Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

06/08/2021 - 09/08/2021

Production Details

Discotheque; noun. A night club where dancing takes place. Are you ready?  
Discotheque, winners of ‘Best in Fringe’ presents SUPER, NATURAL – a new dance work inspired by dancing itself and the subtleties we all face in peak social situations.
Act natural, be natural, super natural. Supernatural?  Six wāhine take to the dance floor bringing you a highly physical, quick witted dance/theatre work created under the co-direction of Holly Newsome and Elekis Poblete-Teirney.
SUPER, NATURAL indulges the marriage of dance, rhythm, sound and lighting to transform an empty space for the evening in the hopes of entertaining a large force of people who may not usually find themselves immersed in dance culture.  
We bring to you a visual feast full of colour and fierce movement, inspired by heavy dance anthems through the ages.  
Discotheque is a project based dance company under the direction and choreography of Holly Newsome. The company was formed in 2016 and is now creating it’s 9th dance work thanks to the support of Creative New Zealand.
Discotheque has gone on to win ‘Best in Fringe’, ‘Most Promising Emerging Company’ and ‘Momentous Movement’ awards for the Wellington Fringe Festival.  
The company’s endmost goal is to be accessible to more than just a dance audience- we want to be crafty, calculated and leave you utterly entertained through intelligent sound, movement and technical marriages.  

Co Directed by Holly Newsome and Elekis Poblete Teirney.

Gabriella Mersi, Tiana Lung, Georgia Rudd, Neve Peirce , Kia Jewell, Tessa Redman


Dance , Contemporary dance ,

60 Mins

A playground riot, a whole lot of fun.

Review by Lyne Pringle 08th Aug 2021

This show has the WOW factor in terms of special effects and excellent production values, it also has wide appeal. It’s a playground riot, a whole lot of fun, full of joy and sly humour. 

The stylish dancers – Gabriella Mersi, Tiana Lung, Georgia Rudd, Neve Peirce ,Kia Jewell and Tessa Redman – have a ball.  They inhabit a showy/strange performance persona that is a mix between prudish young ladies from the paired perambulations of the Madeline books, to the garish grins of likeably darling synchronized swimmers – in outstanding leotards – to escapees from a Roswell remake, to crazed 70’s disco divas. They give it their all to good effect.

Like a spectacular event horizon that surrounds a black hole. Quite what the ‘content’ is at the centre of this intriguing, never-a-dull-moment work, remains a mystery. 

To begin, an ingenious use of a foreground plastic drape which billows gorgeously. It provides a surface for a clever and weird shadow play. This coy presentation of performers creates mystery and intrigue before the screen crumples and whirling dancers are revealed in sumptuous green dresses created by Anne de Geus. A  strength of the work is this consciousness of the power inherent in concealment versus exposure.

,Other scenes follow as the show creators mix and match their elements with glee. Gallons and gallons of haze (cough cough) leaves the air thick enough to capture light beams that map the space. Lights become beings in their own right. It’s a sci-fi world, strange strange creatures with glitter ball heads as the disco beat co-opts the aliens to take over the world – watch out! There are sinuous silhouettes and snippets of pop songs. Old movie dialogue and oddly pseudo-erotic broken voguing as the doors of perception open.  The theme of weirdness continues into a post human reality. This questioning of corporeality could go further.

A thrumming soundscape is multifarious and absorbing yet, as per the rest of the show, opaque in meaning. It drives the dancers to a hectic conclusion as revelry starts to decay and come apart at the seams.

At the conclusion there is a palpable buzz and upbeat response. Show creators Holly Newsome and Elekis Poblete-Teirney have an intent for a ‘heavy marriage’ between  sound, movement and technical elements. In this presentation of SUPER, NATURAL, the 9th production for company Discotheque, they definitely lean in this direction and have created a strong modus operandi for moving forward. However, at this point the work reads as a tussle rather than a marriage, particularly with the balance between technical elements and inventive movement. At the core of the work are humans, what are the richer potentialities for them, choreographically, in the midst of all these effects?


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