Mendes/Intuition - Dance Double Bill

Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland

24/02/2017 - 24/02/2017

Aroha'17 Festival of Ideas

Production Details


Kasina Campbell – MENDES

“Mendes interprets myself discovering a new part of my genealogy, channelling the love that has created me. A journey through my whakapapa to present day as-piring to clutch the hands of my foregone ancestors. Mendes touches base on my most recently discovery: being of Yugoslavian blood and since then expressing the fascination of new found information has dwelled on me enough to choreograph works that radiate through an audience communicating a grasping conclusion.” 

Kasina Campbell – Choreographer
Taonga Puoro – James Webster; Vocals – Katya Tasheva

Eddie Elliott – INTUITION ‘an attempt at sense’

Intuition.. (a word I keep referring to around improvisation)
Intuition, perhaps the first obvious tool inside a creative exploration, but is there a pattern to our intuition? at times it feels so, how then can we really explore this? there is suspicion in intuition… In this short development gut feeling is  the only choice to take, intuition becomes construction. But there are nice obvious qualities to explore as movers within this word, intuition invokes something instinctive, there is speed and desire to understand.

Choreographed by  Eddie Elliott  in collaboration with performer: Kosta Bogoievski.
Project Mentored by Ross McCormack.
Music by Jason Wright.

Mangere Arts Centre | CNR Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Mangere

Cost: Koha up to $20 Rating: all ages

Doors open: 6.30-9pm

Performance starts at 7pm

Maori contemporary dance , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

90 mins

Absorbing new works mark end of Aroha Festival '17

Review by Raewyn Whyte 25th Feb 2017

A double bill of contemporary dance works provided a celebratory closing event for Aroha’17 Festival of Ideas, marking the professional debut of two choreographers, Kasina Campbell and Eddie Elliott with the support of Mika Haka Foundation.

Dance has been a significant force in the lives of both these artists. Both have earned considerable respect as performers, Kasina performing for MAU Dance internationally after her tainig and several years with Kahurangi Dance Theatre, and then with Torotoro and Mika’s New Native Dance; and Eddie touring as a dancer with Black Grace, Okareka, Atamira, and the NZ Dance Company after a period with hiphop and a dance degree at UNITEC. Both are now both bringing to their own choreography what they have learned as performers, and are using dance to explore and communicate issues and experiences with others.

In Mendes, Kasina sketches in her whakapapa through dance, iconic objects, snatches of music and slowly panning black and white film of two locations. In each segment of film, we look across a river to a settlement below a mountain, along with local vistas of bush and shoreline, rippling water, an abandoned dinghy. Live taonga puoro by James Webster accompanies her movements at times, and a full-throated Yugoslav choir at others, marking her Maori and Croatian ancestry and the love story which united her great-great-grandparents.

Kasina is gracious, womanly, confident, secure, charming, moving at a slow but steady pace that keeps her allied with the landscape behind. Her gestures are calm and confident, often quite formal, marking her sense of occasion while communicating her internal emotions. At times she has a flickering smile and mischievously dancing eyes, contrasted by an almost regal presence as she welcomes the ancestral spirits to the dancing.  

Eddie’s Intuition – An Attempt at Sense is a closely matched duet marvelously performed by himself and Kosta Bogoievski, These two danced together for several years at UNITEC and its as if they are sharing one mind here. Their bodies are eerily similar in height, weight, musculature, and expressive capacity, and it is exciting to see them dancing together again in this project. 

The dance is structured into a number of short sections, each with a different mood and dynamic flow, set to contrasting soundscores by Jason Wright, and at times you can sense the input of mentor Ross McCormack in the way material is shaped or performed. The movement is at times in unison or closely similar patterning and gives an impression of them being two parts of the same entity. mirror images perhaps. At other times they have quite different sequences performed in association with each other, twining bodies together, grappling, lying head to tail, standing one atop the other, approaching and withdrawing, standing in their own spaces , and there’s a  sense of them being non-identical twins, or a self and a shadow self.

Both works are to a degree still in progress, still finding the form which will let the exploration be deeper, how to most effectively work with the film and music and lighting , which sections to expand or cut, which themes and elements will be richest for further exploration. Kasina sees Mendes as an early stage of a much bigger work which explores love stories from around the world, and there is certainly scope to expand on what she has begun here. Eddie’s Intuition is in its first stage of development, and also has room to go deeper and further. Let’s hope these artists can find support to continue developing these works.


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