The Leaning Tower Of Penchant

'The Ruins' 69-70 Tasman St, Wellington

22/02/2007 - 24/02/2007

NZ Fringe Festival 2007

Production Details

Presented by Back Lit Productions.

Presented by Back Lit Productions. In ‘Penchant’ you enter a world of sensual obsession. As you traverse a pathway rich with performance vignettes, be prepared to have your senses overwhelmed by these exquisite dancers indulging their own proclivities for all the world to see. What is your penchant?

Directed by Ambrose!

Annabel Harrison, Rosey Feltham, Georgie Goater, Mandy Leckie, Colette Arnold, Shannon Mutu, Tracey Purcell, Ambrose! and Lucy Miles

Music by various people arranged by Amin Payne.

More details: 

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

Posse of strong and talented women

Review by Lyne Pringle 02nd Mar 2007

Saturday was a fabulous night for an outdoor event and the start time was perfectly set to coincide with the deepening azure of the dusk sky. Before we knew it there were artificial lights picking out the dancers in various places on an old ruin on Tasman Street – the walls psychedelic with graffiti expression.

Back Lit Productions are a group of recent UNITEC graduates from Auckland beginning to make their own particular ripple in the dance scene. They are a large crew, so they must have good structures in place to bring projects to fruition – this is an admirable sharing of resources. The performers are, Annabel Harrison, Rosey Feltham, Georgie Goater, Mandy Leckie, Colette Arnold, Shannon Mutu, Tracey Purcell, Ambrose! and Lucy Miles with music by various people arranged by Amin Payne. Ambrose! gets to direct this posse of strong and talented women. (More details on their informative website,

It is quite an undertaking to do site specific work and this group did it well, drawing the audience into a surreal world of penchant – i.e. likeness, fondness, desire, weakness, predilection, affinity. Deep rumblings of personal proclivities on display here: a woman with a shoe fetish folded in half on herself and bound with bandages, then ending up on high tussling with a chair whilst telling about an outrageous predilection combining a stiletto and a penis; a woman in a red skirt on the ramparts (beautifully "Back Lit" by the last vestiges of natural light from the west) then tethered at the waist with another dancer folding backwards on themselves, endeavoring to make a slow motion escape from the lure of the mirror and not succeeding; a woman with an apple and a mirror and a story to tell about finding a husband, she eventually shatters the mirror and throws a mountain of salt over her left shoulder in an effort to put it right; a male – the only one – on high interrogating then at other times surreptitiously shining the lights on the women (there must be a feminist reading for this one); two characters in black wigs who discuss their sexual inclinations then, sloughing off procrastination for just a little while, move through some interesting and stylish choreography; a character who begins lying on teacups, then navigates herself around the space on cups whilst making cups of tea and cupping her soul through wild moves in white(this was the most developed choreographically); a spider woman hidden and only visible through mirrors evoking curiosity whilst weaving a web of intrigue eventually ensnaring herself.

As far as I can tell from the programme, these offerings were sorted into three works: Tea Totalled – by Annabelle Harrison, Instruments of Self Torture by Colette Arnold and Lucy Miles and Untitled ‘mirror piece’ by Georgie Goater and Rosey Feltham.

There was an element of risk to the evening that left one feeling slightly tilted as the action and a series of very striking images and performances swirled around us in the Leaning Tower of Penchant.  

Group devised work with personal gems surrendered for the greater good is an admirable and unique way to work: Back Lit Productions deserve congratulations for tackling this gnarly process and for taking dance out of the safety of the theatre. Continuing to hone their choreographic skills and as well as developing the ideas they contribute to the group will lead to some brilliant discoveries – I look forward to more of their penchants being revealed.


Annabel Harrison March 2nd, 2007

Thank you so much Lynn for such a wonderful review! It is very encouraging to hear such positive comments, especially from someone we all admire so much!! We plan on being around for a long time yet, so watch this space! Cheers, Annabel Harrison- Back Lit Productions

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