BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

09/09/2022 - 10/09/2022


Production Details

By Sacha Copland
Composer: Tristan Carter

You’re invited to The Emperor’s New Clothes to see the world’s most amazing outfits.

See 40-year-old choreographer Sacha Copland dance in the lushest, richest, most sumptuous fabrics in the world. But there is just one catch. These divine clothes, created by the best fashion designers in the world, are completely invisible to anyone who has a high level of acceptance of the current economic system. It’s a high-risk proposition.

Come and be amazed by the splendour of the costumes or come and see absolutely nothing. This is a show for people who like risk, profit and loss statements, outrageous dancing, the cardiovascular system and the deconstruction of power. This is a show for people who love the human body.

Don’t worry, I’m sure you will be able to see the amazing costumes in all their glory.

They really are beautiful.

“She is tackling the big conundrums of this worldly existence, which could be a trap, but she pulls it off through artistic maturity, collaboration, deep thinking, research, originality and bravery” – Home Of The Gods, Theatreview, 2021

BATS Theatre, the Dome
9 – 10 September 2022
$22 | $20 | $18

For full details about accessibility at BATS, Click here.

A celebration of solo artists, TAHI is a ten-day Festival from 8-17 September dedicated to showcasing the finest and most engaging solo performances from all around Aotearoa. With events across Pōneke in 2022, check out our website for all the details and to book. | @tahifestivalnz | #TAHI2022


Get more art for your buck with our TAHI Taster tickets! See any two TAHI Festival shows at BATS Theatre for just $30 – a saving of $10!

Choreographer: Sacha Copland
Composer: Tristan Carter
Dramaturg & Script Advisor: Sameena Zehra
Costume Designer: I.M. Faux
Lighting Design: Brynne Tasker-Poland
Design Advisor: Isandora Lao

Thanks to CNZ, WCC & Playmarket NZ

Facebook and Instagram: @javadancetheatre | 

Dance , Dance-theatre , Solo ,

1 hr

The Emperor’s New Clothes - investments for life, high-risk, high return ventures

Review by Helen Balfour 10th Sep 2022

Sacha Copland greets us as we come into this wonderfully intimate little space and chats as we make our way to our seats. The house is full and buzzing, 90s rock music envelops us. “This is going to change your life!” says Copland convincingly. Tristan Carter, the incredibly accomplished musician, is surrounded by keyboards stage right. He and Copland chat easily while observing the audience.

To begin, dialogue connects us as Copland explains about investments for life, high-risk, high return ventures.  She bombards us with rhetorical questions, making us think about ourselves as potential prototypes or products.

Copland removes her clothes quite quickly in front of us and stands naked, moving briskly on explaining our “Assets”. Copland moves erratically through our human anatomy, breaking it into functional components and bringing about a wonderful awareness of the miracle that our body is. The amounts, the lengths, the capacities, all accompanied by a plaintive violin meticulously played in conjunction with Copland’s stylised and carefully selected movements. The playful intestine section brings giggles as Copland continues to inform us that muscles can’t push, only pull and that we have 75 square metres of skin over our body and five litres of blood that runs through our veins.

The fluidity and joy that Copland has for dance is intimate and personal in this setting. The freedom and delight of dancing naked must be intensely liberating, yet exposing her vulnerabilities, she engages us completely, often with a wry smile and a tongue-in-cheek air. A highlight of “Assets” is the body percussion section. Copland develops a brisk, rhythmic pattern on various parts of her body while engaging us with an intense focus, all while describing our tendon systems!

“Liabilities” comes next, all measured numerically as our “Assets” were for us to view on the wall. This section addresses the big world issues, historical mishaps and our frailties and idiosyncrasies. Copland presents a series of prototypes of stereotypical characters that we may, or may not connect to. Her dexterity and speed of costume changes is to be applauded as the “I’m the mother you wish you had” prototype is revealed, then a as a crisply dressed and organised “9am meeting type person” and an “anything you want me to be” character.

The “Depreciation” segment concludes the work and wraps up the profits and losses too. Copland leads us through a series of personal snippets sharing events that shaped and formed her views and ideas on life and living, including a Polish folk dance connecting her to some of her roots. The notable connection between performer and musician is evident throughout the work. Carter watches Copland carefully as she moves through the space; he binds the movement sensitively, connecting to the shapes and energies she offers.

A highly accomplished performer, I applaud Copland for her plucky, tenacious approach in handling some of the bigger issues in life, while juxtaposing it within her private world and placing it all within a sales structure, encouraging us to think about how we view our assets and what we choose to do with them.


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