The Teen Show 2010
07/10/2010 - 08/10/2010
In a show featuring contemporary dance, jazz and hip hop, The Teen Show offers a fresh season of lively works by established choreographers and recent dance graduates.
Dancers from Dance Unlimited, Pointy Dog, Touch Compass, Mt Eden Ballet Academy and One Step Beyond, plus individual performers showcase their talent.
100 Motions Rd, Western Springs
Free Parking and Station Cafe Bar will be open
$1 for online bookings
$4 for phone bookings
Enthusiasm, elegance and energy
Review by Miriam Marler 09th Oct 2010
The Teen Show is a variety showcase held over two days as part of Tempo, presenting ballet, contemporary dance, Latin, jazz and hip pop. On Friday, the afternoon performance is attended by a mixed audience, including parents and support people, friends, children and dance professionals.
Dancers in costume and audience mingle amid an exchanging of chatter. With constant movement in the auditorium as new people arrive, and chairs or music are set up, anticipation grows. The atmosphere is excited and fun as the first dance begins.
What is abundantly clear throughout the show is that the dancers own their performance. This is evident through their vibrant stage presence and engagement with and within the work.
Choreographer Ichiro Harada clearly involved the dancers in the making of his work Movie Night, where popcorn-esque attired performers re-enact a night on the couch (a couch made up of dancers) watching a scary movie. The ‘movie’ is a student-made version of horror in the dance studios projected onto the back wall.
In the scary movie, the students act themselves as dancers, chatting and wondering why the lights are off until they see a strange-looking creature in the corner… The theme is clearly relevant to these teenagers from East Auckland Performing Arts, and the work looks as though it was great fun to make and perform.
Sue Cheeseman and Suzanne Cowan have also evidently involved the students in the choreographic process for Embedded, where differently-abled dancers – as part of a Touch Compass youth pilot project – embody their own movement vocabularies, creating a sense of community and friendship within the work.
Dancers wear brightly-coloured and checked clothing as they create shapes and dissolve them again, form lines or support one another creating interactions that are playful and enjoyable to witness. Choreographers’ notes speak of the work being “born out of explorations around social networking” and acknowledge the dancers’ contribution to the movement-making process.
The sense of connection between the dancers and the works also stands out in the playful pieces Chair Waltz by Katie Burton with One Step Beyond dance company, and Monkey Be by Lucy Miles with Pointy Dog Dance Company. Both pieces have chairs central to the aesthetic, and both have a large number of dancers showing good technical and performance skills in the contemporary dance genre. Performers have excellent presence and the smiles on their faces show their genuine enjoyment of the experience.
Other works by Jacqui Cesan, Janine Parkes and Grace Woollett with The Dance Studio Latin Group and One Step Beyond are sexy and flirty, sinuous and fragile, or dark and mysterious, respectively. All dancers present strong performances and mastery of movement vocabulary.
Stand-out solos by Mt Eden Ballet Academy dancers change the flavour to classical elegance and beauty, illustrating clean lines and excellent technical ability en pointe. Olivia James-Baird is statuesque and elegant, Phebe Murison is sprightly and fresh, and Imogen McGill is petite and fiery in her red ‘Walpurgisnacht’ costume, dancing with precision and excellent control.
Also ballet, the Dance of the Lily Maidens from Romeo and Juliet, by dancers from the East Auckland Performing Arts group, Dance Unlimited, is supple and flowing, creating fluid formations and showing a good sense of timing and connection between performers.
Their crisp lily-while calf-length dresses accompanied by green sleeves and immaculate flower-adorned hair make for an almost glowing effect under the stage light. Their sense of calm and smiling confidence ended their polished adage and solo work with an exquisitely framed image as the lights faded.
Last but certainly not least, the show ends with the powerful energy of youth Hip Hop as Identity Dance Crewperform an explosion of funky, sexy and cool sets, each led by a different member of the crew. The programme notes say: “This young crew do their own choreography and are hugely supportive of each other.” Clever and engaging, these guys have ownership down, and will represent New Zealand at the Australasian Battlegrounds after winning second in Hamilton last week.
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