Soliloquy in Sweat

Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

09/03/2021 - 13/03/2021

NZ Fringe Festival 2021

Production Details

Concept, Choreography and Performance: Katrina E. Bastian

Soliloquy in Sweat offers audience members coupons to various services- cooking, cleaning, and babysitting, should the performer, Katrina Elizabeth, fail to fulfil her promise to collect half a-litre of sweat within 40-minutes. By performing a series of high-intensity exercises and movement phrases she attempts to produce and collect the prescribed amount of sweat. The audience is invited to join her in each exercise or movement, and donate their own sweat to the bucket. With this high-stakes performance we subvert capitalism, notions around disgust, and voyeurism in celebration of resilience, community, and empathy. “Who can afford to become a dancer? Bastian performs to further ensnare herself in the twin rhythms of money and sweat, a labour economy”- Amit Noy, at Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa 2020 Katrina Elizabeth Bastian began her choreographic career at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she investigated the phenomenon of the grotesque in dance and literature. She graduated with high honours in 2015. Katrina then moved on to a choreographic residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and soon joined the Orian Theatre Dance Company of Paris, France. As a dancer, Katrina has worked with choreographers and artists in Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States. She graduated from the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz (HZT) in 2019 with a Masters Degree in Choreography. Katrina recently presented her work in Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa, Auckland Fringe, The Performance Arcade, Tempo Dance Festival #goingdigital season, and engaged in a digital residency facilitated by Movement Art Practice Christchurch, as well as working with Footnote Dance Company’s Choreoco. 2020.

Concept, Choreography and Performance: Katrina E. Bastian
Tech and Lights: Tony Black
Production and Stage Manager: Christina Guieb

Experimental dance , Contemporary dance , Dance , Solo ,

50 mins

Strong, self-possessed and wonderful

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 11th Mar 2021

A courageous step out in a world of bodily fluid. Katrina Bastian is an athletic, silver sweatsuit-wearing dancer who performs her relentless robotic workout to a loud pulsing body gym track of pumping sound, as a silver clock forces us to be aware of the countdown of her self-imposed timeline. Add flashing lights, the sound of a ticking clock, a monologue yelled but unheard and the competitive scenario of making one litre of sweat becomes a visceral experience.

We are compelled to watch and to experience this work in our own way. Snatches of an autobiographical commentary are heard and repeated, and this repetition gives layers to our receiving of facts as movement phrases build and build alongside this story. Ultimately they are a series of facts about the economic reality of being a dancer and the economic reality of a dancer’s income in New Zealand, provided serious food for thought.

The silver suit is removed and wrung, and layers of Glad Wrap are cut from her body and wrung out also. This is exhilarating to watch in a messy and wet way! The sweat becomes water, the glass is filled and the mission is  accomplished.

Clear focus, clear moments, clear technique, great extensions and precise actions relate to the words both directly, pictorially and in an abstract interpretation of the energy that dance demands. Repetitive, desperate but generous in the giving of her vulnerability, Soliloquy in Sweat is very real: a strong memorable personal statement made by a strong, self-possessed and wonderful woman.

The Glad Wrap in particular strikes a chord for me as I well recall this process back in my own ‘ballerina’ days. It is wet! Soliloquy in Sweat leaves a wet body, a wet floor and an audience wondering about this real truth of being a dancer.

Why? Whatever – this is a compelling artist and we leave the theatre thinking. Thank you. 


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