Short + Sweet Dance - Group 1

Concert Chamber - Town Hall, THE EDGE, Auckland

07/02/2012 - 09/02/2012

Short + Sweet Dance 2012

Production Details

Short+Sweet Dance in association with STAMP at THE EDGE presents The Biggest Little Dance Festival in The World!

Contemporary, hip hop, dance theatre, belly dancing, multimedia, burlesque and much more – Short+Sweet Dance has a little something for everyone in bite-sized performances. It’s simple, really. All genres, all styles, all abilities, but with one little rule – no dance over 10 minutes!

Audience members get to have their say alongside a distinguished panel of S+S adjudicators who vote each night for their favourite work. The best works go on to the Gala Final where they will be chosen for awards in performance or choreography and one winner will be crowned the S+S champion.

Short+Sweet Dance features new dance works from some of New Zealand’s hottest emerging and established dance practitioners. Fast-paced and incredibly dynamic, Short+Sweet is dance with a difference!

VISIT the Short+Sweet blog for updates

Ticketing Information
Concession available for Seniors (65+), Children 12 and under, Beneficiaries and Students with valid ID

Occupy Town Hall
Choreographers: Rosey Feltham and Janine Parkes
Performers: Colette Arnold, Tracey Purcell, Serene Lorimer, Shannon Mutu, Lucy Miles, Annabel Harrison
Music: Original composition by Mark Michel

Preceding the Thread
Written, directed, choreographed and performed by Chris Tempest and Kate Bartlett
Music: live adaptation of Paper Trail by Emmy the Great and I Don’t Blame You by Cat Power

Ko'au Eni
Choreographer: Nita Latu
Performers: Joshua Grace, Conor Young, Sophie Williams, Nicole Pereira, Pauline Hiroti, Nita Latu, Lineti Latu, Santana Schmidt, Amipeliasi Leha, Byron Fa'aui, Aleki Brourke, Tevita Vaka
Music: live drumming by Bana Meleisea, Ma'ata Latu Keniti

Choreographer + Serene Lorimer
Performers + Annabel Harrison, Elise Chan, Natalie Clark
Music + About Breathing by Claire Cowan

CCB (Chck Chck Boom)
Choreographers + Carlene Newall and Grace Crawford
Performers + Amy Thomson, Georgia Menhennet, Holly MacLeod, Maddy Allen, Maddie Holland
Music: Opposite of Adults by Chiddy Bang, Two Way and My Baby by ‘Lil Romeo, I Want You Back by Jackson 5, Whip My Hair and 21st Century Girl by Willow Smith

 +++ INTERVAL +++ 

Plain of Lonely Souls
Choreographed and Performed by Sarah Houbolt & Edward Clendon
Music: a blend of Yann Tiersen and Aphex Twin

Twerking in a Shell
Choreographer/Perormers: Treat Station- Sofia McIntyre, Jessie McCall & Rose Philpott.
Music: Chick Habit by April March, Girl On My Mind by Buddy Holly
Video: ‘Vibrate Promo Girl Twerking on Car’ uploaded to Youtube by ‪CesarthaGr8tInterviews + Treat Station

Plus Tard (Later, Later On)
Choreographers + Lydia Zanetti and dancers for Sweaty Heart Productions
Performers + Natalie Clark, Anitra Hayday, Shanelle Lenehan, Kelly Nash and Molly McDowall
Music + Go Baby by Lupe Fiasco

Katie's Beaten Track
Choreographer/Performer: Katie Burton
Music: Rat Salad by Black Sabbath, Come Around by M.I.A featuring Timabaland

Choreographer: Zahra Killeen-Chance
Performers: Joshua Graves, Lisa Greenfield, Anitra Hayday,  Zahra Killeen-Chance, Shanelle Lenehan, Molly McDowall, Maria Munkowits
Music: You Don't Love Me by the Starlets; Sweet Little Pussycat by Andre Williams; Can't Stop the Want by Sandy Sarjeant

2 hours

Good luck to the judges!

Review by Raewyn Whyte 08th Feb 2012

Short +Sweet Dance is billed as The Biggest Little Dance Festival in The World. As a format, it started some years ago in Australia, and has now spread to Malyasia, Singapore and New Zealand. Each show offers ten dance works which may be in any style or genre , but which must not be longer than 10 minutes to perform and 30 seconds to get on or off the stage. Anything longer is disqualified.

In the inaugural Auckland Short + Sweet Dance Festival, 2012, there are two groups of 10 works, plus a Wild Card collection of 10 drawn from late applications and works previously screened out. From these 30, 10 are selected to appear in the Gala Final alongside a guest Sweet +Sour Dance winner from elsewhere. One winner gets to be hosted at the next Short + Sweet Dance Festival in Sydney as their guest performers.

A secret panel of judges chooses the finalists, and the audience votes for their favourite performance in each show.

As you might guess, a Short and Sweet Dance show is an unpredictable experience – it’s entirely open slather and it’s a tad difficult to conceive of the criteria the judges might be using as the basis of the competition.

Group 1 presents an array from solo to large group work, with various varieties of contemporary dance, an up to the minute work of social commentary, and a body-paint-dusted acrobatic duet Plain of Lonely Souls, the petite but strongly built Sarah Houboult and the lanky Edward Clendon, which slowly seduces the audience into cheers.

Three works are revisited from earlier incarnations and seem to be only a little changed. Serene Lorimer’s Was…Is has a trio of women retracing their steps and recalling their former selves.  Katie Burton’s triadic serial dance Katie’s Beaten Track  is one of those dances you can see over and over and enjoy every time. This time she adds vocals, reminds us we are at Short +Sweet and urges us to vote for her. And in Preceding the Thread, Chris Tempest and Kate Bartlett continue their engaging exploration of intimate communications and power relations in continuously shared micro-domestic space. He sings sweetly, persuasively, disarmingly, and just when you think he has her where he wants, she melts down, pulls the rug from under him, and resets the terms of their relationship  – for just a moment before a new cycle begins.

Some dances are uninhibitedly crowd-pleasing. Nita Lau’s rich and highly accomplished pacific fusion choreography for Ko’au Eni intermixes all the many dance forms she has experienced and layers them across the stage and back again following cultural dance logic. Danced energetically by 13 dancers in lycra and tapa cloth combos, and accompanied by and 3 drummers, this gets extended applause and lots of vocalisations.

Treat Station’s Twerking in a Shell is also mostly crowd-pleasing , an exploration of their own group dynamics — being a trio of self-confident 20 something young women with more than a few things on their minds.  By turns Sofia McInytre, Jessie McCall and Rose Philpott explore trust, worry, expectation, regret, motivation (give me a kick), before having us watch an extended  twerking clip from You Tube with them. Social acceptability does have some limits after all —  they go to some lengths to explain why they would never twerk.

The relentlessly cute CCB (ChckChck Boom), cupcake kidzdance for five pre-teen girls known as Wasabi Dance Crew, choreographed by their teachers Carlene Newall and Grace Crawford, is crowd-pleasing in their  opwn way — they are confident and vivacious, technically accomplished and definitely look like they are having fun. It’s infectious.  By contrast, the animal-mask wearing Sweaty Heart Productions dancers in Plus Tard (Later, Later On) choose to disavow virtuosity, vivacity and polish in favour of driven movement…

Some works are clearly intended to disconcert. Occupy Town Hall, choreographed by Janine Parkes and Rosey Feltham for BackLit Productions, is formal, serious, with banners waved and slogans chanted, facts delivered  in a quasi-lecture, and repeated gestures running the gamut – giving the finger to the onlookers, flashing the peace sign, shaking threatening fists. Their bodies become an ever-moving target, and sturdily stand their ground against those who would remove them.

The final work in Group 1, Zahra Killen Chance’s GO GO DO, is a masterly movement study which deconstructs several 1960s social dances and  pares them down to pelvic movement essentials — so the hips ride on the legs, and the legs ride on the feet, and torso rides over the rest, and everyone stays pretty much on their spot. It requires utterly secure centering, which is impeccably achieved, and there’s not a lot of sideways motion, just a few wiggles either way – until the very last section when things finally loosen up.  The seven dancers are also wearing the minimum — a casual top and sixties undies, plus sneaker-type footwear. They perform in a line across the stage, arrayed from tallest in the centre to shortest at either end, with faces so deadpan as to be aggressive, particularly when the odd sneer or curled lip creeps in oh so fleetingly. Choreographically intriguing, but emotionally deadening to watch.

Normally in competitive dancing, there’s some specific limited requirements such as a restricted age range, or a specific genre or style, some combination of the two, or else it’s a performance competition, or a choreographic one. But all that is out the window with Short + Sweet – the judges decide what counts. What they decide will no doubt create a good deal of discussion!


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