The Movement

Freyberg High School, Palmerston North

04/06/2021 - 04/06/2021

Aotea College, Porirua

01/05/2021 - 01/05/2021

Otago Boys High School, Dunedin

15/05/2021 - 17/05/2021

Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland

19/06/2021 - 19/06/2021

Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), 42 Lucknow Road, Havelock North

02/06/2021 - 02/06/2021

Production Details

Presented by Footnote Dance

Drawing inspiration from the power of the arts to amplify important conversations and provoke change, each of the four works in The Movement will consider a different issue that has importance to each of the choreographers: the ever rising tide, the future of biotech, an acknowledgement of painful experiences and our collective approach to change. But this is not only a dance performance. In combination with inspiring conversations throughout the evening, The Movement will stir you to embrace the collective momentum that is needed in our world to change things for the better.

 Locations: Porirua, Nelson, Greymouth, Wanaka, Invercargill, Dunedin, Timaru, Christchurch, Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North, Kāpiti, Wellington Central, Māngere, Auckland Central


The Movement features the following works:

This. by Jeremy Beck (sound design by Jason Wright)

Artifact by Forest Vicky Kapo (sound design by Emi Pogoni)

Standing in the Threshold (Between the Void & Light) by Amber Liberté (sound design by Emi Pogoni)

Apathy: A Horror Genre (an excerpt) by Ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala (sound design by Paloma Schneideman and Absurd TRAX)

Footnote Company Dancers: Nadiyah Akbar, Oliver Carruthers, Sebastian Geilings, Rosie Tapsell, Cheyanne Teka

Lighting Design: Marcus McShane

Lighting and Sound Operation: Hāmi Hawkins

Stage Manager: Genevieve Poppe


Experimental dance , Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

100 mins

Serendipitous rather than extra-mortal

Review by 20th Jun 2021

In spite of everything, performers look like performers because they are about to perform. At the beginning of the last night of Footnote New Zealand Dance’s national tour, the five dancers verbally introduce themselves. As they are the people about to express themes of climate change and technological advancement through dance, it is curious that the company’s General Manager, in an alternative adjacent physicality, also addresses the audience at the commencement of the show. A brief questionnaire, as though in a school crowd, gives the largely teenage audience permission to make noises, which they do. The stage is set throughout the evening with an efficient and simple backdrop screen playing occasional slides, lighting design by Marcus McShane and lighting and sound operation by Hāmi Hawkins.

 Artifact by Forest Vicky Kapo, with sound design by Emi Pogoni is a sophisticated and well-structured work, performed with precision and depth of expressivity by Rosie Tapsell. The sensuous natural elegance of a filmed caged polar bear, sets off the robotic synchrony of the soloist dancer and provides an oddly isolating but heart-warming affair. Sensorial elements languidly accumulate through the rather beautiful soundtrack. Rosie’s voice necessitates a consideration about what is still human in the cyborg space. I felt plaintive about why the dancer took central space, and watched her as the lull in the pendulum action of momentum.  

The build in the work continues through musicality, cultural motifs – accumulative movement and cultural gesture sent backwards on strong diagonals, and the flash of red costuming. Longevity, and the lithe technique of a mature dancer inscribed by sufficient iterations of performance, reveal a highly engaging contemporary dance vocabulary. Artifact is successfully both technologically colonised, and culturally exquisite. 

 This. choreographed by Jeremy Beck and sound design by Jason Wright, is the second of this series of four works in Movement. This. is well explained by the copious fine print in the programme that maintains the eclectic movements of a trio of equally competent dancers. This. starts slowly as Cheyanne Teka, Oliver Curruthers and Sebastian Geilings first spot a small round red raised platform, on which to crowd onto. They spend time getting on and off in a variety of comical motions. Some beautiful glimpses of solo moments, an equally brief dynamic trio and sustained intervals of body pulsing shows the dance as playful and serendipitous rather than extra-mortal or symbolic. I saw bravado, ecstasy, exuberance and much bodily arcing and repetition.  

 After another brief explanation by the General Manager of the company, the second half commences with another solo dance. Standing in the Threshold (between the void and the light) is choreographed by Amber Liberte and performed by Nadiyah Akbar. The genesis of this work is in the light, darkness and audience seen in a long mirror that the dancer holds close to her body for much of the dance. This gentle and expressive work values reflection above all things. The sound bath by Erin K Taylor, composed by Emi Pogoni, and a gorgeous red velvet costume, adds ornateness and era. 

 Ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala direct Apathy: A horror genre (an excerpt). The Footnote Company dancers, Sebastian Geilings, Rosie Tapsell, Oliver Carruthers, Nadiyah Akbar, and Cheyanne Teka are now ending the show on a high note. Crashing crescendos of sound, by Paloma Schneideman and Absurd TRAX, highlight the sepia tones that dimly light the dancers. The photographic fanfare is highly watchable, though flourishing in less of the fluid experimental mix of the other offerings. For this dance, audience members are instructed to respond by calling to what they see.  

 Footnote New Zealand Dance has a long career in producing new work, always ably expressed through an increasingly long list of admirable New Zealand dancers. It is heart-warming to know this company has achieved another extended national tour. What might be lacking in original movement is made up in the care and concerns that stimulate choreographic intention. If Footnote is to maintain a future focus, it may be that the choreographies need more time for gelling, more time for dialogue between movements and dancers, and much needed clarification of initial provocations. What will happen with repetition and practice is a deeper recognition of dance’s powerful vocabularies to more fully express the concerns of the world.


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Brave and thought provoking programme,

Review by Tania Kopytko 06th Jun 2021

Footnote New Zealand Dance have a reputation for excellent dance performance and pushing the New Zealand  contemporary dance boundaries. Their latest touring season of The Movement certainly meets these expectations.

“The core proposition of The Movement is to open conversations and advocate for positive change using the medium of dance.”

The evening begins with General Manager, Richard Aindow, , introducing the company, which this year is celebrating 35 years – the oldest and longest surviving New Zealand contemporary dance company. He then warms up the audience by asking a series of questions about aspects of climate change, technology, who has seen Footnote before (a considerable percentage of the audience), and the role of art in changing society. That has us standing up and sitting down, interacting, and develops an air of expectancy. Then the show begins.

The Movement comprises of four intense complex works, each quite different, but all providing some exploration or commentary on our modern world, where it is hurtling to and our interactions with it and each other. The four works provide a palette that is abstract enough to allow each of us to conjure our own different narratives for each work  – automation, alienation, fear, care, crowd behaviour – a broad comment on and exploration of contemporary global and social interactions and behaviour. 

The first work Artifact, choreographed by Forest Vicky Kapo, is an extraordinary solo performance by Rosie Tapsell. Like a cyborg she moves mechanically, with minute articulation. Like the beautiful, struggling polar bear projection, occasionally her human expression/wairua comes forth with a delicate wiri or soft movement. Yes it questions where our humanity sits, or is in danger, in this hurtling technological age. Good questions!

The second work, This, by Jeremy Beck, drew me in. It is intriguing and satisfying. The three dancers – Oliver Carruthers, Sebastian Geilings and Cheyanne Teka – performed beautifully as a close knit trio, with a wonderful constantly evolving vocabulary of rapid complementary, contrasting or harmonic movement. It spoke to me of the power of social media cults, of people too easily being sucked into believing what they are told. However, as a work, I feel it could have benefited from a little editing, especially the long drawn out beginning. The harsh soundscape, though fascinating and effective, was uncomfortably loud in this work.

Standing in the Threshold [between the void and light], the third work, is another solo work. Choreographed by Amber Liberté and performed by Nadiyah Akbar, who also collaborated on the work, it is performed with a mirror reflecting us or the dancer. An exploration of relationship and self, the concept is interesting, but whether it achieves the lofty aspiration to explore how “humanity grieves and rages within ourselves while also being compelled to look to one another in hope…” is debatable.

The last work Apathy: a horror genre [an excerpt], with artistic direction from Ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala, and collaboration from the five dancers, is an extraordinary work. This is like krumping meets “Alien” with a dash of contemporary movement melded in, creating a powerful, dark, abstract narrative that explores apathy, aggression, concern and, like in the second work This, the force, energy, power and potential danger of an intense tightly formed group. A scary and clever exploration of human social and individual behaviour and power play.

The minimal lighting and set design for each of the works, by Marcus McShane, worked in this hall/theatre type environment. The soundscapes for each of the works certainly added to their creative intention, but unfortunately the acoustics were highly reverberant.

The theatre at Freyberg High School was an unusual and interesting setting for this work. Taking performance to our suburbs virtually never happens. The audience was expectantly full of young people – all enthusiastic. Many of whom had likely enjoyed Footnote Dance New Zealand’s  workshops. Footnote New Zealand Dance provide a complete dance development package, which is very vital to contemporary dance development in New Zealand and supports our dance curriculum in schools.  The works were clearly accessible to the young audience as their  excited responses showed. The adult audience were a little more mixed in their response, with the narrow seating/poor leg room and loud reverberating soundscapes causing a few problems. Others ignored these inconveniences and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  A brave and thought provoking programme, thank you Footnote New Zealand Dance.


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Movement that generates heat

Review by Hannah Molloy 19th May 2021

Movement. Physical movement. Social movement. Protest movement. Movement interpreted in ways that stretch and cause discomfort, for the observer and perhaps also the performer. Movement that creates space for introspection and reflection. Movement that generates heat.

The Movement by Footnote New Zealand Dance is all of these, with five dancers expressing that most basic function of dance (or at least my audience-centric interpretation of it), movement of body through space to create narrative, and doing it with grit and commitment to the articulation of their bodies and the messages they’re sharing.

The audience wanders into the Otago Boys’ High School performing arts centre to dancers and crew warming up and casually mooching about, being accessible and welcoming, some evidence of nerves or perhaps just anticipation apparent on the faces of the dancers. As the audience settles, company General Manager Richard Aindow begins with company introductions, followed by a series of stand/sit to answer questions. He notes with pleasure that the Dunedin audience has the highest proportion of repeat dance attendees, before moving into more focused questions about climate change and technology and art as changemaker, and degrees of concern or apathy about those issues. This participatory beginning to the performance invites the audience to observe actively and to connect that movement of body through space to the narrative articulated in the programme notes. That is reflected through an individual’s own lived experience of course, but the questions, the physicality of shared movement as simple as standing up and sitting down, and seeing those in the audience with similar experiences or perceptions, enables commonality in that connection to the choreographies.

Artifact, by Forest Vicky Kapo and performed by Rose Tapsell is remarkable. Rose’s joint by joint articulation of her body is bathed in a silky grey light with a mechanical, heartbeat-like soundscape thrumming against her cat-like movement. The addition of her voice layers tension and demands full concentration from the audience.

This, choreographed by Jeremy Beck and performed by Oliver Carruthers, Sebastian Geilings and Cheyanne Teka, is the stand out for me and I was so captivated I forgot to take notes. The three dancers transitioned from testing and tweaking placement and relationship to each other on their tiny red platform to loose bopping to something reminiscent of speed-fuelled Wide Boys set at a dark nightclub in the late 90s. They were tight and controlled, humorous and at full noise right throughout. On that, the sound design by Jason Wright deserves a mention too.

Standing in the Threshold [Between the Void & Light], by Amber Liberte and performed by Nadiyah Akbar held its own largely through the quirk of Nadiyah’s performance behind and around a mirror. There is an obvious connection to be made to concerns about (especially) young women who photograph themselves as a collection of parts for social media consumption and the disconnection with self and identity that this can lead to. Forcing audience members to see themselves in the mirror, becoming a passive and un-consenting part of the performance gives this an unsettling edge that could perhaps evolve into a very powerful work.

Apathy: A Horror Genre [An Excerpt], with artistic direction by Ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala and performed by all five of the dancers called for audience involvement by way of hyping the dancers – I’ve yet to see a Dunedin arts audience cope well with this, although some of the younger members did get involved. (They also chatted the whole way through though the show but I tried not to be a judgy old woman about that…). I wasn’t quite sure what was going on a lot of the time but Oliver Carruthers and Cheyanne Teka were emotive and their movement was great to watch. This was another piece that has the bones of something really powerful but perhaps has some evolution to come yet.


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Uncomfortable, confronting, mesmerizing.

Review by Helen Balfour 03rd May 2021

Conversation is light and informal as we wander into the wonderful new performance facility at Aotea College. Audience members chat with Footnote company members in their identifying T-shirts, embraces and well wishes are given and received.

 General Manager, Richard Aindow begins the evening with a stand up, sit down questionnaire relating to technology and climate change and its effects; these are the common themes that works will focus on. The comprehensive programme provides some clarity and understanding during and after the performance.

 The talented Rose Tapsell excels in both her physical and vocal articulation of Artifact, the show’s opening work choreographed by Forest Vicky Kapo.  Artifact cleverlyunwraps how our documentation of historical information is now mostly managed through digital and algorithmic systems and asks the question, are we doing our heritage in its vocal and physical forms justice? How can we document such deep-rooted cultural knowledge in this way?

Tapsell’s robotic physicals and vocals (beautifully amplified) use ticks, flicks and clicks, combined seamlessly with a wiri of the hands and Pukana that identify links to Maori culture, reveal at one point a futuristic warrior. Strobe light transitions the piece and focuses our attention to next phases. Tapsell’s clean lines and precise articulation of her body engages us and promotes clarity of intention and engagement for the audience.  At times, a loose-limbed polar bear floats on the cyclorama at the back of the space in contrasting movement to Tapsells, reminding us of our precious world. The piece is clever, unique and engaging. All praise to those who collaborated.

 Following Artifact was This, choreographed by Jeremy Beck, featuring performers; Oliver Curruthers, Sebastian Geilings and Cheyanne Teka. The performers arrive in the space clad in Jetson-like tops and velour pants; this immediately sets the scene as a futuristic piece and makes me smile.  Wonderful animated faces, along with subtle expressions connect the audience to the unknown experiences taking place and the sense of wonder and control the red round platform placed off centre seems to have on them.  They move in agreement with one another, using small impulses that release the next phrases of movement, seemingly asking each other,is this the right way to go’ or ‘what about this?’ There is a lot of repetition in the work, which is pleasing to view for the most part as it then becomes a precursor to a large contraction focused section emitting  tribal dance qualities. This builds to a frenzy and climaxes with an exhilarating unison section to unify the dancers for a moment. It is unknown to the audience what the round platform represents, perhaps a tab of Ecstasy, or a symbol that represents the world? The programme notes help to clarify the concept of stepping up and helping each other together, from this some ‘ah ha’ moments are revealed.  The sound designed by Jason Wright is  effective in linking the piece together. 

Standing in the Threshold (between the void and the light) choreographed by Amber Liberte and performed by Nadiyah Akbar opened the second half. 

A reflective work, depicting the interior and exterior world of our being. Akbar enters with a rectangular mirror and moves tentatively through the space as the mirror reflects the audiences’ image back to us; a ‘reflection of society’ comes to mind. The sound by Emui Pogoni and Erin K Taylor wound a narrative thread in and around the movement and the depth of the sound resonates deep within us as we view the work. The piece captures the idea of the inner/outer world well, through the placement and clever manipulation of the mirror. A notable point is when the mirror placed horizontally across Akbar’s body divides her in two, hiding the mid section completely and showing a distorted physical form. The work has potential, but doesn’t showcase Akbar’s considerable talents and qualities as a performer and misses an opportunity to give the work more variety, dynamics and a clearer purpose.

 Concluding the premier 105min performance is Apathy: A horror genre ( an excerpt) directed by Ooshcon and Jahra Wasasala. 

 The five Footnote dancers appear standing dimly lit in a circle. Tensions are high, resembling cage-fighting or a dance off,  the audience is encouraged to hype the dancers up as the piece continues. 

The work moves on in a similar fashion with this indistinct genre of movement, robotic and isolating, both in choreographic structure and with the choices of movement. It portrays madness, grimness and distortion through grotesque shapes and facial expressions. Physical images suggest trussed chickens, with dancers alluding to being bound at the ankles and the rest of their bodies are in gnarled contorted shapes. The horror aspect of the work is clearly evident with an apocalyptic edge  but leaves the audience with questions about the directors’ intentions for the piece and what the real takeaway should be. 

 The four works collectively make us feel uncomfortable and while confronting, they are mesmerizing, thought-provoking and encourage a mind-set of a more proactive awareness in making our world a better place to live. It is clear that the directors, choreographers and performers have important points to get across and I applaud their tenacity to push forward.


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