Short + Sweet Dance 2014 - Programme 1

TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

16/09/2014 - 17/09/2014

Production Details

Short+Sweet Dance 2014 offers full flavoured works in bite-sized time slots

Short+Sweet Dance swings into Auckland with 27 bite-size performances across the weeklong festival.

Running from 16-21 September at The Performing Arts Centre of Auckland (TAPAC), Short+Sweet Dance features works from more than 30 different choreographers, and with each piece lasting up to 10 minutes, each night audiences see up to 14 unique dance works in 90 minutes.

Short+Sweet Dance is part of Short+Sweet Festival Auckland and follows a fortnight of theatre and a week of music performances. Festival Director Sums Selvarajan says Short+Sweet Dance is a feast of styles – including ballet, hip-hop, R&B, jazz and more – and the next performance is only ever 10 minutes away! At the end of each night, the audience votes for their favourites to go forward to the gala final.

Short+Sweet Dance Artistic Coordinator Jessie McCall says the event offers audiences a truly rewarding artistic experience.

“Not only does the variety of entries provide an exciting range of content, but the viewer plays an active role in selecting our finalists – we want to know what you think! Each item has been hand-picked for originality, performer skill level and choreographic potential and so the gala final line-up is a great taster of some of the best new dance works that Auckland has to offer,” she says.

“I love hearing about each choreographer’s unique vision – be it serene, zany, challenging, humorous or sombre, and being able to help bring this to life on stage.”

In its entirety, Auckland’s Short+Sweet Festival boasts an incredible 35 plays, 27 dance performances and nine short music performances over four weeks and involves 50 directors, 40 playwrights, 30 choreographers, nine composers and close to 300 performers.

Short+Sweet Dance is at TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs in Auckland from 16-21 September.

Programme Information |
Buy Tickets Here |
About The Venue |

Ticket Prices
$25.00 | General Admittance
$20.00 | Concession (Child, Student with ID, Goldcard)
$35.00 | Gala Final & Award

About Short+Sweet

This simple format, started in Sydney in 2002 and Melbourne at the Arts Centre in 2006 (after a Shorter+Sweeter season in 2005) with text-based theatre seasons, has spread throughout Australia and now has migrated to New Zealand and South East Asia. It has also been successfully adapted to other performing arts in festival formats which are similarly being replicated in other countries.

The first Short+Sweet Theatre festival in New Zealand was presented in January of 2010 and has become an annual fixture in Auckland’s performing arts calendar.

Choreographers – Short+Sweet Dance 2014 | GROUP 1

Ula Buliruarua (Independance Best Female Performer 2013)
Duncan Armstrong (Independance Best Male Performer 2013 in the Judge’s Choice work 2013)
Lucy Marinkovich
James Luck
Rosa Provost
Vivian Hosking-Aue
Candice Frankland (Phoenix Bellydance)
Brigitte Knight (Black Friday Company)
Lydia Connolly-Hiatt
Hannah Thompson
Camille Pink
Leah Carrell

S+S Dance 2014 | Group 1
Tue 16 Sep 7.30PM
Wed 17 Sep 7.30PM

Our mailing address is:
Short+Sweet New Zealand
PO Box 41243, St Lukes
Auckland, Auckland 1346
New Zealand



Going through to finals from Programme 1


Choreographer Vivian Aue
Dancers Elijah Kennar,Tony PatiJoshua Faleatua,Leighton RangiNathan KaraXavier Breed,Stephen HidalgoConnor Muller & Taitanyk Toniu

You probably didn’t sign up for this
Choreographer Benjamin Mitchell
Dancers Elle FarrarReece Adams & Rodney Tyrell

The Closet
Choreographer & DancerDuncan Armstrong


Choreographer Omea Geary
Dancers Taniora Motutere,Caitlin DaveyCushla RoughanLeah Carroll &Shane Tofaeono

So Euro
Choreographer Lucy Marinkovich
Dancers Jahra Rager &Alisha Anderson

Choreographer Camelle Pink
Dancers Camelle Pink &Sophie Follet

Twisted Sisters
Choreographer Brigitte Knight, the friday company
Dancers Bex Hale, Becca Oram & Sarah Reece
Twisted Sisters is inspired by the Moirai (the 3 Fates of Greek mythology); Clotho - spinner, Lachesis - allotter and Atropos - unturnable.

Spring Cleaning
Choreographer/Dancer Ula Buliruarua
A small glimpse of what goes on in my room when no one's home.

Choreographer Rosa Provost
Dancers Anitra Hayday, Molly McDowall & Sofia McIntyre
A expression of an inability to express.

Arabic Wedding (First Night Only)
Choreographer Candice Frankland
Dancers Candice Frankland, Lisa Lawford, Sophie Kaulima, Cindy Corne, Ivan Essin, Rachel Boyle, Carol Arnup, Jennifer Richardson, Kathy Gavin, Lindsey Weaver, Melissa Gunn, Claire Gibson & Rachel Aitken
Phoenix Belly Dance presents a traditional Zeffah with Shamadaan entrance a male Zaffeh entrance for the Bride and Groom, followed by Egyptian Ghawazee wedding entertainers. The traditional Shamadaan dance was once used to light the way and annouce the bride
and groom to the guests.

So Euro
Choreographer Lucy Marinkovich
Dancers Jahra Rager & Alisha Anderson
So Euro explores absurdity and ambiguous abstractedness in European contemporary dance performance.

Choreographer Omea Geary
Dancers Taniora Motutere, Caitlin Davey, Cushla Roughan, Leah Carroll & Shane Tofaeono
Good or bad, it goes on

Choreographer Vivian Aue
Dancers Elijah Kennar, Tony Pati, Joshua Faleatua, Leighton Rangi, Nathan Kara, Xavier Breed, Stephen Hidalgo, Connor Muller & Taitanyk Toniu
Bro check her out. Gee I think I'm falling for her. Uce I'm in LOVE! An adventure of a 'real' man in love.

Choreographer Camelle Pink
Dancers Camelle Pink & Sophie Follet
It is an unfurling and reimagining of two women’s bodies as ‘other’ through two solos on one stage.

GIFTED (excerpt)
Choreographer James Luck
Dancers Rebekkah Schoonbeek, Joanne Collins, Belinda Moore, Sophie-Rose Quinn, Benjamin Channing & James Luck
Raven, a dancer in a run-down speakeasy who struggles with dirty, abusive clients and the temptation not to use her gift...The kiss of death!

The Closet (open syc)
Choreographer Duncan Armstrong
Be careful what you say, you never know who might be listening.

Choreographer Lydia Connolly-Hiatt
Dancers Caitlin Davey, Elle Farrar, Omea Geary, Shane Tafaeono, Reece Adams, Cushla Roughan, Eric Ripley & Leah Carrell
This work will explore how in contemporary dance many of us revert back to the 'classic' moves (such as the dead bird) and how they have become our default.

Fissure (open syc)
Choreographer Hannah Thompson
Dancers Anna Rogerson, Kerryanne Mayhew, Rebecca McCracken, Renee Richards & Sophie Catterall
I am one, but I am many. In loving memory of your darling Leanne.

You probably didn't sign up for this
Choreographer Benjamin Mitchell
Dancers Elle Farrar, Reece Adams & Rodney Tyrell
I have a mildly unnerving affection for knives.

1 hour

Celebrating the dance experience

Review by Raewyn Whyte 17th Sep 2014

The two hours of performance comprising programme 1 of Short + Sweet Dance 2014 provide an extraordinary array of dance works covering a disparate series of themes and pre-occupations communicated through various styles of dance. The overall feeling is that we are celebrating dance in all the ways we currently experience it, and there is no doubting that performers and audience alike delight in the individuality brought  together in Short + Sweet Dance. There is also a general consensus that this is a much stronger collection that last year’s entries.

Two relatively short works feature comedic aspects. Dancer/choreographer Ula Buliruarua’s Spring Cleaning is a rough and ready solo which samples situations involving house cleaning, a cellphone call, and a letter filled with sincere love and endearments from an unexpected source, plus extraordinary vocalisations. Some sections of the audience were seized by hilarity and cheered it rigorously. Benjamin Mitchell’s You probably didn’t sign up for this started quietly enough with a layered cake and three large knives standing at stage right, and quickly degenerated into a farcical fractious trio. Despite some funny momenets, it ultimately failed to deliver any coup de grace.

Three works extend fully to the allotted 10 minute limit, while most seem to satisfy their own requirements at around 8 minutes.  

Dancer/choreographer Duncan Armstrong presents a heartfelt solo in The Closet, with impeccably performed, repeated, extreme movement phrases turning his body upside down and inside out as he writhes and swirls against the floor under a hanging noose, apparently trapped in a very small room.  His movements are accompanied by samples of American, Irish, and Russian hate speech and related public discourses which make evident the connection between homophobic bullying and teen suicide. This is an admirable performance which earns a rousing ovation.

Throat, for three dancers by choreographer Rosa Provost, explores their inability to communicate in words but makes strong use of symbolic gestures which communicate clearly enough. Thoughtful use of the stage space provides a focus for solos within the group presence.  Another trio, Twisted Sisters by Brigitte Knight of the Friday Company, presents The Three Fates, cleverly deriving the movement vocabulary from the actions of knitting which dominate their existence, intermixed with the classic poses of The Fates depicted on the Greek vases and sculptures of antiquity. These fates are in a contemporary time zone, with contemporary music, but the pace is too invariant and a little too fast to allow a more weighted sense of these women’s significance.  

Sixteen performers become guests and more active participants in choreographer Candice Frankland’s Arabic Wedding, featuring traditional dances in formal dress introducing the bride and groom to guests at a Egyptian wedding, followed by traditional entertainment. The dancing included an awesome solo by Candice Frankland, as the Bride wearing a chandelier headdress, an authoritative wielding of a large white flag by the Groom, Ivan Essin, and a trio of womanly Ghawazee entertainers in a very circumspect form of bellydance, with bare skin confined to ankles and wrists and faces.

There’s a sense of loss permeating Fissure, a beautifully flowing dance for five choreographed by Hannah Thompson which somehow absorbs you into its patterning without necessarily leaving any strong images behind, other than the restlessly flying flock of [small birds? bats? large insects?] which provide a projected backdrop as the work closes.  By contrast, Camelle Pink’s Unfurl leaves a strong, clear image behind, with two versions of the same solo presented side by side, making compelling viewing. Beautifully controlled phrasing and allowance for individual nuances suggest that it is only the first part of something longer and more complex. With the stage floor marked into two boxes outlined in red tape, Pink dances a more sensual, audience-directed, outwardly-connecting version of the solo, and beside her, in parallel but with very different feel and timing, Sophie Follet presents an inner-focussed, more weighted, softer flowing version.

Two works take as their starting point over-used contemporary dance phrases, gestures or actions. In the disconcerting So Euro, a balaclava clad improvisational trio directed by Lucy Marinkovich (who has recently been closely observing current performances in Europe) desparately gyrate about for a bit, grab a microphone to utter text about the politics of improvisation and the anarchy of absurdity then comment inanely while removing endless pairs of knickers which are dropped in a pile. By contrast, Lydia Connolly Hiatt’s In Default, which starts with the over-used material foregrounded, quickly becomes a fascinating, immersive work for eight dancers in ever-shifting transitional groupings – moving through wedges and inverted triangles to squares and occasional lines, with solo moments scattered throughout.

Also successful at taking over-used narrative material and turning it around in a surprising manner, is an excerpt from James Luck’s commercially styled narrative cabaret work Gifted. Set in a downmarket speakeasy/house of ill-repute, this brought to the fore an array of highly individual chair-dancing “entertainers”, ranging from slovenly to sleazy, affable to aggro. Ultimately, one very put-upon woman uses the kiss of death to stop a sleazeball in his tracks. She got a round of cheers from the audience.

Two very strong ensemble works with great audience appeal and fantastic performers seem to be the audience favourites.

Omea Geary’s Looper exploits the looping structures of its uncredited score, echoing their nature with theme and variation choreography which leaves lots of room for the five dancers to bring their own individual touches to – which they do with aplomb.

Ultimately, the standout work is Vivian Hosking-Aue’s Opaque delivered by a considerably experienced group of nine men whose backgrounds include all of the current “dance training sources” this city offers , with luminary high school dance programmes such as Rutherford High School, private studios The Dance Studio and Boyzdance, Black Grace Urban Youth Movement, UNITEC, U of A, Excel, Pacific Dance Choreolab, Dziah and Identity crews in the mix.  Small wonder that their performance is electrifying, with terrific contemporary/hiphop/commercial fusion choreography rotating their talents, leaving room for fantastic physical tricks, and providing a surprise ending, capping off the mayhem with a schmaltzy group serenade delivered to an apparently random woman from the audience. 


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