SHORT + SWEET DANCE 2017 Gala Final

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

10/09/2017 - 10/09/2017

Production Details

A platform for emerging artists, the Short + Sweet Gala night brings together the finalists of two dance heats held earlier in the week. The 12 works, each 10 minutes or less, make up an entertaining and diverse choreographic programme.

Dance ,

90 minutes

Entertaining and diverse choreography

Review by Chloe Klein 11th Sep 2017

A platform for emerging artists, the Short + Sweet Gala night brings together the finalists of two dance heats held earlier in the week. The 12 works, each 10 minutes or less, make up an entertaining and diverse choreographic programme.

Opening the evening is Xavier Breed’s Pou- a highly structured and sharp ensemble piece with a strong Pacific flavour. Drawing from the image of a Samoan Fale, the group are divided and reunited through fast-paced timing and formations. Pou is performed with clarity and precision, and is an energetic start to the evening.

Emma Cosgrave’s solo Endure is a vulnerable and intentional exploration of in between spaces. Silences and sureties are broken by flurries of panic and urgency. Emma’s choreography is thoughtfully developed, and her performance is both delicate and determinedly driven.

Blue Bayou, choreographed by Lulu French, is a Pacific interpretation of Linda Ronstadt’s classic. Three elegant and graceful women calm the stage with peaceful traditional Pacific movement vocabulary.

World Wide Web is another group work from Xavier Breed. Dancers phase in and out of relationships, on and off stage, extended and released. Seamless transitions and moments of satisfying partnering make the work an easy watch.

Jas Ofamo’oni’s Pores features two dancers wearing headlights under an elastic fabric pod as they jiggle, contort, and give the amorphous fabric life at the molecular level. Paired with a soundscape of breath and water droplets, the work has an uncomfortably visceral feel of bodily functioning. The work is an engaging point of difference within the programme.

Meaghan Rowe’s All Delighted People, performed by the Rowe Dance Company is an idyllic balletic relationship between dancers in all black and their brightly coloured counterparts, performed to a live piano.

$TORM explodes with track that leaves the ear drums ringing, in a queer voguing work that gives each performer a chance to work the spotlight. The performers are dripping in attitude and seduction, their fierceness changes up the programme and reengages the audience for the second half.

W(HOLE), choreographed by Odessa Grayson, is a duet drawing on the Greek myth of separation of soulmates who are destined to endlessly search for one another. The performers are responsive and connected, and the duet is inventive and surprising to watch. An eerie warped track is an intriguing backdrop to the intimate and staccato choreography.

Vivian Aue’s Ma / Ma moves into the dance-theatre genre, opening with three Pacific women of three generations seated on chairs, a mat underneath them. Vivian Aue’s mother, Ngametua Aue sings with personality and endearment, later joined by the two younger women on each side. In Cook Island Maori these songs share stories of the past.

Not, a solo choreographed and performed by Oliver Carruthers, is a playful and kinesthetically smooth and satisfying watch. Carried out and placed on stage in a boxed position by backstage crew sets him as an object. He unwinds to the sound of cracking and popping, synovial fluid loosening in the body. Like a wind-up toy he releases energetically, to be wrapped and boxed again once his energy has been burned through.

Gemma-Jayde Naidoo’s XYUS is a reclamation of archetypical female identities, with seven women inhabiting these identities and making them their own. From focussed yet cold ambition, to seductive power, the performers are confidant and grounded, taking down the audience with authoritative eye contact one seat at a time.

AUE, Vivian Aue’s second work, delves into a provocative and confrontational Pacific perspective of sex and sexuality. Sexual movement and overtones from the performers are shamed and silenced with hushing from other performers, as these acts are wrapped in Tapa cloth. The 10 minute time restriction doesn’t allow for the ideas introduced to be adequately explored, but effectively teases the possibility of a longer work to come. 

Standout Performer Award: Jireh Lalotoa-Peniata
Standout Performer Award: Oliver Carruthers
Innovative Choreography Award: W(HOLE), choreographed by Odessa Grayson 
Production Design Award: Pores, choreographed by Jas Ofamo’oni
Risk Taker Award: AUĒ, choreographed by Vivian Arthur Hosking-Aue
Curator’s Choice Award: Ngametua Aue
DANZ Emerging Choreographer Mentorship Award: Tekeepa Aria
Wallace Arts Foundation Special Award: World Wide Web
Wallace Arts Foundation Special Award: XYUS
Wallace Arts Best Solo Performance: Oliver Carruthers
Tempo Short + Sassy Award by Tempo Dance Festival NZ: XYUS, choreographed by Gemma Jayde
Tempo Short + Sassy Award by Tempo Dance Festival NZ: STØRM, choreographed by Tekeepa Aria
People’s Choice Award: XYUS, choreographed by Gemma Jayde
Judges’ Choice Award: POU, choreographed by Xavier Breed


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council