Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre - Aotea Centre, Auckland

09/03/2023 - 11/03/2023

Auckland Arts Festival | Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki 2023

Production Details

Created by Crystal Pite (Director, Choreography) and Jonathon Young (Script)

A Kidd Pivot Production

Superstar choreographer Crystal Pite dispatches her groundbreaking Kidd Pivot dancers to Aotearoa for this sensational hybrid of contemporary theatre and dance.

Satirising greed and corruption through the twin geniuses of playwright Jonathon Young’s crackling text and Pite’s stunning choreography, Revisor is a dance-theatre phenomenon. Sold out in Canada and London before its world tour was postponed in 2020, we’re thrilled to have lured this outstanding dance work to Tāmaki Makaurau for a one-off season.

Taking inspiration from a classic Nikolai Gogol political farce, Revisor is a blazingly modern show that speaks to the madness that unfolds in places beset with abuses of power. Across a startling mix of action, comedy, pantomime and pre-recorded dialogue – full-body lip synched by eight incredible dancers in high theatrical mode – this is one of Pite’s most electric and in-demand works, and the embodiment of the “detailed and beautiful but also brave and brutal” style that has compelled The New York Times to label her “one of the most talented and intriguing choreographers working today.”

Brandon Alley, Doug Letheren, Ella Rothschild, Gregory Lau, Jennifer Florentino, Klak Rena Narumi, Rakeem Hardy, Renée Sigouin
Voice actors
Alessandro Juliani, Amy Rutherford, Gerard Plunkett, Kathleen Barr, Meg Roe, Nicola Lipman, Ryan Beil, Scott McNeil, Jonathon Young

Executive Producer - Jim Smith; Producer - Francesca Piscopo; Associate Producer - Sabine Rouques
Original Music & Sound Design - Owen Belton, Alessandro Juliani, Meg Roe
Scenic Design & Reflective Light Concept - Jay Gower Taylor
Lighting Design - Tom Visser
Costume Design - Nancy Bryant
Assistant to the Creators - Eric Beauchesne
Revisor Kidd Pivot Voice Director - Meg Roe
Technical Director - Jeff Harrison
Company Manager on Tour - Brent Belsher

Dance , Dance-theatre ,

90 minutes

The work is a knock-out tour-de-force of theatre

Review by Jennifer Shennan 15th Mar 2023

Revisor is created and directed by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, both highly original and hugely prolific theatre makers, movers and shakers, of Canadian provenance but now widely internationally acclaimed. The work is a knock-out tour-de-force of theatre, developed from Revizor, aka The Inspector General, the work of Russian playwright Gogolwhich premiered in St. Petersburg in 1836.

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The minutiae of movement simultaneously reflects the theatrical extravagance of a literal storyline

Review by Felicity Molloy 10th Mar 2023

A first of the Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki / Auckland Arts Festival for me, and what a night out. Back into the hallows of contemporary dance, home to my body. REVISOR is a 2019 Kidd Pivot Production, a company that tours carbon neutral, and brought to us by the inimitable selection committee who make this Festival special.

The curtain opens on a gleam of lights at floor level, like reading a book in the dark with a torch light. A single person sits on a chair considering a letter until the lights brighten and there, the narrator stands. Misha is played almost like a ghost from the past by Renée Sigouin.  

REVISOR, based on the 1836 five-act Russian play written by Nikolai Gogol, provides Canadian-based Crystal Pite (Director, Choreographer) and Jonathon Young (Script writer of the pre-recorded dialogue) with a myriad of thought-provoking moments in timing, space and dancing. Another collaboration and deeply effective is the mystical, fascial, weather-bound scenic design by Jay Gower Taylor, and the elegant juxtaposition of an onstage chandelier or hanging lightshades by lighting designer, Tom Visser.

The lexicon of movement is intrinsically vocalised. What is so out of the ordinary is how the minutiae of movement simultaneously reflects the theatrical extravagance of a literal storyline and peels back to the abstract language of contemporary dance, flawlessly. A few commas are to be moved here and there – this comes from a wonderful line that prompts the flow of the performance. Nothing is trivial.

Theatrics are found in precision and frequency. Introverted and extroverted characters insinuate into the narrative through text by Jonathon Young and Russian Empire period costumes designed by Nancy Bryant. Costumes and wigs later peel back to the familiars of t-shirts and pants for an outstanding series of lithe group works, duets and solos. The Director of the Complex, danced by Doug Letheren with voice over by Scott McNeil, and Postmaster Wieland, danced by Rakeem Hardy with his voice over by Alessandro Juliani deserve substantial mention for their astonishing liaisons between movement, and acting. 

The mistaken identity role of Revisor, by Gregory Lau is complex and riveting. His comedic script spoken by Jonathon Young is so fast that at times it leaves dance as spendthrift. Brandon Alley plays two roles stupendously, particularly within his dolt like despair as Osip, the Revisor’s Assistant. In his other role as Doctor Harlow, he with Minister Desouza danced by an ebullient Ella Rothschild, and Interrogator Klak danced with exquisite exactness by Rena Narumi are a pantomimic collective. Jennifer Florentino, as Anna, the Wife of the Director is a vision, teetering, frolicking and scrumptious.

A different line from the script this evening is that “truth has a shape”. In truth, Kidd Pivot is a profoundly physicalised partnering harmony, and a highly intelligent collaboration of sequences and narrative. Each finely crafted element of REVISOR shapes the truth of the event. 


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