SHORT + SWEET Dance 2015 - Show 2

TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

04/09/2015 - 05/09/2015

Short + Sweet 2015

Production Details



ArthamDance Company (SruthyManikketh,EenaBajaj, Veenavi Ranaweera,KamshikaUmasuthan, Shreshtha Maiti, Athay Raj);

Stephanie Day, Laura Wansink, Rebecca McCracken;

Eve Veglio-White, Helene Burgstaller, Charlotte Evans;

Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge, Aeden Burmesteri; 

Caitlin Davey, Maddy Powell, Georgia Elson;

Monique Westerdaal, Chancy Rattanong, Shane Tofaeono;


Sierra Diprose;

Brandon Carter-Chan;

Mariya Kupriyenko, Veronica Butturini;

Keretina Hakaraia, Keyana Fuiava, Maria Lealiiee, Renee Wiki, Gemma-Jayde Naidoo, Leticia Fortes, Madi Surherland, Villa Lemanu, TaitanykToniu; 

Renee Sharp, Mele Taeiloa, Seidah Tuaoi, Benny Abela, Sheldon Rua, Eru Clarke, Mark Yum, Sanita Betham, Myke Davis Hoeft, Keegan Hunga Hunga, Maui Ormsby, Nathaniel Mohi, Alexander Teraitua, Matthew Puleanga, Sejoo Han, Avneil Mohan, Seru Tuivoavoa, Sione Akira, Antonio Malachi, John Vaifale, Thomas Read, Kelz Lau

Brandon Carter-Chan, Cameron Carter-Chan, Elvin Wong, Cameron Smith, Courtney Gillard, Nichola Niemack, Leticia Mihaere, Bianca Potter, Katie Lee, Chantal Tuala

Indian classical dance , Hiphop , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

2 hours

Broad array includes some gems

Review by Raewyn Whyte 05th Sep 2015


Short + Sweet Dance Show 2 brings an array of works ranging in size from solos to large groups, and in styling from variations of contemporary dance  to Indian fusion, street and tap, structured improvisation, and Cook Islands contemporary.

Solos, duets, trios and a quartet variously explore what you can do with a box that falls into your bath (The Box by Brendon Carter Chan);self-curation (Pitch by Camelle Pink); showcasing oneself to get ahead in the world (Women Birth Stupid Idea, by Sarah Collins); the invisible presence of persons who you hear every day (__________ by Chloe Bayes); singular versus plural realities (Echoes, co-developed by Veronica Butturini, Mariya Kupriyenko and Matias Arismendi); what it is to be brave (Rise by Sierra Diprose); and our relationships to music (Lend me your ears by Helene Burgstaller and Eve Weglio-White)   

Two other small scale works stand out for their combination of creative crafting, polished delivery and attention to detail in staging.

The programme opener Escalated, a trio danced by Monique Westerdaal, Chancy Rattanong and Shane Tofaeono, and choreographed by Casey Reid is finely tuned and cleverly pitched to ensure that audience attention will be riveted on a white-taped rectangle on the stage floor which serves as the arena for a series of (mostly) good-natured tussles for spatial dominance. Each dancer gets their turn in the spotlight which  clings to the rectangle, Westerdaal in the opening sequences as she tapes the shape on the floor than makes it her own for the moment; Rattatong as the others have counted themselves out via their own tussling, and Tofaeono after a particularly robust booting of the others out of contention. At just under 6 minutes in length, this was perfectly pitched.

There’s a rich sentiment to the beautifully crafted two-hander The Crickets Have Arthritis, choreographed by Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge.  Set to the recorded poem of the same name narrated by its author, Canadian Shane Koyczan, the dance takes its structure and rhythms from the cadences of the poetic score, and follows the narrative arc without having to render every detail in movement for us. Twenty-something Berridge, dressed in basic blacks, stands-in for the narrator and the friends and family of a 9 year old cancer patient, Lewis; and 11 year Aedan Burmester vividly re-creates Lewis, who wears Star Wars pyjamas, carries a little box of treasures gifted by various people in his life, and pulls feathers out of his pillow and watches them float to the ground. The skillsets of the two dancers are carefully balanced, and key aspects of the story are pitched oh-so-carefully to avoid tipping over into tear-jerker territory.

The larger scale works all showcase the passion and commitment of their performers, and all make music very much the structural backbone of what is presented.  Collaged sound features in Brendon Carter Chan’s Rhythm and Movement for ten dancers, which somewhat awkwardly pitches tap against street, and glamour-jazz against hip hop, the aim being to find common ground rather than champion one particular style. Collaged sound features again in Josh Mitikulena’s 1997, which plays homage to music of that era with bursts of energised, freeze-framed blocks of street-flavoured dance showing off the personalities and styling of individuals and small groups which ebb and flow amongst the 22 dancers from Projekt Team.

A lush, cohesively integrated soundscore (no music credits provided) accompanies The Rhy of Rain,  a highly polished, rhythmically patterned Indian classical fusion work exploring the eternal love between the sun and the water which creates the water cycle. Choreographed by Bhuvana Venkat for six members of Artham Dance Company, the sequences include rain breaks accompanied by the sounds of thundering storms and flashing lightning and downpouring rain to vividly dramatise these key moments in the work.

And last but not least, the intense and often highly pitched  A-K-V (Akavaine-Nunui), an exploration of the complexities of feminine identity within the context of the Cook Islands community, danced with evident passion by seven Vaine Toa from the University of Auckland, choreographed by Alexander Upokokeu-Henry. With movement vocabulary and patterning comprised of a fusion of traditional Cook Islands and various contemporary styles, a soundscore and costume changes which evoke both historic and contemporary eras, and the dancers singing/chanting and at times shrieking, this tumultuous (and at times chaotic) work, makes a dramatic end to the evening.


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