SHORT + SWEET DANCE 2016 - Season 1

TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

30/08/2016 - 31/08/2016


Production Details



10 minutes to make a statement, 10 minutes to connect, 10 minutes with Short+Sweet Festival Auckland.

Short+Sweet is a performing arts festival that celebrates the 10 minute performance format through Dance. Join us for a feast of different styles and subjects, with the next morsel only ever 10 minutes away! 

Come salivate (sink your teeth into), participate (cast your vote), and debate the night’s bite sized showcases on at Auckland’s annual big-little Festival. 

For more info:  

Social media: #shortsweetnz

“Well worth seeing” – Theatreview

“Varied, funny, clever, poignant and sweet”  – Theatre Scene


S + S Dance

Season 1:
Tuesday 30 August                  7:00pm

Wednesday 31 August            7:00pm

Season 2:
Friday 2 September                 7:00pm

Saturday 3 September            7:00pm

Gala Final:
Sunday 4 September              7:00pm 


All shows except for Gala Final: 

$25.00 GA

$20.00 Concession  

Gala Final Dance, Sunday 4 September:

$35.00 GA

$30.00 Concession  

Festival Passes available until September 10 (any 3 shows except shows on the same night, excluding Gala Finals)

$65 for three shows 

Short+Sweet Dance - Season 1 Line Up, August 30 & 31:

Hip Hop Hysteria - Exploring Stereotypes - Choreographed by Jazmine Cox
The Power of Resonance - Choreographed by Grace Woollett
Tū I Luma (Forward) - Choreographed by Xavier Breed
Wherefore Art Thou - Choreographed by Santana Schmidt
Obsess - Choreographed by Elijah Kennar
Purge - Choreographed by Sarah Mills
Step by Step - Choreographed by Leighton Rangi
Real? - Choreographed by Rochelle Mangan
Swimmer - Choreographed by Jenny de Leon

Physical , Pasifika contemporary dance , Hiphop , Dance , Contemporary dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,

90 mins

Strong contrasts in Short + Sweet Dance Season 1

Review by Chloe Klein 31st Aug 2016

First up in TAPAC Theatre is Elijah Kennar’s Obsess, a playfully complex duet framed by 3 crisp diagonal spotlights. The work is a strong start to the evening with well-oiled mechanical, yet personable gestural sequences. Comedic and relaxed, Elijah and Villa Lemanu hold strong characters, and are finely attuned to one another, engaging with the result of satisfying partner work. Their play with breath has me holding my own breath in the stands. Obsess offers a vibrant, physical, and risky movement vocabulary- combining power with weightlessness, and seamlessly integrating bold lifts. Obsess is one of the standouts of the first season.

Following is the solo The Power of Resonance created and performed by Grace Woollett. Her work is introduced with a recorded explanation of the nature of light as both a particle and a wave, torches hanging from her arms providing the only source of light. Her movement casts shadows that are constantly changing and responding, dictating our gaze. As an exploration of power and control, it is interesting to notice how my curiosity is piqued by what I am prevented from seeing. Grace passes power to the audience by passing the torches out before continuing her internal and momentum-based solo, the lights now casting multiple giant shadows against the backdrop. It is an intriguing and powerful image.

Santana Schmidt’s Wherefore Art Thou is an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2. Opening with a manicured snapshot, the group serenely weaves through trios and duets until returning to their original state.

Up next is Swimmer, choreographed and performed by Jenny de Leon. Rhythmic and ocean-inspired movement is placed before a video capturing the swim Jenny makes each day at Home Bay. She moves between images, later joined by Adam-Luka Turjak who slides on stage to assist her with lifts.

Hip Hop Hysteria – Exploring Stereotypes begins with a group dressed to represent several different cross-sections of society, somewhat reminiscent of the Village People. Though predominantly hip hop based, the work cycles through various genres of dance, and is performed with commitment and passion. Aspects of representation of groups within the work leave me uncomfortable, particularly a number of performers dressed in burkas asserting power over a pole dancer after several explicit images are projected on the back wall. Though perhaps created with good intentions, I have questions about the appropriate use of cultural and religious material in a way that does not appear sensitive or considered. The work is performed to a soundtrack composed entirely of Kanye West tracks.

Created and performed by Sarah Mills, Purge is an introspective solo physicalising the struggle found between self and other. The movement is thoughtful and considered, and her execution is grounded and purposeful, continuously cycling back to vulnerable motifs.

Step by Step choreographed by Leighton Rangi is a dark street-flavoured contemporary work following a lantern being passed around a fierce and brooding group. The throwing of the lantern is risky and equally rewarding, adding an edge of suspense to the performance. Perseverance and aggression permeate the fast-paced and constant re-forming of movement and formations. Shrouded in darkness, several eye-catching images are materialised and reformed.

Rochelle Mangan’s solo Real? is an incredible (and sometimes gratifyingly hard-to-watch) display of contortion-like strength and flexibility woven into feelings of confusion and madness. Opening vulnerably under the spotlight as accusations of stupidity and worthlessness worm themselves from the recording into her body, Rochelle goes on to perform with character and incredible physical endurance. Sustained upside-down performance, as well as seemingly impossible positions and images hold the audience conflicted: I want to look away, but can’t. The work has a dramatic and theatrical flavour and is a refreshing contrast in the programme.

Closing out the evening is Tu I Luma (Forward), choreographed by Xavier Breed, a staccato, playful, engaging, and vibrant group work, travelling through themes of the roots, genealogy, knowledge, and journeys experienced by Maori and Pacific students of contemporary dance. Another standout performance, each of the dancers brings an engaging and personal energy as well as full commitment to a Pacific-inspired movement vocabulary. The flow between groups, trios, and duets is pleasingly organic. The second half of the work takes us to the roots of Maria- second hand clothes from K’Rd, ginger, honey, and soy. Tu I Luma (Forward) is heart-warming and offers a well-rounded close to a varied, yet entertaining evening.

The finalists of season 1 will be performing again in the Gala Final later this week.



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