Next to Gym, Christchurch Arts Centre, Christchurch

02/10/2015 - 03/10/2015

The Body Festival 2015

Production Details

(re) BUILD is the culminating performance of a week long residency between Hagley Dance Company and USA-based contemporary dance company, BODYART. The third in a five part series (The Decay Project), this movement based film and live performance is born out of broken down and/or decayed spaces in our everyday landscape, in this film uses the ruins of 2011’s earthquake damaged remains as a jumping off point. From natural disasters to spaces left in ruin by years of neglect, The Decay Project as a whole finds beauty in unexpected places through artistic collaborations. Rather than focusing on the issues that caused these stages of decay, it is the project’s goal to focus on beauty through rebuilding, sustaining or reflecting. In today’s social climate beauty tends to have rigid constraints and this project seeks to shine a new light on unconventional beauty in both the space and the performers.

Join us for an evening of movement in unusual spaces.

Next to Gym, Chch Arts Centre, Concrete bleachers, Worcester St
Fri 2nd October at 7.00pm and Sat 3rd October at 2.00pm  
30 mins  
$10 door sales only  

Hagley Dance Company and USA-based contemporary dance company, BODYART.

Site-specific/site-sympathetic , Contemporary dance ,

30 mins

Honouring the process of recovery

Review by Emily Napolitano 03rd Oct 2015

(re)BUILD is the third of a five-part series in The Decay Project, a sequence of performance art pieces by the USA-based contemporary dance company BODYART. These film and live performance collaborations explore the beauty found in decayed or destroyed spaces. This Christchurch performance marks the culmination of a week-long residency between BODYART and our own Hagley Dance Company.

The initial feeling is casual and comfortable, as the dancers mingle with guests before the show begins. The performance is site specific, utilising the trees and sculpture installations as well as the construction fences and building features. The audience is invited to move along with the dancers as they progress through the various outdoor venues.

As a site specific piece, the choreography makes use of outdoor structures as well as finding inspiration from artwork discovered inside the damaged Arts Centre. It is thoughtful, unhurried and sincere. The separate pieces merge into each other while moving between whole company performances and duets. The Hagley Dance Company members are young and enthusiastic, and clearly enjoyed their week of intensive workshops. As co-creators, they get to play to their strengths, and one dancer in particular, Isaiah Thornton, is able to make effective use of his acrobatic skills.

The film, shown partway through, genuinely brings home the idea behind The Decay Project, as it lifts the performance from being merely a site specific work to a true exploration of the beauty inside the earthquake ravaged Arts Centre as well as an honouring of the process of recovery. It allows us a chance to see inside the construction site, which has been off limits and wrapped with fences for years. Particularly appealing are the shots in which the painters and builders carry on working in the background while the dancers move and engage with the space in wholly new ways. 

As a performance, it is quite short. The movement together with the film showing lasts only 30 minutes, but the time is well spent. In under a week, the Hagley Dance Company has  created, rehearsed and performed an impressive amount of choreography in a space dear to the hearts of the Christchurch arts community. I imagine that the Arts Centre is pleased to host this event – one can almost feel her coming alive again as the dancers celebrate her slow resurrection. 


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