Short + Sweet Dance 2016 - Season 2

TAPAC - The Auckland Performing Arts Centre, Auckland

02/09/2016 - 03/09/2016


Production Details

Short+Sweet Dance Season 2 Line Up:

Show Your Colour – Choreographed by Stephen Hidalgo/IDCO Dancers
Duality – Choreographed by Amelia Chong
WOMB-MEN- Choreographed by Xavier Breed
Earthlings – Choreographed by Eric Beltran
Companion – Choreographed by Dynamic Duo
I Am Who? – Choreographed by Jasmine Donald
Four Minutes – Choreographed by Pardon Me Dance Theatre
Passing On – Choreographed by Zoë Nicholson
all the lies i have ever been told – Choreographed by Seren Powell-Jones
Deity – Choreographed by Lydia Zanetti + Caitlin Davey
Wonky – Choreographed by Shani Dickins
Contraposition – Choreographed by Brigitte Knight

Gala Final Dance, Sunday 4 September:

$35.00 GA

$30.00 Concession  

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

2 hours

Short + Sweet dance: A short time is a good time

Review by Sarah Knox 03rd Sep 2016

Programme B of Short + Sweet Dance 2016 shows 13, predominantly contemporary dance works, made by recreational dancers, tertiary dance students or early career choreographers.

 Short + Sweet provides an excellent platform, in particular for tertiary dance students and emerging choreographers, to test out and share their dance works within a professional context.  With performance space, lighting, technicians, and publicity all provided young artists are able to focus their time almost entirely on the creation of their dance works; and without the huge financial commitment involved in staging a show. Further, showing work without the backing of an institution name and the support of tutors, the learning experiences inherent within the Short + Sweet process are invaluable to a career in dance in New Zealand whether this be as a performer, dance maker, teacher or arts administrator.

 Opening the evening’s show is Wonky, choreographed by Shani Dickens and performed by Rosa Strati. It is a snapshot of a moment in time, a person in space. Situated around cardboard houses, her spindly skeleton arms, twice the length of her body, reach awkwardly out into space, scratching at buildings. Desperately grasping for a connection with the city around her. With some smoother lighting cues at the beginning to evoke a greater of atmosphere and tension this piece seems like it could be the beginnings of an intriguing longer work.  

Passing On is a beautifully satisfying nugget of a dance work. Created by Zoe Nicholson and performed by Taitanyk Toniu, Leticia Fortes and Kisha September, they explore the act of passing. The piece is carefully crafted, simple and cohesive in its structure. They pass physical contact, energy and focus. The rhythm of the piece is wonderful and the dancers clearly understand the musicality in a unified way. It is a game, a tryst with a subtle urgency and in the end they are shadows passing the light.

Choreographed by Lydia Zanetti and danced by Caitlin Davey is Deity. Davey appears waif-like but is, as always, strong and assured in her movement. The piece offers her less of her usual playfulness and more of a sense of contemplation. I wish for a great connection between the projected hands and the movement to understand the context a little better.

Companion shares the narrative journey of a young girl who has lost her parents. As she grows up the spirit of her mother haunts her. Choreographed and performed by Aakrithi Kumar and Sneha Dudaki (joined by Kathie Bahad) the movements in the middle section hint at an interesting fusion of conventional contemporary dance vocabulary and Indian dance that warrants more exploration. The piece provides a unique interlude in the show.

all the lies i have ever been told features Tokelau Akama, Lizzy Hagan, Deborah Fletcher, and Sophie Henderson in Seren Powell-Jones’ choreography. Lightly humorous, the dancers have clear voices expressing all the lies they have ever been told, or have perhaps told. The text is integrated well with abstract movement and runs like a train of thought we might have all experienced.

Amelia Chong presents Duality, a sublime piece about the duality of human nature. In a solo form she is statuesque with a powerful presence, and has a beautiful natural connection with the audience. The piece has been edited well and has a strong spatial and dynamic structure underpinning her performance. Chong is subtle, assured, and expressive and she is spectacularly agile, fluid and strong. She is, for sure, one to watch.  

In Shroud we see performers Bridget and Leah Carrell (choreographer) joined by scarlet fabric being stitched together. A working sewing machine illuminates the space and is a poignant and evocative image.  The two appear lonely although close together, separated even though joined. The disconnection of their relationship is revealed in an arresting last image.  Shroud is a wonderfully concise work, which resolves itself beautifully.

WOMBmen, choreographed by Xavier Breed, is a work utilising 13 women clad in nude slips, exploring the theme of domestic violence. A tough task to do in under 10 minutes. The work (choreography and text) needs editing somewhat and a more unified intention could be found to distil down what the key message is but the women dance their guts out. Strong moments of the choreography are the opening section with clear spatial patterns and smaller duet and trio sections of the work.

Eric Beltran shares Earthlings, and embodiment of an unspecific creature.The opening image is provocative, as if underwater he moves with the current and the costuming provides a sea-scape. Later, the floor vocabulary is interesting however, once standing the movement vocabulary perhaps needs development in order for us to understand who or what he is.

Four Minutes is a playful look at time. The piece is choreographed and performed by Charlotte Evans and Helene Burgstaller, and joined on stage by Samir Harith, where they work to stretch and condense time.  Frenetic hands gestures are mingled with conventional contemporary dance movements creating a flurry in the space. The choreographic ideas are aided by some humorous text that evokes knowing laughter from the audience.

Contraposition is choreographed by Brigitte Knight and performed by Heidi Chen and Stevie Barker. One clad in black bike pants and crop top and the other in flowing white, and both in pointe shoes, they utilise ballet vocabulary to explore physical contrasts. The movement provides a wonderful technical challenge to the two young performers and the work has a progressive journey through to larger movements and allegro.

Jasmine McDonald has created I Am Who?  It is an engaging and slightly perplexing series of questions of what would I/we….? Again, as in Deity hands are projected however this time they are less mystical and more emotive of various modes of frustration and curiosity. We becomes I, and McDonald, animated by sounds of scribbling and an indecisive voice, moves through various performative states employing text, song and movement to create a cohesive and succinct work.

Show Your Colour is the final work in the show and provides a high energy hip hop showcase to complement the previous pieces. Choreographed by Stephen Hidalgo with mysterious IDCO dancers, it is performed by Hidalgo, Taitanyk Toniu, Leighton Rangi and Kisha September. The piece ends as it starts and never wanes in the middle, each dancer given their moments to express their own individual movement preferences and style. September, in particular, is a force to be reckoned with and can shift between modalities like nobodies business. The piece is a wonderful closing piece to the show and demonstrates the diversity of dance taking place within Auckland. 

The most successful pieces of the evening are those which have taken a tiny slice of an idea to explore physically, in a thorough and rigorous manner. The creators have up to 10 minutes for their pieces but the idea is short and sweet right!

The pieces are at times a little rough around the edges. In some cases this works in the piece’s favour and at other times a little more rehearsal is required. This isn’t aided by the swiftness of the change over between each piece, which seems to happen too quickly for both the performers, and for us in the audience to settle with the work we have just watched and prepare for the next. This in itself gives the show a slightly amateur feel and it wouldn’t take much to loosen the transitions so that entrances and exists can take place in blackouts and performers have time to position themselves and pause before pieces start.

You have two more opportunities to attend Short + Sweet Dance for 2016: Programme B is on again tonight, 7pm. Tomorrow evening is the Gala night where Judges and Audiences Choice pieces will be shown again and prizes will be awarded.


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