17/10/2013 - 18/10/2013
CIRCLE IN BOX
Choreographed by Val Smith
Summoning the ghosts of dance spectatorship. in situ.
Choreographed by Felicity Molloy
Performed by Marianne Schultz, Tallulah Holly- Massey, Emma Kemp
Sound score Josh Rutter
Stills Editor Lisa Greenfield
Artwork and stills Felicity Molloy & Sylve Colless
Music John Tavener (1989) Portrait, Ulster Orchestra. Iarla Ó Lionáird, (1997), Seven Steps to Mercy and (2000), I Could Read the Sky
Render harmless/make someone understand/charm ~ DISARM’s dreamscape disconnects women’s ages. Elusive faces watch a child’s imagination with a feel of ancient Irish filtered by soundscape artist, Josh Rutter’s mix of John Tavener and Iarla OLionaird’s iconic vision song, Aisling Gheal. CNZ have kindly contributed to production costs and dancers’ payment.
Felicity Molloy lived her childhood in Ireland. She is an older dancer living in New Zealand and teaches professional dancers to Muy Thai kick box boys. She is currently studying for a doctorate. She is enormously blessed to be a Mother and a Gran.
THIS IS OURS
Choreographed by Katie Burton
Performed by Katie Burton, Georgie Goater, Shanelle Lenehan & Jessie McCall
Music Original sound composed and performed by Josh Rutter
This is ours’ is an ongoing research performance project. The project investigates a shared exchange between performers and audience. The traditional theatrical space is challenged and perspectives shift. The performers fall, catch, embrace, they create lines, shapes and boxes, and dance really, really, really close to the audience. This Tempo performance is one in a series of research performances that have taken place over 2013.
Since graduating from Unitec in 2001, Katie has made her own dance work in various festivals throughout NZ and has created numerous works for Footnote Dance Company, Unitec, and Pointy Dog Dance Company. She has choreographed commercial dance work for Fifa, BMW, The Bledisloe Cup and TVNZ. Katie has performed with VosperTron in Egypt, Australia, Spain, India and Vietnam. Katie has also worked as the Assistant Choreographer and Cast Manager for the WOW World of WearableArt Awards Show (2003-2011). Katie is currently a permanent member of staff at Unitec.
Choreographed by Tia Reihana
Performed by Carol Smith, Hinekura Lisa Jane Smith, Jasmine Castle,
Music ‘Moumou’ & ‘Torete te Kiore’ by Whirimako Black
Mareikura acknowledges whakapapa that connect us and her to our wahine atua. A movement exploration that communicates current positions of mother, personal narratives discovered within compounds of diversity is shared. With a trolley as our kete we move through the pathways of aroha. With a trolley as our kete we gather past, present and future.
Tia Reihana-Morunga (Ngati Hine) is a freelance dancer and choreographer. Tia has also been a secondary school dance teacher for 13 years working creatively with young people in Australia, United Kingdom and Aotearoa, New Zealand. Tia has recently completed her Masters’ degree at the University of Auckland. She is embarking on her Doctoral dissertation at the University of Auckland which explores relationships between kinaesthetic and indigenous ways of knowing in mainstream arts education.
Katie Burton, Georgie Goater, Shanelle Lenehan & Jessie McCall;
Carol Smith, Hinekura Lisa Jane Smith, Jasmine Castle, Erana Wipou-Reneti;
Marianne Schultz, Tallulah Holly- Massey, Emma Kemp
Review by Briar Wilson 18th Oct 2013
It seems to me that there are two themes (probably quite unplanned) that successfully come out of these performances – the nature of performance before an audience in a theatre, and the other – celebrating the older woman.
Circle in Box is how Val Smith named her contribution – “summoning the ghosts of dance spectatorship. In situ”;
This means that we, the audience waiting outside, are ushered in ,to be directed not towards seats, but to surround a largish circle chalked onto the floor of the stage. There we stand waiting for directions, something to happen. One spectator puts himself into the circle to entertain us. In the end, we move to the seating, where we wait or talk, with only the producer, reclining on the floor, and a stage manager to look at. Are we were being tested so that performance would only start when chatter and fidgeting stop?.No! The stage is cleared and Val Smith takes a bow. Well, I guess our past led us to do more or less what was expected of us in the black box theatre.
A further piece, Katie Burton’s This is Ours, is a research project that “investigates a shared exchange between performers and audience”. The four dancers, Burton, Georgie Goater, Shanelle Lenehan and Jessie McCall, start off by pulling back the side curtains to reveal bare walls, while a recorded voice introduces each – to tell us that Burton is pregnant and likes to smile at the audience (which we can see for ourselves) and other similarly interesting facts! They then divide into two pairs and ascend the stairs up the banked seating, one falling, the other catching as they go. One pair walks along seats to displace the audience (it is a full house), another dancer is laid down to stretch across the laps – all this amid good humoured laughing and apparently no embarrassment.
The audience is then offered the opportunity of a new perspective and many walk out onto the stage to see the group actually dance. This is to a spiky piece (from Josh Rutter) that invites angled sharply divided movements from body arms and legs – but then the dancers lie down with arms outstretched and we are invited to lift the bodies off the floor. This is done – with glee!
Burton watches and then talks of the background, how she wants to create a really thorough connection with the audience. She asks for comments – which come happily. What I wanted was more dance!
Felicity Molloy’s piece Disarm is danced by three generations of women – the older, Marianne Schultz, the younger, Tallulah Holly-Massey, and the very young, Emma Kemp, all of whom move beautifully so that a unison part of the piece looks fresh and great. The backdrop shows images in black and white that I do not recognise, but see as natural shapes, perhaps as a reminder of change, the movement of time. The music (a mix, also by Josh Rutter, of John Tavener and the Irish singer, Iarla OLionaird) provides a gentle harmonious background.
Schultz commences by reaching out, balancing, and then goes on into the mothering role, circling the other two. She plays games, throwing a ball to each of Emma, the child, and Tallulah, the adult, perhaps passing on a heritage. But she also extends herself on her own, reaching out further than before, in the end returning to support the others. Holly-Massey’s solo was freer still, more active and adventurous as might be expected of a younger woman.
The piece did charm, and let us understand more about the choreographer, Molloy, herself, whose life has mixed the roles of mother, grandmother and dancer.
The final piece Mareikura (dictionary translation – noble lady, or female supernatural being), with dancers Carol Smith, Hinekuranui Lisa Jane Smith, Jasmine Castle and Erana Wipou-Reneti, choreographed by Tia Reihana to acknowledge “whakapapa that connect us to her and her to our wahine atua” (dictionary – woman god).
A shopping trolley is left centre stage and the piece starts with a karanga, (or karakia?) as the four dancers, the eldest with grey hair, all in black, enter to join in. We hear a child’s voice, bird calls, the noise of a blank tv screen, and the matriarch lets roll out a long dark purple train to extend almost across the stage. It is gathered up and away and put into the trolley. This trolley serves many purposes – it is used as a pram, part of a haka, something to party with, to row from, to wash hair in, for someone to go away in, to be paddled like a waka taua (war canoe). Each of the dancers is clearly experienced in movement and it is smoothly executed to the music of Moumou and Torete te Kiore by Whirimako Black.
Finally to the haunting music of the koauau (flute) the matriarch is given back her train now in even folds to cradle it in her arms, as if a hurt child, her face showing how painful life can, be as the light fades on the group. Some of the audience then spontaneously stand to salute the piece with a song, but we are all moved.
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