09/10/2011 - 09/10/2011
As well as calling upon Francis’ personal history and how the form of the solo has manifest in his life so far ‘ThereThere’ uses ideas that were opened but not resolved in the making of Antje’s last solo work ‘TIM ACY’ and sets this material in a new context, on a new body. Francis leads the audience into his story, creating, transforming, constructing and deconstructing a world to
be observed in detail.
The opportunity to create ‘ThereThere’ was a result of Francis being awarded the inaugural Eileen May Norris Dance Scholarship in 2009.
‘ThereThere’ premiered at Kampnagel, Hamburg in October 2010 and was presented in Wellington and Auckland in October 2011.
PERFORMER: Francis Christeller
SET AND COSTUME DESIGN: Yvonne Marcour
Review by Greer Robertson 10th Oct 2011
A solo show – wow- it must be good? He must be good to hold an audience all by himself?
Perhaps these things go through your mind? I know they go through mine.
So off to the contemporary dance solo show I go. There are other people there too! Great, he has a following.
Can’t say curtain up, and it’s underway. There’s no curtain. It’s a bare space with bits in it.
No problem, out he wanders, he’s dressed in casual clothes with ornate dress shoes. It starts.
Well it doesn’t really. He’s out there but he isn’t doing anything. He doesn’t get going. He doesn’t do much. He’s just looking at nothing. Or is it something? I’m thinking is this all there is? Surely not!
He plays with pebbles, bark leaves and mini rocks and just sits. Yes he sits for a very, very, very long time doing nothing. Maybe he’s thinking? My fast paced brain is willing him to dance, to do something more. But that doesn’t happen for a very, very, very long time. Twenty minutes go by. What could I have done with those twenty minutes?
And then he dances. He dances to the rhythm of his own voice repeating the same phrase over and over and over again. He hardly breathes. He’s pretty fit. The choreographic shapes and execution are pleasing. And then he sits. He’s breathing deeper now. He plays with mini childhood toys, takes a photo. He lies down and then talks.
Dance again why don’t you? Eventually he does. This time he jumps. He jumps for a very, very, very long time. On the same spot he’s jumping. I should have been counting how many tuck jumps he can do. He’s jumping! He’s still jumping. He’s very fit. And then he sits. His breathing is even heavier now.
With a microphone he tries to record the sound of rocks just sitting there. He folds himself up in a box. He plays a toy piano.
This is Francis’ personal history of his life thus far and his intention is to lead the audience into his story, creating, transforming, constructing and deconstructing. A world, he suggests, is to be observed in detail.
There is a place in our diverse world for experimental theatre. I am happy to report that I have witnessed and been absorbed into many a magnificent one. Sadly, this is not one of them.
In the programme note it refers to another similar work as a Part 1 to this experience. Maybe it was because I didn’t experience that part that I was floundering about with the intent of this one of Part 2?
Or maybe it was my fault that I failed to connect with all the sitting? Some fidgeted. Some tittered.
I wonder if they felt a connection? I certainly didn’t, sorry.
ThereThere premiered in Kampnagel, Hamburg in October 2010 and was also presented in Auckland as part of Tempo Dance Festivals Prime Cuts programme.
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