The Beaten Track 2012

Maidment Theatre - Musgrove Studio, Auckland

06/12/2011 - 07/12/2011

Production Details

A mark left by something that has passed along.
Much trodden, commonly used.
The Track of a Meteor.
The right track.
A road.
A journey.
A popular destination.

A celebration of New Zealand’s choreographers, all at different stages of their journey. Fresh, new works by a diverse range of artists, ensuring there is something for everyone, and promising an invigorating night out. Come and join us as each choreographer leaves behind their own tracks to create ‘The Beaten Track’.

Featuring choreographies by: Annabel Harrison, Clare Luiten, Elise Chan, Katie Burton, Liana Yew, Mike Holland and Serene Lorimer.

Bookings through Maidment Theatre.
Ph: 09 308 2383.
Tickets on Sale November 9th.

Dancers: Annabel Harrison, Clare Luiten, Elise Chan and Serene Lorimer, Katie Burton, Liana Yew and Georgie Goater, Mike Holland, Serene Lorimer. 
Lighting/sound design/operatyor: Sean Curham
Stage manager: Natalie Clark


75 mins

Delightfully quirky

Review by Raewyn Whyte 08th Dec 2011

A delightful quirky miscellany of approaches to contemporary dance comprise The Beaten Track, a collection of seven mostly solo works which branch out into new structures and movement vocabularies and offer seven very different moods and settings for the audience.

In Ooops, by Mike Holland, he is a heap on the floor, all tied up in lengths of fabric with weighted ends. Tossing the ends away from him lets him move a little more each time, eventually untangling the ties to stand and take a few steps.  A heavy breathing score by Josh Tilsley sets the mood.

Dancers emerge from film into the space of the stage in two works. Annabel Harrison’s Stone Cold Tea finds her balancing on teacups on film, then atop brick-sized sculptures by Rachel Wells on stage, with CocRosie music as an underlay.

Read the review here


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Light and dark, the familiar and the new, and solos and duets

Review by Dr Linda Ashley 07th Dec 2011

Collaborative programmes are a great way for the public to come to know artists better. For artists they offer opportunity to show their work and share the pressure on precious finances and administrative resources. So, to the movers and shakers who took on the co-ordination of this effervescent evening, and especially to Serene Lorimer for production and paying the deposit for the Musgrove–great initiative!

In reflecting on: “What am I actually achieving in my life?” Lorimer asks a question that perhaps we all should consider more often, and the programme did not disappoint in its autobiographical reflections. The many paths that are beaten by each individual performer/choreographer produced an invigorating (as promised) evening. A cornucopia of contemplation and, in a completely other zone, playful humour, keeps the attention of a full house. The combination of more and less experienced artists is another plus, in that the time and paths that separate the levels of development is evident and of interest in and of itself. So, in no particular order, and in an attempt to write an inclusive review….

The considered delicacy and incandescent ruminations of Clare Luiten’s sets a benchmark of a mature artist’s look at slices of her own life. Similar darkness sets the stage for Mike Holland’s Ooops! Tongue-tied by his costume, the bound, repressed torture is underpinned with touches of dark irony – a delightfully silly twist being tiny touches of underpants’ elastic snapping. It’s worth seeing, but you have to be alert. I missed it at first because at the Musgrove downstage and on a low level movement is difficult for anyone not seated on the front row to see. Josh Tilsley’s sound track is intensely involving. Both of these pieces would fare better in a different space, so we could see the full extent of their thoughtful and creative vocabularies. Liana Yew’s 50 cent a day takes a serious tone to explore living on the street and the political inequities in the world between the haves and have nots. Yew’s duet, captivatingly performed with Georgie Goater, used some interesting street dance movement and projections (Oli Goater), which would be well worth further development.

Playful wit and humour are qualities shared by a number of pieces, as is the use of film. Sometimes the humour in the movement comes off really well, as in Katie Burton’s Katie’s Beaten Track. This path was clearly much trodden, as clearly stated by Burton who uses her voice to great effect – it was, as she tells us, what she always does. The opening of a gyrating, shakin’ Katie in the mosh pit of a Black Sabbath concert I interpret as part of what she usually does… wild child. What intrigues me is her choice to perform her own “routine”, as she so endearingly calls it, followed by movements created by UNITEC students from her recent choreography with them. Burton’s matter-of-fact explanations of what we see, present a refreshing auto-narrative view on the life of a choreographer.  In a similar vein the opening film for Annabel Harrison’s Stone Cold Tea, sets a playful tone as she dances on the table in heels amongst a china tea service. One set of precarious balances replaces another in the live solo that follows, as Harrison goes off on a more sombre path: the opposites work through their differences. Video, Chubby Angels, also opens Elise Chan’s Little Critter, a duet with Serene Lorimer, and the two are smoothly linked by a cross-over transition. When the dancing explores a more personal movement range there are some captivating, light-hearted moments. A similar effect is in evidence in Lorimer’s My Right Hand is Hidden in a Big Black Glove, as she attempts to keep up with the hilarious soundtrack of the audiobook How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Lighting and managing collaborative collections is always a challenge and, even with the limitations of the Musgrove, Sean Curham (lighting/sound design), Natalie Clark and their team made the whole event look good and move along smoothly.

It is an evening of light and dark, the familiar and the new, and solos and duets. Although all the choreographers and performers are on different journeys, their aspirations and intended destinations seem to share similarities. It’s just a matter of seeing how they travel, and checking as Burton reminds us, that we’re all “still here” –  tee hee.


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