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

06/03/2024 - 09/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Choreographer/Director: Amelia Butcher (Jenire)

Ominous is created by Jenire – Amelia Butcher's emerging choreography brand, performed by current students and past graduates of Te Auaha's Commercial Dance Course.

Venue: Te Auaha – Tapere Nui
Dates: 6th – 9th March
Times: 7:30pm plus an extra 3pm on the 9th (Saturday)
Tickets: $22
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Show link:

Ominous aims to create a thought provoking performance of Contemporary Dance that awakens new clarity and connections between nature and human nature. We aim to push the contemporary dance boundaries by creating unique and innovative movements that also add an element of the commercial/hip hop style as well as Butoh. A high level of strength, stamina and musicality will be showcased within the performance as well as movements that are integral to the intention of the piece and creating a story on stage. With the mix of powerful music, abstract choreography and advanced lighting, Ominous aims to create a passionate performance that encourages connection between the performers and the audience.

Jessica Green, Sarahn Windle, Rebekah Wood, Alexis Burns, Zoe Adams, Jack Nolan, Brooke Candy, Jiya Anand, Megan Muir and Amelia Butcher

Lightning Technician:
Tom Smith

Contemporary dance , Dance ,

45 minutes

Dramatic, punchy and powerful dancing.

Review by Sophie Sheaf-Morrison 07th Mar 2024

Amelia Butcher, under their company Jenire, brings a lightning-charged Contemporary dance work to Wellington’s 2024 New Zealand Fringe Festival.  The work’s title, Ominous, merely hints at the bounding energy that unleashes throughout this cyclical, resolving, and atmospheric journey.  Accompanied by splices of blockbuster-worthy music and tempestuous soundscapes, Ominous makes for an electric evening of dramatic, punchy and powerful dancing.  

Firstly, Jenire is an emerging dance company to keep an eye on as they produce with careful consideration for uniformed costuming, formations and choreographic cohesion; a strength that is evident in Ominous.  The cast are dressed in sleek full white or black outfits, seamlessly quick changing throughout the piece in order to complement the aesthetic formations and climactic tones.  Furthermore, the choreography appears intricately cohesive through mesmerising transitions on and off stage, utilising Te Auaha’s Tapere Nui stage wings as if they are billowing in the wind, as well as interweaving formations and intense relationship dynamics on stage between the dancers.  

Choreographically, a comforting cyclical nature is suggested through the revisiting of motifs such as the reversal of their whirlwind entrance onto the stage.  However, this is also passionately executed by the performers’ shifting movement intentions.  Whilst the opening section has this ominous mood, it is replaced by a settled tranquillity by the end of their journey.  Despite a variety of dynamics between the dancers, the choreography appears to intertwine the dancers as a whole united cast.  Throughout the work, the performers’ energetic movement qualities encompass their dramatic expression and stage presence.  At times, the theatre space felt unreflective of this intensity and united strength of the dancers.  With further development, I can imagine this dance work reflecting its cinematic choreography with additional incorporation of lighting or set design to aid the world created around the dancers, or perhaps even be enhanced as a screen adaptation.  

To conclude, Ominous is an epic display of Butcher’s talent in collating intricate choreographic formations amongst a united cast of passionate and promising performers.  I am eager to see how Butcher’s works develop with their clear potential to further create fierce and captivating blockbuster-esque dance performances. 


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