Night and Mortar

The Hollywood Avondale, Auckland

17/12/2022 - 17/12/2022

Anthology Lounge, Auckland

15/12/2022 - 15/12/2022

Freida Margolis, Auckland

14/12/2022 - 14/12/2022

Cupid Bar, Auckland

13/12/2022 - 17/12/2022

Production Details

Sharvon Mortimer & Oli Mathiesen

Smoke rising from a cigarette. A silhouette emerges, the shadow grows. In our black and white world a car door slams. Shoes clatter, it reverberates. Bodies circle, encapsulate moments of a past time. A distant memory, its shadowy figure looming against the wall. A noir world comes to light. 

Sharvon Mortimer & Oli Mathiesen present their new short contemporary dance work ‘Night & Mortar’. Overall winners of Short+Sweet 2019, the duo’s new innovative theatrical piece explores the shadows of film noir through comedy, drama and tragedy. Come for a casual drink, a quick pause for a cigarette. Stop and have a watch as the noir unfolds between these two characters. This physical, entertaining work is a great nightcap, stand in the shadows with us and immerse yourself in the world of noir.

See our Facebook event link detailing venues and times. We are still in the process of confirming some of our venues, but are hoping to lock these in shortly.

The work explores the nuances, drama, satire, and glamor of the film noir genre through a physical theater and contemporary dance lens presented as a duet. The overall choreographic idea behind Night and Mortar investigates the film noir tropes of character, gender, shot types, character arcs, actions and aesthetics to build a highly entertaining world. 
We are performing for free around various Auckland bars in order to engage a wider audience with contemporary dance. We have been supported and funded by Auckland Council and Creative Communities to enrich the artistic culture of Auckland by bringing these free performances to bar goers and passerbys. Our season runs from 13th – 17th December, 8pm (sat 17th 7.30pm) and, and is approx. 20 -25 mins. 

Sharvon Mortimer & Oli Mathiesen.

Supported by Creative Communities, Northern Dance Network, and Wellesley Studios.

Special thanks to Rose Philpott, Dana Moore-Mudgway, and Chas Mamea, Zoë Nicholson.

8pm performances except sat 17th at 7.30pm


Cabaret , Dance , Dance-theatre , Site-specific/site-sympathetic ,

25 mins

A Drop of Dance with your Drink of Choice

Review by Nicole Wilkie 14th Dec 2022

Night and Mortar is a chance to add a drop of dance with your drink of choice, bringing contemporary dance into the non-traditional location of an urban bar.

The work begins with the duo walking down a set of stairs to their performance space in the corner of the room, their jackets entangled. Dressed in business attire and moving as one organism, the relationship between the dancers builds as they navigate their attachment, creating a sense of tension and suspense that seems to rise and thicken the atmosphere as the work continues.

Motifs of cigarette smoking, clinking glasses, and looking over one’s shoulder set the moodiness as the bar space is transformed into a world inspired by film noir.

The physicality of the work is very clever, and every movement has been well thought-out and clearly intentioned. A particular highlight is a section where the dancers match their movements to film dialogue. Some of the movements performed take a direct influence from the words spoken, and the way the dancers match the timing of the movements to the drama of the spoken words and footsteps is satisfying to watch as the scene unfolds through gestures and quick shifts of position in the space. Hilarity ensues in a fight scene where the dancers struggle with each other to a soundscape of slaps in a theatrical back and forth.

I found myself wanting more interaction with the dancers, and more acknowledgement of the unique space we were in – though this may have been an intentional choreographic choice, and it did have the effect of a sense of separation between the audience and the dancers, as though we were watching the dancers through a movie screen, in their orchestrated realm. Perhaps some further use of the space beyond the corner of the bar and some weaving of the dancers between bar patrons would have been enough to satisfy this desire for interaction.

Overall, the work is slick and sophisticated. The dancers move through intricate gestural phrases with attention and ease, and the fuller body movement is just as engaging for the viewer. Both wholly occupy their space with their embodied presence, and dance with skill and style. The different portions of the work, and the uneasy relationship between the dancers, are expertly crafted to provoke the dark, noir aura.

Night and Mortar is a quick plunge into a world of noir, the perfect accompaniment to your evening drink at your local. I appreciate the way that this work brings contemporary dance into new and various spaces, in a way where people who may be unfamiliar with dance, can access it in a non-confrontational manner.



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