BATS Theatre, Wellington

21/02/2008 - 25/02/2008

NZ Fringe Festival 2008

Production Details

Ternion: visual feasts and adventurous sound

Three New Zealand choreographers, Sarah Foster Sproull, Elizabeth Kinley and Melanie Clark, come together to create an hour of diverse contemporary dance that will showcase the women’s eclectic style and movement.

Their ideas and imagery will be shown in three separate works that will take the audience on a journey through three very different worlds and perceptions.

Dancer and choreographer Melanie Clark says: "Our aim is to create exciting and enjoyable works that will cater to and open the minds of the general public."

One of the three pieces choreographed by Clark, The ‘Dipole’ Moment, is a dance work created from the sound, movement and texture of water using the impact from a water drop as the motivation and imagery for this 15 minute pure dance piece.

Kinley’s idea revolves around time and the possibility that it may be travelled through.  There one minute… shows us how one girl’s world can be turned upside down prematurely, leaving you wondering, ‘could you do anything about it, or is it just fate?’

"Whilst it will be a popular dance event for the dance enthusiast, it will also be a visual feast and an adventure through sound," explains Kinley.

Sarah Foster Sproull will be presenting her work through a visual medium.

She says, "In July 2007 a 14-year-old boy named Martin Dinnegan was stabbed two streets from where I live in London. He was attacked because he looked at somebody the wrong way. A few days later a retaliation attack occurred in my front yard. A group of 20 kids attacked a boy with a spade and amazingly he survived. Sadly Martin did not. 

"London feels like a lawless society in many ways. Outwardly everything seems under control, but its inner functionings reveal an isolated, malevolent underbelly, where kids with knives kill other kids with knives. 

"At times, as a New Zealander living here, you can feel more isolated than ever. My short dance films are an exploration of how shit and how great it can be to live away from your home," she says.

The three works will premiere at BATS theatre from the 21st – 25th February as part of the 2008 Fringe Festival. An event not to be missed! 

BATS Theatre, Kent Terrace, Wellington 
February 21 – 25 / Thurs-Mon, 6.30pm 
Tickets: $12 – $15 
Book at BATS ph (04) 802 4175 or email book@bats.co.nz    

Youthful, unpretentious and pleasant

Review by Jennifer Shennan 24th Feb 2008

Ternion is a youthful,  optimistic, littler [than Dark Tourists] evening of dance that shows the performers’ lyrical style of movement and sense of line.  The choreography shapes itself around those dance qualities rather than make demands or statements in its own right.  One short film has ever so clever mirror and camera tricks that make the audience feel they are inside a prismatic kaleidoscope.

The 50 minute programme reflects youthful ideas in an unpretentious and pleasant way. 


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Succulent and accomplished dancers; fledgling choreographers

Review by Lyne Pringle 23rd Feb 2008

Ternion (three things together) is the apt title for an evening of well realised dance, with slick production values and committed performances.

Elizabeth Kinley’s work There One Minute leads the programme with a clear conceptual base and good use of a repetitive structure to portray the uncertainty of the future and the certainty of fleeting mortality. A dancer. Melanie Clark enters; soft and fluid body.  I liked the way she came directly to us as if to say – please come into this dance. This kind of invitation is often lacking in contemporary dance. 

Innocence, light and joy of relationship are captured in harmonius dance when Kinley enters. These two dancers really connect with each other and have a great rapport onstage and Robert Larsen conjures the light on their skin just right. 

In the second scene the partnership is broken as the inertia of death propels the fervour of grief.  Kinley moves beautifully in this section with sweeping arms and tender folds into the floor; her body portraying convincing sorrow. The electronic music (no music credits in the programme) tends to overpower the visuals and add an unnecessary emotive layer. Then a replay of this scene but with a different outcome nicely captures the key idea of the piece.  The work is clear and just the right length. 

Sarah Foster has contributed a medley of three short films. As a fledgling film maker – sending her efforts across the net from London – she has made an impressive start. 

Old standard Wasted Days and Wasted Nights is the audio track for the first short as Foster, in a nut shell is:  black and white, bored-typing, clumsily twitching, falling down, exiting, smoking, drinking tea … A quirky sketch.

The second film is more satisfying, bordering on brilliant, with two Fosters now. She uses a split screen technique to produce lovely dual movement sequences, forwards and backwards. This is intricate well explored movement, musically spot-on in a grimy Coro St back alley.  Foster as Siamese twins morphs her body in and out of itself to compelling folk music, then splits into four; chromosomal before the lens focuses on mutating, vulvic hands. This is kaleidoscopic invention and it is exhilarating to experience Foster experimenting with her new toy.

The Civilians is the last work and although overly long it again throws up some cunning moves and exploration of the medium to shine a disturbing light on life in Britain, subtly alluding to the recent murder of 14 year old Martin Dinnegan by another 15 year old.  Foster is an artist to watch as she develops her ideas and skills.

Dipole Moment is the title of the third work, choreographed by Melanie Clark. She has taken as her inspiration the Dipole (positive and negative reaction of molecules) moment in water and without spilling a drop to some extent she manages to portray these ideas.

The three dancers – Clark and Kinley now joined by Nicole Chadderton – dance with focus, integrity and great technique.  It has a solid choreographic structure and builds well to a conclusion. However the music again is dictating too strongly the activity onstage.

Clark, in a gorgeous solo, finds the liquidity of her 90% water body, and there are some pleasing explorations into the trio form and a great use of the space. The key ideas of positive and negative reaction are referred to but could be more fully developed. Clark is able to create logical phrases but the rhythms and choreographic language need variation. At one point the lights change to pick up the blues of the costumes in a luminous way; throughout the performance the lighting design is subtle and intelligent.

Elizabeth Kinley and Melanie Clark are starting to investigate the mechanics of a familiar vocabulary. They can go further to dismantle and throw out the tried and true momentum pathways whilst retaining some of the known framework. They could chop things up like a great Ornette Coleman song that never takes you where you expect to go; listen to this kind of music to find the skin and bones of their own movement.

These succulent and accomplished dancers and fledgling choreographers need to go into the unknown zone to find another kind of beauty.  The result could be stunning! 


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