Short + Sweet Dance - Wildcard Group

Concert Chamber - Town Hall, THE EDGE, Auckland

11/02/2012 - 11/02/2012

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!

Schedule of Performances
Group 1 – Tues 7 and Thur 9 Feb
Group 2 – Wed 8 and Fri 10 Feb
WildCard – Sat 11 Feb – matinee 2pm
Gala Final – Sat 11 Feb, 8pm

VISIT the Short+Sweet blog for updates

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

Kotahitanga - Union!
Choreographer + Candice Frankland, Dori Bestmann, Suei Lin
Performers + Candice Frankland, Dori Bestmann, Suei Lin, Sophie Kaulima-Irvine, Astra Burrowes, Lynette Marchant
Music + Pharonic Odyssey by Paul Dinletir, Red Alert by Basement Jaxx, Kotahitanga by Oceania Group 

Thinking Man
Choreographer/Performers + Mark Bonnington and Matthew Moore
Music + Outside by ChromaticNZ, Mark Bonnington and Matthew Moore

Choreographer/Performer + Eric Beltran
Music + Magany by Peter Szalai and Szabolcs Szoke

Rumour Has It
Choreographers + Vicky Wong and Paige O'Connor
Performers + Glendowie College Dance Company are Vicky Wong, Paige O'Connor, Lucy Mills, Grace McIntosh, Sarah Bradley, Brooke Cambie, Tawni Dickson, Meghan Williamson, Jessica Lo, Matilda Porterfield, Danielle Wilson, Christie Anderson, Isabelle Russell, Gabriela Rocha, Kate Turner
Music + Rumour Has It by Adele

Sore Loser
Choreographer/Performers + Kate Cummings and Bre Gentry
Music + Kiss With A Fist, Between Two Lungs by Florence and The Machine

+++ INTERVAL +++

Monsters Ball at Number 9
Choreographers + Group-devised with co-ordination and choreography by Grae Burton
Performers + Lillian Shaddick, Zaverr Doctor, Leigh Fitzjames, Nat Hugill, Marina Volkova, Breigh Fouhy, Morgan Allen
Music + EBUNAD EULB, ESUACEB & ATANOS THGILNOOM (Original work) by The Monsters Ball

Sugar N Spice
Choreographer + Philippa Pidgeon
Performers + Zoe Hood-Hogan, Alahnah Wharton, Te Mana Allen
Music + Jeux d'enfants by Bizet

Kyrie Eleison
Choreographer/Performer + Jennifer De Leon
Music + The Jesus Prayer by Bjork

This Was Us Now
Choreographer/Performers + Carlene Newall and Grace Crawford
Music : I’m Single (Instrumental) by Lil Wayne, Breathe With Me (A cappella) Frontline, Pursuit of Happiness (cover) by Jackie Lopez, Wonderful by Annie Lennox, Main Train by Solo

Gratuitous Picture of Self
Choreographer + Jeremy Haxton
Performers + Kerry Wallis, Mutso Hatakeyama, Mele Taeiloa, Jeremy Haxton
Music + A man and a woman (Un homme et une femme) by Janet Seidel, Silly Billy Borg by Fat Segul, Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald


2 hours

Wild Cards?

Review by Raewyn Whyte 12th Feb 2012

In card games. “wild cards” are those almost magic one-per-deck cards like the Joker, that can take the place of any other card, often enabling the holder of the joker to win the round or the game. In sports, “wild card” places are given to players who have not managed to qualify through normal play, often being drawn via a chance mechanism.

There’s an implication that the event organizer is taking some kind of risk on including the “wild cards”, but also a chance that one of the wild cards will outshine the non-wild cards and win the whole competition in the end. 

The “wild card” performers in  Short and Sweet Dance Festival’s third elimination programme (of three) are not so different from the works selected for Groups 1 and 2. They collectively present confident, polished performances, though choreographically, several of these works were not as successful in conveying their themes

Six professional performers from Phoenix Bellydance Group present Kotahitanga – Union!, a stylish bracket of alternating and mixed traditional and modern bellydance sequences. The opening section is the impressive signature sequence of the group, a duet which makes use of swirling gold pleated cloth to create an iconic column of gold completely surrounding the dancers  as fire does when the phoenix ascends. Other sections of the dance make extensive use of lengths of fabric to depict “the union of volcanic fire and oceans which define Aotearoa”. The music montage includes Kotahitanga, made famous by Moana and the Tribe and normally played to mark celebrations of Maori sovereignty: using it for bellydance seems a strange choice.  

Fifteen students from the Glendowie College Dance Company are dressed in leotards and tights with frothy pink tulle tutus on their hips. Making their public debut performance in the show-dance-influenced Rumour Has It, they are confident and seem to enjoy every minute. Technically cohesive, the choreography by students Vicky Wong and Paige O’Connor is spatially coherent, keeping the groupings changing and the action fast, exploring multiple performance pathways, and ending with a surprise cheerleader toss which caps off the dance nicely, earning sustained applause.

Monsters Ball at Number 9 is an experimental work with projected film creating locations for the action. It looks like a noirish graphic novel brought to the stage and has been co-devised by the seven performers under the direction of Grae Burton. Evidentally still under development, it effectively explores interactions between seven hoodie-wearing “monsters ” who meet, hang out together, have a ball. Their movement has a blunt, raw quality, quite deliberately so, and they are not at all comfortable or comforting to observe.

There are a number of light-hearted explorations of everyday issues.

Auckland studio dance teachers Carlene Newall and Grace Crawford (whose young students Wasabi Dance Crew delighted the crowds in Group 1) present This Was Us Now, a nostalgic overview of their experiences with competitions, studio shows, performance gigs, being stand-in teachers without any idea what the students have been learning, and so on. It’s wry and amusing and they send themselves up gently, but you can also see how well they work together and value one another.  Philippa Pidgeon’s Sugar  N Spice for three members of the AUT Dance Company has a similar feel, though is more of a enjoyable romp and lacks the specific references which hold the charm.

Sore Loser, choreographed and performed by Kate Cummings and Bre Gentry, takes its theme from two tracks by Florence and the Machine — Kiss with a Fist and Between Two Lungs. Initially somewhat comedic, but subsequently relatively expressionless, this dance seemed drift and really needed to get to grips with the lyrics and develop some appropriate vocabulary for interactions.  By contrast, the quartet of dancers who perform Jeremy Haxton’s Gratuitous Picture of Self – Kerry Wallis, Mutso Hatakeyama, Mele Tailoa and Haxton himselfreally seemed to understand the significance of every move, and made the dance an effective portrait of each person and the way they meld and change in interaction with the others in the group.

Two solos stand out against the group works. Eric Beltran’s intimate, intricate, very personal Instante is beautifully danced and makes you want to see more of him. It feels very much like a prayer, though his programme notes say it is “a stop-over in the chaotic embodied mind of the creative being struggling for  a hint of inspiration and meaning”   Jenny de Leon’s Kyrie Eleison, on the other hand, really is a prayer, a series of sustained yoga asanas set to Bjork’s rendering of The Jesus Prayer. All pure lines and extended poses, the sequence demonstrates the strength which comes from the inner melding of body mind and spirit, and shows the way a dancing life can be exxtended well into your 50s.

The most likely work from this third programme for a ‘wild card slot” in  the Gala Final is  a duet by Matthew Moore and Mark Bonnington, recent graduates from the Unitec programme. With very different physiques and personal styles, they still manage to convey a sense of being parts of the same organism in their co-developed work Thinking Man, set to a spacy, glitchy, white-noise-with-some-dub track, Outside by ChromaticNZ plus some speeded up (uncredited) classical music. The dancing is impressive – richly detailed and full of contrasts, and the work is choreographically dense with solos and duets, simultaneous solos, call and response blocks, floor-based partner work and diagonal duelling, slomo and warp speed. A very delicate sense of timing holds the pair on track against the Outside track, and their internal focus is intense. There is perhaps too much going on in the dance, but it certainly holds your attention.



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