Meteor Theatre, 1 Victoria Street, Hamilton

29/05/2018 - 29/05/2018

Gisborne War Memorial Theatre, Gisborne

25/05/2018 - 25/05/2018

Regent Theatre, The Octagon, Dunedin

16/05/2018 - 16/05/2018

Samoa House TAP Studio, Auckland

31/05/2018 - 31/05/2018

Scottish Hall, 112 Esk Street, Invercargill

12/05/2018 - 12/05/2018

Hastings Community Arts Centre, Hawkes Bay

23/05/2018 - 23/05/2018

Globe Theatre, 312 Main St, Palmerston North

21/05/2018 - 21/05/2018

SOUTHLAND FestivaL of the Arts 2018

Production Details

Shimmering light and captivating movement fill the universe of Search Engine. Within this luminous, metallic world, three choreographers explore and define their experiences of what it means to seek out and to search within our technologically driven society.

This brand new show is a different kind of dance experience, where the audience is absorbed by fragmented light displays and close enough to the stage to feel the incredible energy of the five performers. These three short works by Lauren Langlois, Rose Philpott and Tupua Tigafua are guaranteed to intrigue, delight and surprise you.

We’re also pleased to be partnering with a number of local councils to make these performances of Search Engine free community events. Please stay tuned for details on these locations.

“These dancers are something else. All five of them are electrifying to watch” Gin Mabey, Theatreview

“Footnote have an exceptional company this year.” Holly Shanahan, Theatreview

Bookings for all venues can be accessed here:

5 May Nelson Search Engine Energy Centre, Founders Park 7.30pm
8 May  Greymouth Search Engine Regent Theatre  7.30pm
10 May Queenstown Search Engine Memorial Center  7.30pm
12 May Invercargill Search Engine Scottish Hall  7.30pm
15 May Oamaru Search Engine Opera House  7.30pm
16 May Dunedin Search Engine Regent Theatre  7.30pm
21 May Palmerston North Search Engine Regent on Broadway  7.30pm
23 May Hastings Search Engine Hastings Community Art Centre 7.30pm
25 May Gisborne Search Engine Memorial Theatre  7.30pm
27 May Whakatane Search Engine  Gateway Theatre  7.30pm
29 May Hamilton Search Engine  Meteor Theatre   7.30pm
31 May – 1 June Auckland Search Engine  Samoa House 7.30pm

Dancers: Tyler Carney. Georgia Beechey-Gradwell, Joshua Faleatua, Anu Khapung, Adam Naughton


Choreography: Rose Philpott

Sound Design: Jimi Wilson

Dancers: Georgia Beechey-Gradwell and Adam Naughton



Choreography: Tupua Tigafua

Sound Design: Harry Benson-Rea

Dancers: Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney and Anu Khapung



Choreography: Lauren Langlois

Sound Design: Jesse Austin-Stewart

Dancers: Georgia Beechey-Gradwell, Tyler Carney, Joshua Faleatua, Anu Khapung and Adam Naughton


Mentor: Chris Jannides

Performance installation , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

All too brief... beautiful contemporary dance

Review by Dr Debbie Bright 01st Jun 2018

An all too brief immersion in issues of searching, encountering, recognising, morphing, connecting and dis-connecting through sound, projected images and beautiful contemporary dance.

In the programme, we are reminded by Chris Jannides: ’Search engines’ are associated with technologies on our computers and smart devices that put global information and entertainment at our fingertips. This world can be addictive and immersive and provide an alluring alternative to real connection with real people.

Night Swim

The programme notes explain that the work is a collaborative investigation of peculiar thoughts… Part sci-fi film, part 70’s sitcom, part romance novella. And, yes, it is also simply a beautiful and intriguing dance of two people. Interchanging hunted and hunter roles. Who is the sought and who the seeker? Who is the researcher and who the researched? Frequent changes of role and intent, approaching and retreating, meeting in violence and meeting in tenderness, sometimes tentative sometimes positive and direct. Georgia and Adam skillfully maintain an intensity of focus on each other, portraying the changing dynamics of their relationship through dance, sometimes physical and sometimes ephemeral – a body that slips through your fingers and cannot be contained or defined. Behind them, the projected ‘scene’ morphs from apparently solid cliffs and scenes from the observed world, only to dissolve into constantly moving, swirling, viscous liquidity. And the soundtrack offers variety in rhythm, tempo, volume and mood. Well done, everyone! 

Home Sweet Home

According toTupua Tigafua,the choreographer: Knowing the latest trends doesn’t make you cool. Real life experiences and doing the dishes at your parent’s house makes you cool and in a brief letter to his parents:

To Mum and Dad

You came to New Zealand so your kids could experience more opportunities and grow up to have a comfortable life.

I just wanted you to know it worked.

Thank you.

Love from the baby of the family.


Thus, the scene is set. Words spoken and projected on stage and screen. Talk of home, family, real lives… gratitude, warmth, love, connectedness. Each dancer speaks of growing up in a family as she or he dances. I see difference in individual dance styles and the harmonizing of common contemporary dance elements. Grounded, embodying the past within the now, moving together yet carrying the richness of past and present family, voicing individual family language and commonalities between the dancers.  Joshua, Tyler and Anu depict beautifully their individual strengths and differences, while collaborating, interacting and interplaying with each other. Meanwhile the soundtrack drives the work, sometimes falling back so that individual voices and stories are heard, sometimes overshadowing those voices so that the words become indistinct. The shadows of the ancestors behind all. Identity and future hewn from the past and the present.


We are told in the programme: Five shape-shifting figures emerge from the darkness and enter an exhilarating, visceral labyrinth set somewhere between land and sea. Where digital image meets human bodies – the constant forming and re-forming of both dancers and images on the backdrop behind these dancers. Constant motion, sometimes frenetic, forming, re-forming, dissolving and reconfiguring of images. Do the dancers reflect the moving images or do the images reflect the dancers? Grouping, regrouping, clinging, releasing, in ones, twos, threes or single mass, breathing, spinning, floating, darting, merging, separating, resting, moving, quickly, slowly, near misses and approaches. In this work the virtuosity of the dancers is very evident in their speed, control, accuracy and high energy, high skill, flexibility and sudden surprises. Well done to Georgia, Tyler, Joshua, Anu and Adam. Impressive!


As I watch the three works, I ask many question. Who is the researcher and who the researched? Is this ever a stable relationship? In our mobile world, can we hold in balance the strengths of our past (our roots), the present and the future? We need to move rapidly to ‘keep up’ with our world that now changes and reforms so rapidly; when we do this, what is gained and what is lost?  Does it matter?

Well done, all. To you dancers, what can I say, except “Keep dancing and embodying the collaboration between yourselves, your choreographers and your sound designers – I know it’s hard work”. And to you young choreographers and sound designers, keep going! Keep expressing your vision and creativity. Grow tall in your fields, all of you!


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A quest for connectedness

Review by Jo Thorpe 26th May 2018

Footnote does for contemporary dance what the Royal NZ Ballet does for classical ballet.  It takes dance to the regions.  To towns and cities often bypassed by other national arts companies.  To Whakatane and Gisborne, Greymouth and Invercargill, Nelson and Oamaru.   Right now, with ‘Regional Development’ the current political buzz words, this is regional development of the Arts. Footnote’s commitment to – and enthusiasm for – sharing its artistic vision throughout Aotearoa, is one of its defining features.    

This year, the company brings a one-hour programme of three short works under the umbrella title of Search Engine.  If a search engine is ‘an application that searches a database for keywords the user inputs’, then this programme’s keywords might well be a series of antonyms:  the human versus the robotic, the immersive versus the remote, the fragmented versus family, the virtual versus the real. 

In the programme notes we are promised ‘integrated worlds of live dance, light, sound and projection’.  And Search Engine delivers exactly that.  But if the worlds created by the company’s talented artistic team are ‘integrated,’ the overall tone and mood (of 2 of the 3 works at least) is one of dis/integration –  a palpable separated-ness which becomes the engine driving the quest for connectedness.

Gisborne’s 80-odd audience members (there should have been 200!) sense they are in for a different kind of dance experience when they enter the 500-seat War Memorial Theatre only to find themselves being ushered onto the stage instead of into the auditorium.   Seated around 3 sides of the space, they look out at the proverbial ‘4th wall’ – now a projection screen.  This ingenious reversal creates a performance space that is intimate and personal.  We see the dancers’ every expression.  We feel their emotional and intense physical energy.

The opening work Night Swim, choreographed by Rose Philpott, is a duet beautifully danced by Georgina Beechey-Gradwell and Adam Naughton.  Introduced by a series of electronic beats and flashing letters on the screen, the movement vocabulary ranges from a rhythmic pulsing to staccato angularity (that insect-like separation of head, thorax, abdomen!)   There are frenetic movements of hands and forearms, cutting the air so quickly they begin to blur.  Then long moments of perfectly-held stillness (her foot poised over his chest for the longest of times.) Beechey-Gradwell is a magnetic dancer –  one moment lion tamer, manipulating and controlling.  Next, all allure.  Naughton, under her command, obeys and responds. It is a riveting performance enhanced by AV and lighting designer Charley Draper’s rays of orange and grey, evoking some post-volcanic eruption (think black domes, plumes of fire, clouds of volcanic ash. …)   Then the pace changes, and in slow motion the dancers trace the outlines of each other’s bodies, as if stroking an aura but never actually making contact.  They seem to stare into a future in which longing is never quite fulfilled.  While this slow section is a little long for me, overall Night Swim is profoundly moving – and my personal favourite of the night.  

Tupua Tigafua’s Home Sweet Home draws us back into the past – the choreographer’s own past and that of his Pacific-born parents.  The mood is more relaxed, nostalgic.  Three riveting and very individual dancers,   Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney and Anu Khapung,  embark on a personal search –  for acceptance, home, that all-elusive ‘peace of mind’. Black and white images build on the screen behind, resembling an Aboriginal dot painting or a work by John Pule.   The dancers begin in half dark.  There is little lighting on their faces as they move to a soundscape incorporating both spoken phrases (‘I wish you could have been there’) and songs referencing chapels, indigenous Pacific dance and even Edelweiss  (‘may you bloom and grow’). It is human.  It is heartfelt.  It is family. 

The final work plunges us into a dystopian universe.  Choreographed by Australian dancer, teacher and choreographer, Lauren Langlois, all 5 dancers move in ultra-slow motion against a white screen crossed with descending red and black bars.  Creature-like, they writhe and convulse, fingers outstretched, wrists articulated, hands like claws  (hooks?) – grasping for what?  Dys-Connect shows us reduced kinds of humans.  Anxious and alert, they shake, wave, metamorphose into fungoid groupings against a soundscape suggestive of hot rain falling, the reverberant tolling of bells.   

The cumulative effect of experiencing Search Engine is to feel confronted by the pervasiveness of technology in our lives.  Pocket screens, computers, the swipe of a finger on a digital phone  … all enable instant access.  But access to what?  And at what cost? Provocative and unsettling as the themes may be, the precision and focus of the dancers, their individual artistry and skilled ensemble dancing, are beguiling and impressive.

Thank you Footnote for continuing to come to Gisborne. You are a shot in the arm for aspiring dancers and choreographers, and for young theatre artists everywhere. Thanks too, to all your sponsors, supporters and national/local government funding agencies which enable you to tour the regions.  Long may you continue to do so!

 And if readers of this review know any dance-lovers in Whakatane, get the word out now!  Search Engine is there tomorrow night (May 27th).  It is a must-see, a memorable evening of riveting contemporary dance.  


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Spellbinding cohesiveness

Review by Kim Buckley 24th May 2018

Personally, I really enjoy contemporary dance in an intimate setting. It’s like dancing in the living room. So close to the dancers’ energy, breath and smell, it allows me ‘in’ on the action. Footnote New Zealand Dance is in their 2nd consecutive year with the current five dancers, and their obvious cohesiveness is spellbinding

This year Footnote has embarked on their longest national tour with three pieces by three separate choreographers. The show named Search Engine is a foray into digital technologies in, on and around our everyday lives. How and why are we bound, committed, transfixed, moved, connected, affected?

‘Night Swim’ is choreographed by Rose Philpott with sound design by Jimi Wilson and sees dancers Georgia Beechey-Gradwell and Adam Naughton share an intimate loneliness. A duality of repetitive and hypnotic gesture and movement, their quested journey travels through an ebb and flow of peculiar thoughts. Futuristic with semi-erotic overtones, I felt I was in a time tunnel or dream where I could extend out and touch but with the physical connection forever out of reach. An authentic investigation into one aspect from the presentence of technology.

‘Home Sweet Home’ choreographed by Tupua Tigafua with sound design by Harry Benson-Rea is a love letter to family. Full of gratitude  for the life afforded him as a child, Tigafua paints a picture of personal reflection. Truth comes from within, not from technology. Dancers Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney and Anu Khapung move through this work with commitment. 

‘Dys-Connect’ choreographed by Lauren Langlois with sound design by Jesse Austin-Stewart is a larger work with all five dancers. A tremendous arch of energy carries this sometimes dizzyingly busy work into every space and level of their working zone. Solo, duet, trio and group segments are all capitalised with value. A labyrinth of a work, it is the exact opposite of ‘Night Swim’. Shape is transformed and reconstructed to embody and epitomise our human need to be physically connected, now more than ever in this digital world. 

All three works utilize the talents of Charley Draper for audio visual delight and lighting design.

With only five more shows around the North Island, get into it people. Put down your devices and get into it.


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Up and coming talent provokes thought.

Review by Tania Kopytko 23rd May 2018

Search Engine presented by Footnote New Zealand Dance is a dense, complicated and thought-provoking programme of contemporary dance.  It is comprised of three works, each of which explores human communication and self in our modern digital world.  The works sit well together – the first two are more dark, with the middle work providing a lighter contrast, but no less provocative.

Search Engine is “prompted by the company’s desire to seek out and nurture up-and-coming talent in and for NZ.” This has been very successfully accomplished in this programme, as it has brought together young choreographers of great talent.

The first work Night Swim by Rose Philpott, is a duo with a fascinating movement vocabulary. Glimpses of the poseur, awkward nerdyness, swiping away friends or information, the delicate negotiating of friendship, there is much to see in this work performed by Georgia Beechy-Gradwell and Adam Naughton who very articulately and confidently take us through developing scenarios.

Home Sweet Home, choreographed by Tupua Tigafua,, is more a human search for who we are. Reaching back to family members through fragments of letters, phrases are presented beautifully through the AV and lighting design of Charley Draper. The choreography luminates the cultural diversity and individual character of the three dancers,  Joshua Faleatua, Tyler Carney and Anu Khapung. It is joyous and life-affirming.

Dys-Connect  by  Lauren Langlois, an exciting and precise ensemble work, is darker – set in a “guarded dystopian world”. Once again the rich, sculptural, movement imagery suggests many aspects of our present or future modern world. Are these people controlled or could they be clones? How hard is finding freedom? The work invites us to think about possibilities. It was augmented by superb AV and lighting by Draper.

Search Engine gives us the opportunity to search ourselves and think about our modern world. How much are we ourselves or are we influenced by social, digital or technological/scientific constructs. What is this world we have come to and what will it be in the future? Where is “ourself” in this?  This programme suits all ages, but is entirely relevant to young people who have to face this increasing “influenced” world and still strive to find and be themselves.

Search Engine shows the confidence of dancers who have been working together for a while. Each with their own characters, they all also work together as a finely tuned articulate ensemble. This Footnote New Zealand Dance season shines the search engine confidently on an accomplished company.

Have a great tour – Palmerston North enjoyed having you for the workshops and performances!

For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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Exploring engagement

Review by Hannah Molloy 18th May 2018

Search Engine by Footnote Dance Company is in three parts. Night Swim, choreographed by Rose Philpott and danced by Georgia Beechey-Gradwell and Adam Naughton, is a staccato piece that grows in intensity and interest. Both Beechey- Gradwell and Naughton are lovely to watch, their timing almost perfectly impeccable and their impassive faces focus the audience’s eye onto the crispness of their bodies. There are parts of the choreography that are a little drawn out, starting to feel indulgent or perhaps lost, but overall this is the highlight of the programme for me.

Home Sweet Home, choreographed by Tupua Tigafua and danced by Joshua Faleatua, Anu Khapung and Tyler Carney was devised as three chapters, searching for connection, ecstasy and acceptance. The first part, with the dancers’ spoken words drawn over the screen into fingerprint-like whorls and reflected back onto them and the dance floor, is entrancing.  Khapung particularly has a litheness I think I’ve commented on before and her dancing seems to be ejected forcefully out of her body.

The final piece, Dys-Connect, with all five dancers and choreographed by Lauren Langlois, felt like   the evolution of an amoeba into a sentient and conflicted lifeform. The dancers ebbed and flowed across the small space, shifting with and against each other. This piece also grew in intensity as did Carney – I couldn’t take my eyes off her by the end.

Performed to an audience sitting on the Regent Theatre’s stage, facing the auditorium with the lovely dome only partially obscured by the screen, Search Engine speaks to an audience seeking new experiences that are not too far removed from its existing experience. .Looking out from the stage into an auditorium and being so close to the performance is immersive and the stripped back space, with  no wings or rigging and the ungarnished back of the proscenium arch, invites the audience to feel connected without actually taking part in anything, in itself a subtle commentary on the way we live our lives these days.

It’s good to see companies exploring means of engaging their audiences in new ways.


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How do they do that?

Review by Alana Dixon-Calder 13th May 2018

A couple of thoughts keep circling through your mind as you watch Wellington-based contemporary dance company Footnote’s latest offering, Search Engine.

Firstly, what impact does our reliance on the screens that surround us have?

Second … how on earth do they do that?

The performance is a carefully planned and well-executed experience: from the choice of venue – small and intimate, with the capacity crowd seated right up to the edge of the space allocated to the dancers – to the thought-provoking images projected onto the background screen, everything is designed to make the performance feel as immersive as possible.

Your senses are heightened by being that close to the action; you notice the slightest arch of a foot, the flex of a hand. It gives you a real sense of the artistry and power needed to pull off moves that physical, and to do it so expressively.

The goals behind the performance are no less lofty than the questions it aims to leave the audience pondering. Search Engine is, according to the programme, ‘prompted by the company’s desire to seek out and nurture up-and-coming choreographic talent in and for’ New Zealand. It features works from three young choreographers – Rose Philpott, Tupua Tigafua, and Lauren Langlois – each of whom explores what it means to interact with and search for meaning within our increasingly technologically-driven way of life.

It’s an intellectual and provocative concept, and it makes you wonder about what it means to live in a world that revolves around instant gratification, fishing for likes and validation, the search for connection and an ability to, at all times, summon anything we want – whether news, scandal, entertainment, fame or all of the above – through the tap of a button or the swipe of a finger. Is it good, bad or both?

The questions the performance poses are unsettling and uncomfortable and often the physical expression of these are too. The dancers oscillate between jerky, robotic movements set to an edgy Pink Floyd-esque soundtrack, to the languid and intentionally slow-mo’d, to a peppy and bouncy number with a backing track that harks back to the crooners of the 1950s. The feeling of uncertainty leaves you on your toes.

The dancers are magnetic. Georgia Beechey-Gradwell, Tyler Carney, Joshua Faleatua, Adam Naughton and Anu Khapung are genuinely mesmerising. They are a treat to watch, even if what you’re watching leaves you with more questions than answers.



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