SEA OF LOVE – Songs of the 60s & 70s

Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre - Upper Hutt, Wellington

31/08/2012 - 02/09/2012

Production Details

‘Don’t mess with a woman!’  

Crows Feet launch into their latest dance show with a staunch rendition of Helen Reddy’s hit song from the 1970s.  Many of the Crows grew up watching the magnificent Emma Peel in the TV show The Avengers and the dance pays tribute to her and also the self-defence courses for women that were popular in the 1970s.

The Crows are re-visiting the songs of their youth. They have been in the attic rummaging through old boxes and trunks, hauling out the clothes they used to wear – kaftans, flared trousers, Indian cotton tops, crocheted sleeveless tops and long flowing dresses.

What is remarkable is the fact they still fit! These dancing Crows have kept their figures. 

Audiences are in for a treat as the Crows dance their hearts out to Nancy Sinatra, Roberta Flack, Dusty Springfield, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin and many more. New Zealand’s very own Dinah Lee and The Chicks also make an appearance.

The Beatles song ‘Yesterday’ will be sung by two of the Crows, accompanied by flautist Michelle Scullion, and with dancer Sumara Fraser.

This witty, fun and heart-warming show will be staged at Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre in Upper, a favourite venue of the Collective with its big stage and beautiful facilities.

The café on site will be preparing tasty morsels from the 60s and 70s so the audience can get in the mood.

Thirty women, aged between thirty-eight and seventy-three, from Wellington, the Hutt Valley and the Kapiti Coast will appear on stage.

Book by phone or online (booking fees apply)
(04) 527-2168 

$25 (full)
$20 (seniors, students, & Friends of Expressions)
$20 (group bookings of 6 or more)

More information  

Lighting Designer: Cathy Knowsley
Stage Manager: Lyne Pringle  


Review by Yolande Brophy 01st Sep 2012

If I may begin with the end, let the mantra of spring be “dance the body music, it makes you feel so happy”.  Osibisa (possibly the originators of world music in the 70s) call for the joyful expression of your soul and last night Crows Feet Dance Collective answered that call with abunDANCE!

The 34 mature dancers, who walk many different paths in their daily lives – teachers, librarians, counsellors administrators… – come together to extend themselves physically, mentally and possibly spiritually through the delights of dance. A programme of 15 songs, 14 performed on the night, an injury precluding the Supremes asking ‘Where did our love go?” In an evening of highlights it was not missed but served as a reminder that these dancers are the you and me’s of this world and the intense exertion their bodies go through to achieve performance level can have painful results if pushed too far.

So with the one lowlight noted, back to the happy place. Sea of Love is truly a celebration of womanhood in all its glory, grace, humour, beauty and pure pleasure. It is completely absorbing. By selecting love songs of the 60s and 70s, not only are we treated to some of the most beautiful female voices of all time, we also feast visually on the colour and forms of the era. Somehow these images awaken hope and, combined with music and performance, all things are possible again. Winter is leaving and spring is just around the corner. This production rapturously provides the gateway to the seasonal change and is conveyed impeccably by the maturity and vibrant enjoyment of the dancers.

Jan Bolwell, director and principal choreographer, composed our journey nimbly. Each performance honours the previous routine, compelling us toward a sense of triumph and unadulterated enjoyment. Harmony extends over the entire work. And so I must acknowledge her wonderful team, technical as well as performers, since it is the efforts of many that create such coherence in a work.

This makes it difficult to pick out stand-out elements but given that everyone has things that appeal deeply within their being I can, on reflection, isolate two moments, no three moments, when the emotive quality of the show transported me completely: the beginning of the Grandmother’s dance to Tanya Tucker’s version of ‘You Are So Beautiful’ (the middle and end as well, truth be told); the talking boots accompanying Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’; and the surprise of two dancers showing vocal prowess giving a female voice to ‘Yesterday’ while Michelle Scullion’s haunting flute provides the melody.

But the energy and fun imbued throughout the production ensures the complete package.

Finally I must confess I danced with the Crows for a while, although I didn’t perform with them, so to gain an objective view I took a friend who doesn’t go to live theatre much, let alone dance. At the interval her comment was, “They are such an inspiration!” And by the end: “I feel so happy.” She may even give it a go! And the inclusive philosophy of Crows Feet will surely welcome and support her if she does.

Go and be inspired. Who knows where it could lead!

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