The Pform.nz season of Secondary Colours (2019)
Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland
06/10/2019 - 06/10/2019
The Pform.nz season of Secondary Colours
The Pform.nz season of Secondary Colours is back and bigger than ever to celebrate a diverse selection of new dances created and performed by variety of youth from local secondary schools, studios and dance schools. Contemporary, ballet, hip hop, jazz and fusion dance capture the vibrancy and energy of these very talented bright young things.
“an abundance of talent, enthusiasm, collaboration and original choreography” -Barbara Snook, Theatreview
Photo by Amanda Billing
Intelligence, nurturance and confidence in embodied storytelling
Review by Felicity Molloy 08th Oct 2019
The Pform.nz season of Secondary Colours (2019) celebrates the habitus of dance in new generations. This is an exhilarating showcase of dance created and performed by youth from Auckland-based secondary schools and dance studios. Of all the performances at Tempo, this is one I know to go see.
The visual reproduction of dance movement, motif and sequence seems more fluid in this year’s compeers. Each work fuses recognisable teen preoccupations: humanity, planet sustainability, emotion, cultural sensitivity and sexuality. Even as themes, the choreographic decisions stimulate but do not overwhelm each of the dances. It is not useful to compare them or have favourites. Instead, I approach this review in reflective mode. Of the practice of dance as a method of making meaning: of youthful experience in movement translation.
Choreographers:Sophie Catterall, Jennifer Maxwell & Renee Richards, with student assistance.
Performers:Sophia Snelgrove, Nicole Aley, Suao Asada, Amelia Ullrich, Hanae Choi, Olivia Waters, Tayla Wilson, Cailtin Buckle, Jade Couper, Lucy Hunt, Ben Phillips, Izzie Toman, Emilia Snelgrove, Maddy Soloman, Rebecca Dreyer, Valentina Ellie, Emma Gabriel, Emily Henderson, Olivia Hogan, Eden Horgan, Sophie Horgan, Rachael Malcolm, Lara Wilson, Brittany Young, Caitlin Young
Einstein’s gendered quote forms the basis of the opening dance, Kaleidoscope is choreographed and performed by students of Rangitoto College. In the bright costumes, the same that everybody wears, emerges a structural individuality. I register a sense of immediacy and physicality held together by moments of meditative staging.
Performers:Kayla Steel, Ava Copsey, Emily Marama, Samantha Ward, Jorja Ilott, Nina Klein
Rototuna High School
Rototuna High School choreographer, Noema Watene is a talent in the wings. Form is delicate, feminine and absorbed. Soft choreographic detail nicely supports a range of dancer experiential qualities.
Performers:Ben Rawnsley and Charlotte Barrand
Mt. Albert Grammar School
Sitman by Eva Williams of Mt. Albert Grammar School is an exploration of power at play in gendered form. While both dancers are preoccupied by the theme in synced and spatially interesting sequences, Charlotte Barrand and Ben Rawnsley are dynamic dancers. For Charlotte, an austere facial expression belies the range of her feisty moves.
Performers:Rachel Jeung-Mcintyre, Allysa Karsten, Joshua Edwards, Tayla-Lee Bainbridge, Milli Phillips, Rina Brown, Tsion Taye.
Dark themes of unnecessary violence brought on teens at Kent State University are portrayed, not literally but passionately by students of Rutherford College. The moves in this dance show performers in expressive disarray.
Choreographers:Mitchell Gosling, Sheida Tavita and Elizabeth Cloe
Performers:Mitchell Gosling, Sheida Tavita, Elizabeth Cloe, Eliza Ah Siu, Lilyann Sila, Mateyiachs Ngavaine and Talilotu Tuitupou
Mount Roskill Grammar School
Not all but some of the dances highlight an individual talent that must be mentioned as new generations of dancers are born from there. Mitchell Gosling from Mount Roskill Grammar School shows an unusually mature understanding of movement and form.
Tama Leiloa – Lost Boy
Kiahan Simons-Tipau of Avondale College wryly shares an auto biographical insight into dilemmas faced by dancers of more than one tradition and potentially across cultural generations. The accomplishment of two sides of a story is told without judgement. The choreographer deserves more than a single special mention and his dancing makes me weep.
In the Water
Choreographers:Pointy Dog Dance Company
Performers:Atia Leonhartsberger, Bella Wikaira-South, Charlotte Mellsop, Karla Bernal, Dasha Leonhartsberger, Coco Green Lovatt and Olivia Bear.
Water relies somewhat on its song (unnamed in the programme) to realise the choreographic intention of Pointy Dog Dance Company’s collaborative work. The dancers are poised and confident in some of the more sophisticated dance moves of the evening.
Performers:Charlotte Barrand, Samara Brain, Hayley Gyde, Eden Matthews, Sophie Oliver.
Mount Albert Grammar School
Mount Albert Grammar School is an institution with a history of explorative contemporary dance. Lateralization may appear as the dancers syncing in almost identical movement. The difference in this dance lies in the composition of each dancer’s ‘specialised function’…
Human Race: The Deadly Virus
Performers:Imogen Everett, Kiana Haronga, Dan-Yel James, Amanda Wang, Vineta Filemoni, Eshly Saisha, Amandha Sellapperuma and Hazel Velasquez.
St Dominic’s Catholic College
Destruction of the earth is surely on every teenager’s mind. In this work, the St Dominic’s Catholic College dancers are the minerals, worthy of notice with some lovely moments of airy black cloth spreading centring like a virus amongst the dancers moves. This work, like others mentioned, is a dramatic enquiry, using abstract dance to express social concerns.
Performers:Angela Verran, Mahia Padania, Emily Rowe, Kailah Nalden, Madeleine Peters, Zoe Taylor, Amy Jordan, Jessica Russell
Of all the works in this evening’s programme, Poppies performed by Pform.nz seems the least concerned. While named themes of ‘tall poppy’ may be at the heart of this choreographic invention, bright red and black revealing costumes and bare leg displays distract the viewer from the fruition of deeper meaning making.
Choreographer:Gracie Pilgrem with the performers
Performers:Josh Bedford, Emily Ashton, Abby Hewitt, Harry Ward-Hayes, Jessica Fajardo, Catie van der Burgh, Lucy Hagan, Juliette Edwards, Gabbi Deed, Jana Ristovska, Nina Harris, Vanessa Evans, Mya Curtis, Pearl Stretton, Cara Harrison
Similarly, Childhood also performed by Pform.nz touches base with its guiding theme through childish piggybacks and popping balloons as metaphor for navigating less palatable actualities of life.
Choreographer:Lucy Lynch, with the performers
Performers:Charlotte Barrand, Eden Matthews, Kate Ingold, Lucy Spence, Rosa Tubman, Samara Brain, Sophie McLean, and Sophie Oliver
The Dance Studio
Blatant feminine sexuality in pink shorts neatly reveals a self-confidence in teen bodies. Pink Planet from The Dance Studio is less about voyeuristic display, strangely, and more a celebration of girls growing up.
Ko’Au – I Am
Choreographers:Level 3 Dance with Santana Schmidt (Teacher)
Performers:Aimee Cao, Kyle Carzano, Vicky Chavez-Vallejo, Alex Du Plessis, Ashley Elia, , Sophie Francis, Baileigh Greaves, Erin Ha, Phillip Lalo, Coco Lovatt, Winifer Peteli, Gwyneth Petilla, Crystal Ruddell, Kiahan Simons-Tipau and David Tuitama.
A second offering from Avondale College presents a distinctive and moving tribute to cultural identity, with fluidly changing gestures enacted by each dancer. This is an immersive dance and fits between culture and contemporary art.
Performers:Georgia Normington, Jessica Roberts, Jake Starrs, Emma Williscroft
It is not possible to avoid comparisons and observations from a compilation of individual dances of this duration. Yet, even this late in the programme, Humanimal performed by Waitakere College dancers, avoids cliché and reveals a study of habituated movement concerns – of humans and animals.
Performers:Trefina Henry, Fern Fuimaono, Penny Sturgin, Ezra Feau, Joshua Edwards
The themes of Coco, poverty to riches through profound business sense reminds me of the way our creative funders need to work. Coco performed by dancers from Rutherford College is a wake-up call to the plethora of contemporary dance in years to come.
Choreographer: ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola
Performers: Jiordyn Hoeft, Mele Taumoeanga, Sheida Tavita, Ryan Vao, ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola
Mount Roskill Grammar School
Kafa from Mount Roskill Grammar School is another version of precious youth expression; another exploration that deserves more time. This piece is danced with assurance and a buoyancy of trust in the movement world.
Choreographer: Faolan Okan
Performers: Faolan Okan, Shay Reid, Ben Lowe
BOYZDANCE – The Dance Studio
A trio of youthful male dancers from BOYZDANCE dance with extreme ease, precise spatial intelligence and a performance gaze that is hard to beat.
Choreographer: Raychel Tapsell
Performers: Joshua Douglas, Ethan Li, Maia Perry, Danni Greenfield, Ayaana Patel, Raychel Tapsell, Ava McKenzie
Saint Kentigern College
And last and not least, with chairs for prop, dancers from Saint Kentigern College pay homage to a multitude of genres and styles.
In this combined array of youthful works, I see intelligence, nurturance and confidence in embodied storytelling. The vocabularies are diverse, exploratory and subtly shifting the nature of New Zealand based contemporary dance.
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