SHORT + SWEET DANCE 2015 - Show 1

TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

01/09/2015 - 02/09/2015

Short + Sweet 2015

Production Details



Youth , Pasifika contemporary dance , Maori contemporary dance , Hiphop , Kapa Haka theatre , Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre , Cabaret , Belly dance ,

2 hours

No stand outs but plenty of entertainment

Review by Briar Wilson 02nd Sep 2015

This Festival is designed as a “platform for actors, dancers, singers, writers, choreographers, musos and directors to create high quality new work in a professional theatre environment…” and the “platform is open access and culturally inclusive” according to its website, with entries chosen from the best proposals.

The Show 1 programme for 2015 entertains a full house with a wide range of 14 short (ten minute and under) works.  There are professional, or budding professional, dancers, community groups and trapeze artists – and no one piece really stands out as being the best.  Works are chosen by audience vote and by the judges to go to the Gala Final at the end of the week, and may win $500 cash prizes – the Judges’ Award, or the Peoples’ Award or a special award as an Emerging Artist.

A number of the dancers are young, perhaps students, from Auckland University or Unitec, and I’d assume that a large number became interested in dance at secondary school, through NCEA dance courses.  There is a high standard of dancing, so thanks to the schools who teach dance!

With so many pieces, it’s hard to do more than make short remarks about each.  And I note that there are no acknowledgements in the programme for either music or sound.

Transparent – a very short piece with interesting clear strong confident movement, the dancers are formally trained and it shows.  Choreographer/dancers Taniora Motutere, Elle Farrar.

His and Hers – she is a bit bossy and concerned, he is neurotic, a bit distant, and both are good dancers.  Words are spoken, and the movement is strong and able with interesting interchanges. Worth seeing again.  Choreographer/dancers Phoebe Heyhoe, Roymata Holmes

#irony – a commentary on overuse of the hashtag from keen dancers, again with voice – chatter this time and with lots of inter-reaction.  It’s cute, and fun.  Choreographer Kimberley Cheng

On the second night – No-one came – a sincere solo from choreographer/dancer Jenny De Leon, who all sinew, moves from slow (difficult) yoga, or yoga-like poses to flowing openness at the end with arms stretched wide to the heavens.

Memories of Wind and Rain – performed by a 12 woman Chinese group (in pink and turquoise with sparkles) and 3 ballet dancers (in mauve and blue mid length ballet skirts) who successfully interweave the European with the Chinese traditional.  Choreographers Haiyan Lu and Vicky Gao with Philippa Pidgeon.

Rerenga – danced to expressive sound. Perhaps their silvery plastic grass skirts were chosen to illustrate not only mixed ancestry but also an exploration of fusing “indigenous concepts” with “contemporary devices”.  Choreographers/dancers Jade Whaanga, Lara Jadoo, Jas Ofamo’oni

Cell by Cell – hurt and anger fired up by loud complaints of “How could you do this to me?” with strong movement, and voices that at times get lost in the music.  Choreographer Seren Powell-Jones

Melted Brown – two guys, looking back at what might have been them, growing up in the Islands, come onto the stage with a grass woven mat and a pig’s head to have a fun romp through not only their traditional moves, but also some European or Caribbean.  Choreographers Vivian Aue, Elijar Kennar, Villa Lemanu.

Rochelle and Edward on Trapeze – a danced duet using a hanging trapeze bar about 3 metres above the floor!  Acrobatic and strong, (e.g. splits, hanging single handed or footed), they use their bodies rather than the floor to make their shapes.  Choreographers/performers Edward Clendon, Rochelle Mangan

G.A.G – each dancer dresses as a different character and there is an element of competition, followed by resolution.  Well danced, using both voice and music.  Choreographer Phoebe Heyhoe (her second work in this programme).

Houdini Who? – although the works are supposed to be original, I am pretty sure that I’ve seen a guy do this escape from a straight jacket.  Perhaps it is the movement that is original – with much anguish and “madness” from the choreographer/dancer Emily Moffat

Where are the Kitty Cats – a zany group in odd gear, squeal, use cha cha music at one point, and do stupid things, like wiping up water with a sanitary pad attached to a forehead and leaving the stage so that the audience doesn’t know that they’ve finished.  But is it funny?  Choreographer Sophie Catterall

Stray – to the boom of cannons the seasoned dancers move on stage in a slow tempo that changes with struggle and tension, and then ends in a mechanical looking unison.  Naturally the dancing is good.  Choreographer Tallulah Holly-Massey

Secta – six (a row of three guys, a row of three girls) sit cross legged at the start but that’s probably the only quiet bit, as they display the sharpest and quickest of moves (hip hop influence here?) with great timing and obviously, good dancing.  Choreographer Perri Exeter


Raewyn Whyte September 5th, 2015

Results are in! Congratulations to the 4 performances from Dance Show 1 going through to this Sunday’s Gala Final:

Secta - Judges’ Choice & People’s Choice
Stray - Judges’ Choice
Melted Brown - People’s Choice
Rochelle and Edward on Trapeze - People’s Choice

Amazing stuff from all the groups! Make sure you come along to the Gala Awards Show this SUNDAY, 5PM at TAPAC.

Book in advance to avoid disappointment -

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