Out of the Box (2013)
Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland
19/10/2013 - 20/10/2013
Sharp choreography and moments of sublime storytelling
Review by Candice Frankland 20th Oct 2013
Out of the Box is a collaboration of choreographers, both established and fresh, fusing street and contemporary dance forms. The show culminates in performances that have the expected level of excitement but also provide fodder for thought.
The expectations for the show are set at the start where all the dancers duel for their time in the spotlight. The only drawback is that as a whole the show is a collection of individual pieces with an order that seems selected at random instead of thought out and well-structured to take the audience on an emotional journey through the pieces.
Mind and Soul choreographed and performed by Paul Wilson, is salient. The dancer delivers such clarity of movement and intention that this performance leaves the audience yearning for more than the couple of minutes that it lasts.
A piece that has a resolute message and exceptional choreography by Laurent Dunningham is The Road Less Travelled. The feature dancer is supported by a polished cast at the start that appeara faceless as they portray her fear and envelop her before she has a chance to vocalise her conviction. The second vignette includes a clever duplication of two male dancers with one exiting and another entering on the opposite side that draws a murmur of revelry from the audience. When she has finally “Arrived”, it is with a stirring vocal section that bestows a compelling challenge to be the best version of yourself and to “breathe in the madness, but just for a taste”.
The loudest applause and appropriately so is for M ‘n’ M It, choreography by Simon Watts, with the dancers manifesting as a human drum kit. Timing and pantomime are paramount to the success of this irresistible piece. The syncopation and audience interaction make it one of the most memorable of the night.
A handful of other performances closely support the theme of Out of the Box. Goodnight Kiwi (choreography by Kat Walker and Seidah Tuaoi) takes us on a nostalgic journey into the dreams of the TV character that used to wish New Zealand goodnight, with a beguiling floor-based choreography. Moving Thoughts (choreography and poem by Nathan Kara) where the solo and support dancers move to the sound of the poet’s thoughts, is poignant and charmingly literal in its movement.
Two of the more archetypal hip hop pieces that present exemplary skills by the both the dancers and choreographers are Momentum by Joe Ling, and Been there done that! by Joshua Cesan.
Overall, the show is a fantastic showcase of the high quality and variety of styles of hip hop that New Zealand has become renowned for delivering. Looking through the program it is also evident that there is a substantial amount of collaboration across the groups, which is encouraging for this flourishing dance community. The show had an ideal balance of humour, sharp choreography and moments of sublime storytelling that are worth the trip to the theatre.
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