The Way We Wilt

Te Auaha - Tapere Iti, 65 Dixon St, Wellington

05/03/2024 - 09/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

Choreographer/Producer: Liz Cocks

EKC Choreography

The Way We Wilt is a brand new Contemporary Dance work by EKC Choreography. This double bill season features a solo performed by Bailey Dewar and a duo performed by Anna Hosking and Aylin Atalay. Both pieces cast an intimate look into the pursuit of joy and the fragility of the human experience. We present an evening of tender, vulnerable and virtuosic performance that is inquisitive of human nature and raw in the way it presents some of our most preyed upon emotions.
Content forecast: Death

March 5 – 9
Te Auaha, Tapere Iti

Performers: Aylin Atalay, Anna Hosking, Bailey Dewar

Sound Design: Sibel Atalay
Set and Costume Design: Elvis Booth-Claveria

Contemporary dance , Dance ,

55 minutes

The temporary nature of all things

Review by Tamzin Price 10th Mar 2024

The Way We Wilt is a double bill, from emerging choreographer, Liz Cocks of EKC Choreography. The two works form a contrasting, yet cohesive exploration of fragility and the temporary nature of all things when juxtaposed against inevitable endings.

The subject matter is complex, mature and carefully considered, which is extraordinary considering the entire creative team are under 24 years of age. The first work is Love to Mourn, performed by current third-year students from New Zealand School of Dance, Aylin Atalay and Anna Hosking. The two dancers carry the weight of the demanding and physical choreography adeptly, moving through pedestrian movements, joyous mirroring and canon work, fast travelling sequences, and finally into expertly performed weight bearing movement. The connection between the two is electric. In this close setting, we can see their strong focus and intense eye contact, and they perform with complete trust in each other. It is unsettling and voyeuristic to witness intimacy this close up. Set and costume design by Elvis Booth-Claveria, currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours, complements and enhances the choreography. The 1900s referenced frill skirts support the youth and naivety of much of the movement vocabulary, making the ending all the more devastating. A small pedestal afforded the choreography the opportunity to explore a wide range of dynamics and to emphasise the push/ pull and give/take aspects of the relationship. Sound design by Sibel Atalay was driven by rhythmic pulsing, always in a supporting role, and never-overpowering. Thus, the stark change from the electronic score to Auld Lang Syne felt dissonant, however once settled, the familiar tune brought a fitting finale to the fervent relationship just witnessed, and certainly forced me to consider the fleeting nature of relationships that we often take for granted. There is structural integrity to this work.

Tears of a Marigold, performed by Bailey Ema Dewar, is in complete contrast to the mesmerising patterns of Love to Mourn. This work is riskier and much more experimental. The opening sequence is intense with Dewar inside a circular draped structure that hangs from the ceiling. Lighting design created by Anne Larcom, current third-year student at Toi Whakaari, creates interesting backlighting and shadow play through the opening and closing sequences especially. At times, we have to really peer to see Dewar’s expression and at others she is bathed in full light. The ebbs and flows of the lighting design are clever and deliberate. The score adds to the intensity and the overall scene is one of immense tension, which is often abruptly dissipated with Dewar’s humorous text. The text is an integral feature throughout the work which swings between humour and sorrow with skilful execution. Dewar is flawless. Her use of contrast is utterly interesting and I find myself physically leaning towards her to try and predict her next move. The white drapes of the circular structure form a portal of sorts at times, and while it is well used at the beginning and ending, I find myself wanting for more interaction with it through the middle parts of the work. Ultimately this work explores the human experience by abstracting the everyday, fragmenting and dissecting it, and asking the audience to examine it through an almost absurd lens. It is cerebral and visceral and is an excellent show of Cocks’ choreographic potential.

Overall, these two works force the audience into an unsettling space, asking us to examine our relationships with the knowledge that they are finite. Death is a tricky concept to explore, but Cocks walks the tightrope masterfully, smattering moments of joy and abandon in Love to Mourn and ridiculous humour in Tears of a Marigold. Nothing is permanent. The Way We Wilt is a thoughtful conversation around ideas that many of us do not willingly enter into. I am in admiration of the young artists and collaborators involved.


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An exploration bravely taken and staged

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 07th Mar 2024

A double bill of two works loosely connected by the amorphous title, The Way we Wilt, and each making its own statement. Both choreographed by Liz Cocks with Sound Design by Sibel Atalay and lighting by Ann Larcom.

I find myself fascinated by re- curating the order as I search for a rationale that speaks to both works? Tears of a Marigold with a set of tubular white gauze suspended over the dark stage is second on the programme requiring the interruption of an interval to set it up? Ending the opening work Love to Mourn with Auld Lang Syne seems more fitting as the final moment than mid show? It had that midnight maudlin feel that was unexpected as the culmination of a harmonious, rhythmic and intimate duet.                

The dance works both had a naivety of delivery that was honest and had charm. The dancers were committed but could relax more into their vocabulary and let the movement carry both them and their message. 

The folk-derived rhythms  and steps of Love To Mourn, danced by Aylin Atalay and Anna Hosking, carry us along with verve as their relationship is sought, found and lost. The solo Tears of a Marigold is danced and vocalised with authority by Bailey Ema Dewar  and runs a gamut of frustration and acceptance of the ‘’end’.  Of life? Of this poetic sequence? Of hope?                                                
Both works find  their own personal emotional moments and are danced with commitment and conviction.            
Design  by Elvis Booth-Claveria  is effective with dark and light contrasts in both the simple linear set lines and in costuming. The busy, flounced, frilly look of Love Mourns and the gaunt and shadowy black  Tears of a Marigold carry the sense of change through as well. 
An exploration bravely taken and staged. Intimate, unsettling and interesting. 


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