The Future is already way behind the Present doesn't exist in my Mind…

St Patrick's Square, Auckland

10/04/2010 - 15/04/2010

The Living Room 2010: A Week of Goodness

Production Details

A performance inspired by the writings of Valentine de Saint-Point and Mina Loy that reflects on lust, romanticized sexuality, and the subjugation of women.
Collaborating with composers Pete Drungle and Brian Bender, motion graphic artist Brian Close, costume designer Lise Klitten, Cuenca Rasmussen merges choreography, song, architecture and costume in a multi-media performance.
New Zealand choreographer Charles Koroneho is working in collaboration with Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen to re-contextualize the performance ‘The Future is already way behind the Present doesn’t exist in my Mind…’
The new work will be presented in collaboration with production designer Brad Gledhill, utilizing the existing Cuenca Rasmussen performance and incorporating production and design elements created specifically for Saint Patrick’s Square.
Day/times: Saturday, 10 April, 7pm
 Wednesday, 14 April, 7pm
 Thursday, 15 April, 7pm
Location: Saint Patrick’s Square
(Note: artists will be rehearsing in the square in the days leading up to this event)
Duration: 40 minutes
Artist talk:  Wednesday, 14 April, 11am, Art Station (Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen)

Collaborative partners
Concept, script, lyrics and performance: Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (DK)
Choreographic collaboration and performance: Charles Koroneho (NZ)
Production design: Brad Gledhill
Costume design: Lise Klitten
Orchestral music: Four compositions by Pete Drungle with lyrics of Mina Loy
Electronica music: Three compositions by Brian Bender with lyrics of LCR
Performers: Graduates and students (dance programme), School of Performing and Screen Arts, Unitec NZ.

So comprehensive for an outdoor performance

Review by Jack Gray 19th Apr 2010

The night is incredibly atmospheric. Standing on wet grass, freshly fallen rain makes reflective surfaces of blue light on the concrete. 
Charles Koroneho cuts a beautifully, dark, omnipresent inwardness as large and expansive as Te Kore (The Void). Or like the potions teacher, Severus Snape from Harry Potter, with his jaw-length jet black hair {I get mugged again by a long lost friend who has been in London. She purrs in my ear: “what’s he gonna do? Toss the bark in the air? I shouldn’t be weird.”}.
Back to Charles. Like an inching close of a shadow cast by a setting sun (or dark moon), he is now lying himself corpse-like into the red bark at the foot of the cylindrical, staircase-like, stone monument. I haven’t yet mentioned the reverberating sonic frequency snatching a space in the air, punctuated by police sirens (real) and distant car hum.
Deliberately theatrical, there are a series of long halogen cylinders, masked in a blue gel alongside the edges of the steps, leading up to St Patrick Cathedral. People sit, arrange, become clumps of bystanders themselves, a lighting guy leans against a rubbish bin.
I’ve always loved Auckland City at night. Something about the millions of windows in nearby offices and residential high-rise that plays into my desire to pretend I live in a big cosmopolitan city like New York. Except this is cooler than New York. I also love this particular square, hidden away behind buildings. It is an inner precinct of grass and water fountain – which I can’t seem to see.
Charles moves slowly, his hand edges towards the line of a branch lying next to him. Is it placed there or is it just there? Though to some he may be moving slowly; I think I can happily stand here all night. Immersed in this wet, fertile, black, blue, cool – but not chilly – night. He is the essence of Te Po, if the night could be textural, physical and liminal.
{The camera guy (Peter Takapuna) sets himself up in different places; a kid cuts through the space – sneaking overtly like a person late to the cinema and up the front}.
The branch is revealed as Charles draws it up during fragments of movements and dronal hum – it is a Harakeke flower. Delicately, acutely, surely he lowers it to his forehead.
I almost feel like I never want there to be an endpoint, like the sadness in the legend of how Maui tried to capture and tame the sun to stop it from its quick descent. I’m wondering now whether the bark bed has just been installed at the foot of the monument for this performance, as I see no restrictive concrete edging to keep it in place for the long term. For me, the red brown earthiness is all Papatuanuku’s bloody womb spilt out and merged with the soil. 
Three white things emerge (Amy Mauvan, Anna Flaherty, Elise Chan). In white lycra-like formed bulbous, tent, sculptures. They are like Vatican priests, garlic bulbs, lilies or candles. Operatic music soars across the sky.
I feel like I’m in a French film as I look up to see if the music has enticed apartment dwellers to have a look. I look up. A small shadowed face peers through a fogged up window 6 floors up.
Meanwhile another form has emerged chrysalis-like up at the top of the steps. My eye is drawn upwards towards the Cathedral door with a flickering light. I see the Sky Tower in blue (was it planned?) almost growing, or maybe I am being seduced to create my own filmic camera sweep in my minds eye. Gotham City.
The structure is a person (Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen) who is the Orator throughout the show speaking in between microphone static:“You can hear the heart beating”…“eternity in a sky rocket”. The three female figures slowly contract in prayer-ish posture. Switching back to Charles TV – he is now sitting and intently moving toward and away (simultaneously?) from himself and the moment. “Rooting, erotic garbage” guttural grunts and annunciation from the strange accented woman (Philippines/Denmark). Techno music comes on as she walks forward.{My friend says, “It’s like it’s turned into a Madonna video- cool huh?”}
My favourite scene sees a group of white vampiric /virginal walking undead in the background who appear from another street. What a slinky little gaggle of performers they are (Unitec students) as they sing, twitch and move slowly. The ‘garlic bulbs’ are now rooted in the tree area. Charles is now against the monument. “Les Surface”.
More light installations as torch wielding technicians create moving light sculptures with the bodies. “A silver Lucifer is whispered”. Charles is now in taiaha mode with his branch. Quite amazing how the viewer’s attention is shifted through voice, placement, texture of movement, light and space. The white bodies are now strewn like rigor mortis, battle worn, pharaoh buried moths. Charles shuffles furiously as if he is incantating a druidic spell, curse, evocation, memory or warning.
“Shattered glass”
(Whispers, whispers, hum, drone)
“Crystal Concubine”   
A new orange, green, red, rainbow tinged light comes on all cylinders. Charles sweeps and uncovers circles of light under the bark. Hands scratch and scurry like a squirrel in the bush. Garlic girls uncover themselves to reveal white leotarded bodies, moving slowly. Wiping black cloth over fronts and staring menacingly with a Lord of the Rings-like Elvish ethereality. A strange burlesque-y type song happens, blue lights, bodies stand and move and the girls dress Charles in a black suit.
{I munch on some Doritos and watch wide-eyed as the surreal crawling, creeping, navigating, dance happens. The flock are fantastic}.   
The two main characters have a meeting. She in a leotard and white Afro wig, and he is in his suit. The flock are bathed in pink light. A Rap. Totally bizarre but then this is Art. It is great choreography on the flock with explosive and assured posturing. They pose in amongst the audience. I hate/have to say it – but the main line of the song was “Fuck the F word”.
The Garlic girls do a contact trio. Charles and Lilibeth stare at each other. This work is so comprehensive for an outdoor performance, not at all what I expected. The dancers start to move, more predatory and stronger, like twisted fashion models. I’m still getting a Parisian vibe and want my own white outfit so I can start posing too. Lilibeth makes her Grace Jones-esque parade around the grass on the shoulders of her flock.
There is a really beautiful sitting and standing moment. It is the bow.

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