Shed 1, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland

21/04/2017 - 22/04/2017

Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), 42 Lucknow Road, Havelock North

01/10/2017 - 01/10/2017


Production Details

Choreographed by Perri Exeter and Joash Fahitua

Presented by Trip The Light Dance Collective

Mixtape consists of six contemporary works choreographed by Perri Exeter and Joash Fahitua, inspired by stories from their culture, experiences, memories and fantasy. Each work takes you on a journey celebrating life, death, humour and relationships.

Accompanied by a diverse and dynamic soundtrack, Mixtape Dance Show provides glimpses of divergent human experiences in the first major production by Trip The Light Dance Collective.

Unitec dance graduate Perri Exeter has created work for the Tempo Dance Festival and Joash Fahitua is one of New Zealand’s leading krump (street movement) dancers who has performed worldwide with Black Grace Dance Company.


21-22 April at Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland, 7.30pm

1st October at The Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), 7.30pm

Adult:  $37
Concession:  $32
Family of Four (Each):  $32

Georgia Elson
Sione Fataua
Perri Exeter
Zaviar Baker
Renee Richards
Phoenix Puleanga
Jesse Eliot
Elijah Kennar
Grace Pritchard
Petmal Lam
Leighton Rangi
Joash Fahitua
Caitie Thompson
Georgia Elson
Brylee Mills

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

Grace and prowess stand out

Review by Kim Buckley 02nd Oct 2017

Perri Exeter and Joash Fahitua have created a programme that presents their choreographic skills in a diverse manner. Reflective of the communities in which they live and breathe, the five short pieces give us significant moments of physical power, emotional diversity, spiritual consideration.

Each work had its own unique ambience but for me, there were two distinct pieces that I am still thinking about.  In Beyond The Mat danced by Callum Sefo, Taitanyk Toniu, and Joash Fahitua, the grace and prowess in the physicality of these three tall men is beautiful. The harmony and intimacy in which they exist together in the dance is, at times, breathtaking. Secondly, Queen of Shards is a punchy piece that holds nothing back. Danced by Georgia Elson, Sione Fataua, Perri Exeter, Zaviar Baker, and Renee Richards, it is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. This piece is sharp, intelligently layered, fast-paced, white and bold.

Throughout the show, choreographic techniques are successfully manipulated to weave and pull apart, bind and recreate  ideas in each of the works encompassing the passion and commitment of storytelling. The dancers are outstanding and show us that this next generation of dance graduates and emerging artists are on the right track and will make their mark both nationally and internationally in the performing arts.


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A stake in the ground

Review by Raewyn Whyte 22nd Apr 2017

Six short dance works by artistic directors Perri Exeter and Joash Fahitua provide glimpses of divergent human experiences in the first major production by Trip The Light, a collective of recent tertiary dance graduates, at Corban Estate. The programme traces an arc from the beginnings of life to life’s end, along the way offering moments of doubt and fear, camaraderie and realness, some utter hilarity, and some moments of sober reflection.  

The first two works are formal, serious, choreographically polished, the kind of dances you slowly become absorbed into while your mind is busy processing the stream of images and sounds and movements being presented.

Mua Mua, first presented by Fahitua at Tempo Dance Festival in 2015, has developed into an absorbingly poetic duet. Opening in low light with rich shadows, this slowly shifting work is set to a symphonic score by Christopher Toma Amosa. It suggests we are witnessing the coming into being of humanity, the birthing and adjusting to life of a man and a woman. Danced with the utmost control and an exquisite sensitivity to the smallest shifts of weight, dancers Leighton Rangi and Kaya Campi intertwine and slowly change their relative positions, seldom moving away from the centre stage area once the convulsive moments of birth have ended. Rangi lifts and supports and caresses and assists, and Campi slides down his back, curves round his hips to lie across his thighs, curls upwards around his torso til she sits on his shoulders, always on the move.

Queen of Shards, a new work created by Exeter, takes its inspiration from The Snow Queen by Hans Christan Anderson, a tale of shattered glass, frozen hearts, desperation, and transformation.  Dressed in layers of white detailed with folds and pleats and cross-tied bands, six dancers (Georgia Elson, Petmal Lam, Joash Fahitua, Sione Fataua, Brylee Mills, Perri Exeter) wear wide pants that enable them to move freely whether rolling or leaping or moving swiftly across the floor. The dancers take up a series of group formations in space, advancing and retreating, and engaging with almost military precision. They communicate through gestures and signal with hand and arm positions similar to semaphore, and there’s definitely a feeling of combat, fear and desperation in the air, heightened by selected music from Massive Attack, MIA and James Blake.

The third work, Fahitua’s Me, Myself and I, radically changes the mood by introducing the disarmingly comedic inner child at play in a trio for Sione Fataua, Reece Adams and Zavier Baker. At first it is unclear whether this is a new dance or a comedic interlude, as Fataua wriggles and mugs and mops sweat from his brow, adjusts his clothing and waves to friends in the audience. But the other men soon appear and a recorded soundscore kicks in, and once the dance is underway, the audience seems to relax. The soundscore presents a series of conversations between the three men, paralleled by movement exchanges and interactions which echo and amplify, or contradict and redirect the matters under discussion. There are questions and observations, a discussion about aliens, butt jokes, observations about a friend’s need to follow her heart, and it ends with an open question about how to preserve one’s difference while seeming to be the same.

The next two works, both by Exeter, are the earliest created for Trip The Light, Secta in 2014 and Beyond the Mat in 2015. Both have received further development and some changes of cast. It is a delight to see them again and to observe some of the changes, over time.

Secta, when it was first performed in 2014, seemed to be a bold, hard-hitting consideration of how young women come to stay in a male-dominated gang or cult and still retain their own sense of self, and asked what is sacrificed if you choose to break away from that situation. Now, with the balance of casting shifting to female dancers (Leighton Rangi, Elijah Kennar, Grace Pritchard, Caitie Thompson, Renee Richards, Perri Exeter), and with Exeter herself dancing a key role, it is no less intriguing but has a softer edge, and seems to be less about male dominance and individual identity and more about the interactions between women and the complex emotions which can arise within a caring community.

Beyond The Mat is a tribute to Exeter’s uncle Steve Rickard of On The Mat fame, and it presents a beautifully balanced intercutting of impressively executed movement sequences for three men (Leighton Rangi, Elijah Kennar, Joash Fahitua)  in blue t-shirts and beige chinos. Without overtly copying wrestling bouts, it manages to suggest the rhythms and patterns of professional wrestling’s interacting tag teams, the resilience and determination of competitors, the aspirations of the individual wrestler to conquer all, and the camaraderie that is developed on the circuit. The action flows and interweaves in parallel with intercut sections from popular songs by Tom Jones, Kanye West, Maverick Sabre, and Elvis Presley, carefully mixed by Richard Breed, and you feel the respect for the man which is behind the choreography.

The closing work, Keeping the Faith, choreographed by Fahitua, set to music by Christopher Toma Amosa, is a slice of life, offering glimpses of everyday reality intermixed with humour, but it nevertheless hs a serious matter at its heart – it asks us to consider what faith is. Nine dancers (Phoenix Puleanga, Jesse Eliot, Elijah Kennar, Grace Pritchard, Petmal Lam, Renee Richards, Leighton Rangi, Zaviar Baker, Joash Fahitua) gather at church. Seated in threes on wooden benches, there is some larking about while proceedings get underway, and series of seat-changing interactions which suggest the passing of time. The seats are reconfigured to hold a coffin, marking the passing of a young woman from the congregation, and at the culmination of the ceremony, she rises from the coffin, and as her soul begins to pass over, all goes dark.  

Exeter and Fahitua hope to be able to offer post-school training and performance opportunities in future, with a youth company as well as a full-time company. This evening of their works is a stake in the ground, a public declaration of the dream and a bold step forward. There is no doubting the talent and determination of all concerned in this evening of works, and many in tonight’s audience will be hoping to see more from Trip the Light before too long. 


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