Piccolo Cor (2013)

Allen Hall Theatre, University of Otago, Dunedin

27/07/2013 - 30/07/2013

Production Details

Counterpoint Presents…




Devised by Anna and Miriam Noonan


27th, 28th , 29th and 30th June at 7.30pm

Allen Hall Theatre

Tickets $15 Waged, $10 Unwaged

Tickets available at the door or through http://www.dashtickets.co.nz/event/k2nsd9x3y


Sisters Anna and Miriam bring their different expertise and practice to the creation of this work and the result is a testimony to this familial bond.

–The Dominion Post


Counterpoint is proud to branch out into the world of dance with Piccolo Cor – a collaboration between dance and devised theatre. After a successful run as part of the 2012 Dunedin Fringe sisters Anna and Miriam Noonan have returned to develop a new show around the ideas of happiness, connection, belonging and loss.

It began as an exploration of happiness and self-fulfillment. Drawing strongly from Brene Brown’s TED talks which discuss the power of vulnerability in relation to a personal sense of worth and also the philosophies of Jean Vanier on belonging, we embarked on a journey to discover, appreciate and ultimately celebrate people’s journey to finding identity and a sense of belonging in the world they live in.

Juxtaposed against a society which upholds the value of independence and elevates it to the pinnacle of maturity, Piccolo Cor explores questions of competitiveness and cooperation, relationship and disconnection, beauty, belonging and happiness. Its performers hope to take you on a journey in which you can explore where community and belonging is in your life and to celebrate connection achieved by allowing ourselves to be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen.

Anna and Miriam are trying to fly out some of their professional colleagues from Australia and to launch their own independent dance company. To find out more and help out with their cause check this out: http://www.pozible.com/project/21262.

For more information on the troupe: http://www.noonan.co.nz/

Counterpoint is the newest and liveliest theatre company in Dunedin. Counterpoint was formed in October 2012 by young theatre practitioners Alex Wilson and Hadley R. Taylor, who debuted with a sell out season of Toa Fraser’s Bare, which Alex won the Rising Star Award at the Dunedin Theatre Awards for his efforts in directing that piece.


In 2013 Counterpoint ran a successful PledgeMe Campaign, and has since launched its 2013 Season which is an eclectic mix of  comedies, dramas, Kiwi works and an exciting Dunedin dance piece. More Information can be found in one of our yearly programmes or on our and brand new wesbite at www.counterpointproductions.co.nz.

This season will demonstrate Counterpoint’s commitment to support young artists and Counterpoints goals, which are to:

  • Foster a youth oriented theatre industry in Dunedin that produces work by young people for young people.
  • Provide opportunities for young theatre practitioners to hone their craft in a supportive environment
  • Remove barriers to young people producing their work, by offering financial, administrative and production assistance.
  • Promote the up skilling of young artists by running workshops led by industry professionals.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/counterpointproductions

Website: http://www.counterpointproductions.co.nz

Counterpoint Productions  - Patrick Meessmann, Beth Lane, Ryl Harris, Ashlee Bye, Lyndon Katene, Michelle Mae Cameron - with  Anna and Miriam Noonan

1 hour

Joy, faith and simple pleasure

Review by Hannah Molloy 02nd Jul 2013

I saw Piccolo Cor at the 2012 Fringe Festival and it was good then. The 2013 version has evolved and strengthened and is better. The cast of eight have only been working together for six weeks but they have established a camaraderie that draws the audience into the underlying messages in this performance. Miriam and Anna Noonan are sisters and clearly devoted to each other and supportive of each other’s work and practice. They blend their genres effortlessly – Anna’s dance and Miriam’s theatre backgrounds provide neat counterpoints both to each other and to the distinct parts of this performance. They are charming in their sel- effacing manner and in their skill.

There was more colour and potency this time round. The opening sequence, of all eight performers on stage tossing clothes around with abandon was brighter and somehow more than it was last year, and equally, the closing dance was more joyous and light, a series of beautiful leaps – of joy, of faith and of simple pleasure in each other’s dependability.

The overt symbolism inherent in many of the sequences makes this show accessible to a younger audience that would be able to relate to the struggles of self and making your own space in the tangle of humanity. It’s an exploration of roots and connection (drawn literally with tape and a tree with origami that glowed like fairy lights); where do you come from and why are you going in a particular direction – or not? It’s a beautiful message and the spoken segment, with Lyndon Katene struggling against Patrick Meessmann and against his need to please his loved ones while being challenged from the wings, portrays the anxiety so many of this generation feel about the expectations placed – or not placed – on them.

Parts of this performance felt too introspective and were a little long for me. I felt sometimes as though I was intruding on a too personal demonstration of vulnerability and at other times as though I was sitting in on a family occasion that I hadn’t been invited to. The moments of silence and stillness added a flavour of awkwardness that infected the audience at times but they were balanced with the decisive movement and expression that followed.

The lighting seemed crisper and more creative. It’s so fun to go to a performance a second time around and see how its creators are developing as artists and which aspects of their work are finding new means of expression. The music was evocative and varied, with some really good tracks that kept the more emotive aspects of the performance in check.

I couldn’t decide which was my favourite part – the simplicity and vulnerability of the performers rolling across the stage, embracing the solidity of the earth under them, supporting their existence, or what I have now dubbed ‘the frog dance’ with its exuberance and acceptance of human fallibility and need at the end. Ryl Harris was exquisite to watch. Her generosity of movement and perfect awareness of her body, and, by extension, of her own self, was glorious.

The bodies of good dancers and performance artists can be so expressive of the depths and layers of love and tenderness in the human psyche and of their acceptance or rejection. It never fails to make me think about the greater human condition, or to move me.


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