20/10/2012 - 21/10/2012
Local secondary school dance programmes and studios bring their best foot forward with a showcase of fun and daring short dance works by young dancers aged 13-18. Featuring the dance styles of contemporary, ballet, jazz, musical theatre and more.
Formerly called The Teen Show, Secondary Colours aims to showcase the best in youth dance from local secondary school dance programmes, studios and performing arts schools.
Earlier in the year, secondary school groups participated in the first-ever No Left Feet youth dance festival, which featured local secondary school students and dance groups showcasing their talent for contemporary dance, hip hop, jazz, lyrical dance and musical theatre. Outstanding performances in No Left Feet have been invited to represent their school or group in Secondary Colours at Tempo 2012.
Performers are: One Step Beyond, Mt Eden Ballet Academy, Pointy Dog Dance Company, Rurtherford College, Mt Albert Grammar School, Boyzdance
The future of dance is in good hands
Review by Barbara Snook 21st Oct 2012
If the Secondary Colours youth dance programme performance on Saturday afternoon is anything to go by, then a strong future is indicated for dance in New Zealand. There was an abundance of talent, enthusiasm , collaboration and original choreography. It was heartening to see such variety amongst the items with young people performing some amazing dance.
The title ‘Secondary Colours’ suggested that the items would be from Secondary Schools and while six schools were involved in the programme, there was a assortment of work that included dance from studios and youth companies, creating a rich mix. Variety was also evident with the choreographers, ranging from students to professionals. The works themselves were all worthy of inclusion in the programme and for this reason this review does not list and identify the level of experience of choreographers.
The performance began with Pointy Dog Dance Co presenting a short sharp piece on running and rhythm. A simple item achieved the choreographic intent for the work.
Three male dancers from Western Springs College then owned the space and it was possible to imagine them in a larger venue, with the strength of their work dominating the small performance space in The Loft. The choreography was well suited to the abilities of the dancers and they worked with precision as an ensemble.
Geordan Wilcox’s ‘Mergence’ performed by the Auckland Youth Dance Company was a beautiful flowing work with approximately 10 dancers moving easily in the space demonstrating a high degree of technical competence. Rutherford College provided a contrast with a musical theatre item, the original choreography utilising bowler hats. Most of the dancers appeared to be enjoying themselves, and this in turn drew smiles from the audience. One dancer stood out with his huge smile conveying a real love of musical theatre. Pointy Dog Dance Co then returned to perform a work based on movements of jellyfish. The choreographers displayed a real originality in the work with the dancers extending their movements to include their long hair.
Smooth Criminal was performed by a group of 6 young boys from Boyzdance. They had a relaxed performance style and it was wonderful to see this well know iconic piece, deconstructed to convey the essence of the piece in an original form. A youthful energy shone through from each of the dancers.
The One Step Beyond Company performed original choreography in ‘Precious’ with a real assuredness that can come from intense rehearsing. There were many risks taken, especially in falling, that required a great deal of trust in each other and the dancers moved through the work with confidence. The section where dancers balanced on one leg was a little shaky, perhaps deliberately to convey a message, but this could have been developed further to clarify meaning. This was a particularly strong work that stood out because of the combined strength of the choreography and dancers.
An Orminston Senior College student, Gemma-Jayde Naidoo choreographed and performed the next item as a solo, not an easy task, yet she performed an interesting and dynamic work with confidence. Mt Albert Grammar School then contrasted the solo with their work, ‘Disruption’
Of the following items, ‘Political Injustice’ by Avondale College, ‘He Tagata’ by Pointy Dog, ‘Another one bites the dust’ by Mt Eden Ballet Academy, ‘Bang Bang’ by Glenfield College, ‘Excessive’ by Excess Dance Crew and ‘I know what I am’ by Rutherford College, three dances stood out.
The Mt Eden Ballet Academy managed a highly successful subversion of ballet. Costumes added to the sense of theatre, with the dancers wearing white tutus and tights, red pointe shoes and a matching red belt with a black stripe down one side of the tights. Performing to ‘Another one bites the dust’ and ‘We will rock you’, the impeccable dancers pirouetted, stamped, and generally rocked the audience. ‘
Bang Bang’ by Glenfield College saw two hip hop duets performed that created a strong emotional atmosphere. While the dance followed the lyrics quite literally – my baby shot me down, it never-the-less managed to avoid too many clichés and presented a clear narrative. Avondale College addressed political injustice in their work, demonstrating the strength of dance to convey an important message.
It is through the experiences in making, performing and viewing dance that we build a deeper knowledge of dance, and in order for this to happen, dancers and choreographers must come together. On the basis of what was shown here, interesting and original work lies ahead as the future of dance in New Zealand. Congratulations to all the dancers and choreographers involved in this diverse production. The future of dance is in good hands.
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