance space is limited, the length and endurance demanded by the choreography is significant (not least for Bella Wilson who remains onstage for the entire performance). Dance Plant Collective describes Meat as a conversation stoker and aims to tackle an unwieldy beast of topic matter, from consumerism to social justice, colonisation to climate change. The quintessence of Meat is clearly expressed; how thin the collective illusion separating animal and human flesh, how distressing the imagery when the illusion falters.

Meat begins promisingly, with fluid, interesting unison and thoughtfully balanced repetition and development. The choreographed dance sections are the works’ real strength, and while juxtaposing performance/imagery sections are necessary, they occasionally feel drawn-out and lack a considered structural climax. There is room for editing and refining of transitions here; the potential for decisions around priority of focus serving to strengthen any future development of the piece. Much of Meat’s improvised and solo moments retain a strongly Unitec dance flavour, particularly the distorted contemporary locking performed to an electronic soundscape which appears with such frequency it is in danger of becoming standardised. Bella Wilson delivers a standout performance, however, her movement vocabulary and technique  original, mature, superbly articulated and poignantly exposed in a skin-tone undertard and kneepads.

Design elements of Meat provide theatrical richness and striking imagery; lengths of abattoir-esque plastic as a wedding gown, ripe tomatoes like bloody hearts mutilated in a dancer’s hands, a fur-wrapped strutting runway frenzy, a dancer in a human-sized petri dish her body covered with the projected image of a side of meat. Bats Theatre is perhaps too pleasant a venue to feed the overall aesthetic of this piece, which would be well served by a colder, dehumanised, more industrial space.

Sound composed by Alex Zielinski is effective and appropriate, if somewhat predictable. Electronic, bass-heavy and sampling spoken word it drives the movement without overwhelming the power of the dancers’ performance. Live voice into a suspended microphone provides a significant point of contrast in the closing moments of Meat, another successful tertiary dance school staple. Audience members are offered disposable earplugs, and these are necessary as the sound is uncomfortably loud.

Costumes give the impression of solid ideas being restricted by budget, particularly the furs which cheapen and detract from their intended effect. Variations of opacity are a more effective costume feature, and bespoke underwear would help to streamline the indented aesthetic.

Meat promises to be confronting, to explore horrors of an industry steeped in exploitation, torture, death. I find the work falls short of this endeavour, and is safer and more predictable than I’d expected. Perhaps as a vegetarian of more than 25 years, my awareness and examination of these issues is different; less shockable than the average audience member. Meat delivers promise and potential for Dance Plant Collective, with Hoffman’s choreographed ensemble sections the works’ source of power.



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Review by Hannah Molloy 27th Mar 2019

Dunedin Dream Brokerage finds performance and gallery spaces around the central city for artists to use to tell their stories and 23 Princes St is a well used space. It’s long and narrow, with slim pillars at the far end, dressed in white with mounds of plastic heaped in the back half and chairs lined along the edges. It has one of Dunedin’s ubiquitous old wooden floors, paint splattered and warm with generations of use. There is a relaxed hum of conversation, people in pairs and some alone. The light is muted and gentle, the soundscape reminiscent of water tumbling over stones, overlaid by an uneasy heartbeat. The light is by turns warm then chilly in its whiteness.

As the Dance Plant Collective dancers Bella Wilson, Brittany Kohler, Jaz Yahel and Natahsa Kohler emerge into the space, the light changes, reduced to an orange glow at almost ground level, back lighting the dancers, making them just ethereal human shapes. It’s hard to see them, other than as a fleeting silhouette or a golden profile but it’s completely apparent that they are moving perfectly.

They filter off stage one by one, leaving Wilson alone, in just a nude leotard, breaking apart on the floor. She moves continuously and poignantly.

The others return, as a manic woman in leopard print who disintegrates before our eyes, her falls brutal, a naked woman who dresses herself in plastic, creating a tutu which becomes a wedding dress. There’s an unease of ‘don’t put plastic by your face’ as she creates her gown and veil and slowly suffocates in it. They become installations as a mad butcher appears, licking a blade with casual sensuality. The broken one seems to be rediscovering her strength, reaching her feet but she’s still broken.

As the music intensifies, the four dancers, Wilson still in only her leotard but the other three in gauzy costumes that, from the corner of your eye, look like the structure of meat, lurch into a tumultuous performance. It’s a quality of choreography and dance that I haven’t seen in a long time. They were so good it made me cross – I couldn’t believe what I was watching. They were unrelenting, like clubbers lost in music and drugs, and they looked somehow as though they were enjoying every minute of it. The physicality of the choreography must have been utterly exhausting but you couldn’t tell, barely an overt breath taken. It was exhausting for the audience as well – some people I spoke to said they were shattered, several speaking with a hand pressed to their chest.

The underlying narrative of consumerism and the animal industries notwithstanding, this is an absolutely incredible piece of dance, performed by remarkable women. I hope they bring some of their other work to Dunedin soon.


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Images of consumption

Review by Kerry Wallis 15th Aug 2018

MEAT is a contemporary dance-theatre work choreographed by Tui Hofmann in collaboration with DANCE PLANT Collective. Hofmann creates some beautiful moments on stage, especially when DANCE PLANT Collective members dance full phrases. They are all strong movers and dance especially well together. 

Right from the start, the work tackles the question of who is consuming whom in the meat industry, opening with bodies hanging from scaffolding like carcasses, and throughout there is recurring imagery of humans as meat and humans as animals, wearing leather boots and gas masks. A  series of disintegrating animalistic movements by dancer Bella Wilson has a strong impact the first time you see them.

The repetition of the crumbling dance vocabulary that we see echoed again and again,  and the repeated structure of sequences which start, break down and disappear, become tiresome. The point may be to reinforce the conveyor belt, however,  I would love to see what else ‘consuming’ could mean rather than it all be on the individual’s internal consumption.

The Meat Industry is a vast concept and consumption can mean many things. We are also shown glimpses of consumption in the fashion industry, and fish drowning in plastic. However, the highlight for me is when Jaz Yahel crushes a tomato with a knife, albeit depending on the side of the stage (and audience) on which you are sitting, you may not see what she is doing. She rubs the blade against her skin and it is the first and only moment that made me feel as though I have never seen it before — I feel the piece needs more moments like this. In my opinion, the tomato flesh hitting the floor is a much more striking image, and unexpected, than the image being projected, of farming.

MEAT has enjoyable moments but could have more impact if some of the layers could be peeled back and ideas deepened, with movement becoming more abstract. 


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