This Is The Stand I Made. (Home Edition)
04/10/2012 - 06/10/2012
16/12/2011 - 16/12/2011
This Is The Stand I Made : Home Edition >> CHRISTCHURCH EDITION
Christchurch born and bred dancer and choreographer Georgia Giesen returns home to perform and present her solo show in her hometown, exploring ideas from selected choreographers Cat Ruka, Josh Rutter, Sarah Foster Sproull and special guests as well as musician Paul Williams. In smart and humorous works ranging from sombre to feisty, Giesen showcases her own talent and the creative powers of some very fine performance artists.
“A salon performance, which provides a wonderful introduction to Georgia’s abilities as a creative artist and performer” Raewyn Whyte, Theatreview.
Artist Georgia Giesen
Venue Open Stage, Hagley Community College, 510 Hagley Avenue
Date/Time Thur 4th – Sat 6th October at 7.00pm
Duration 60 minutes
Cost $15, $10 concessions from Dash Tickets www.dashtickets.co.nz or phone 0800 327 484 booking fees apply
Georgia Giesen with guests Kristian Larsen, musician Paul Williams
Dancers: Georgia Giesen, Val Smith (Auckland only)
Live sound: Cat Ruka, Josh Rutter
Poets: Miriam Barr and Jai macDonald
Dances strongly exploring a sense of self
Review by Elizabeth O’Connor 04th Oct 2012
Georgia Giesengrew up in Christchurch, studied dance at Unitec inAuckland, has worked up there for a couple of years and has returned to share her work with a Christchurch audience.
It’s just great to see a young artist exploring nuances and ideas about the self and culture and interaction, in this case with strength, flexibility, precision and skill.
The first three pieces offered a progression from a role-bound “wife” archetype to explorations of individual sensory awareness and sensuality, including inventive use of a bath and some angst and self doubt. Giesen is strong and curvaceous and pliable, and was able to create many textures and images. She used only black and white costumes, and some pieces were a little underlit, though overall the lighting was adequate. At time the dance felt like the illustration to the “music video” on the film screen.
In the last two pieces, Giesen performed hot and hungry moves choreographed by Sproull and Rutter, documenting youth display and party behaviour as well as commenting on media culture and continuing to explore the sense of self that generated the first pieces.
Giesen is a contemporary dancer to watch, and I would travel to see her.
(Continues at The Open Stage, Hagley Community College, till Saturday 6 Oct at 7pm. Brie ) co-performer Kristian Larsen, live and mediated sinister solo cello by Paul Williams, music by lots of people, and choreography by Georgia Giesen, Sarah Foster Sproull and Josh Rutter. )
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Entirely enterprising and admirable
Review by Raewyn Whyte 18th Dec 2011
Georgia Giesen’s entirely enterprising and admirable This Is The Stand I Made. (Somewhat of a solo show) is a salon performance which provides a wonderful introduction to her abilities as a creative artist and performer. The show is presented in her Auckland apartment, a spacious wooden-floored, previously-commercial/industrial space with piquantly angled walls, tucked away behind KRoad. Amazingly, there’s room for 60 or so seated audience members, plus adequate space for the dancer to show off her moves, with domestic lighting augmented by LED PAR cans, projection and live sound production. It’s hard to imagine a better venue for the collection of short performances that comprise this evening.
Over two hours, Giesen presents a diverse array of approaches to performance. Her own quiet opening solo full of subtle micro-movements, and one of her own black and white short films for bath and bed, are supplemented by creative contributions from a half dozen friends, colleagues, collaborators with whom she has worked in the couple of years since graduation from UNITEC.
Most of her collaborators perform with her, one exception being writer/director/producer Louise Tu’u who is represented by a sheet of instructions which is passed around to audience members and read aloud. “Come on stage and do some warm-up exercises that show you are a dancer:…” “Speak in Georgia Deutsch about your family”….”Pat yourself on the back that you’ve done everything on this list.” Most memorably, Tu’u’s list elicits vibration sequences, stretches, an inversion sequence with legs up the wall over reversing shoulders as Giesen rolls to face the floor, and back again; and almost magically, the flickering presences of each of the Giesen family members are embodied in sequence as their names are spoken — Georgia, Theo, Isaac, Janet and Nick.
The other exeption is performer/choreographer Cat Ruka, whose task-based work based on knowledge of Giesen’s life, Dollar Dealer Henderson, provides a series of pre-recorded instructions in a distorted voice seemingly affected by swallowing helium. Wearing a Dollar Dealer tshirt which says “Can I Help” on the back, Giesen responds to the instructions which have her constantly multitasking, for example, holding a jar in her outstretched left hand whilst repeatedly raising and lowering the other arm with folding at the elbow, to exhaustion, and whilst walking around the edges of her stage space and asking if she can help anybody. “The Stand” alluded to in the title for this show is introduced during this work, assembled at speed by Giesen from plastic components to become a display stand from which samples (such as her family’s vineyard produce) can be taken, and she stands expectantly behind it for a while, offering help.
Two quietly intense duets with Val Smith rouse cheers. The first, in plaid shirts and jeans, is deeply grounded, opening with a sustained, pulsing deep plie sequence which implicates the base chakra and provides a strong sense of stability, security, and a hint of sensuality. The second, towards the end of the evening sees them both dressed in shades of gold and mustard, each biting into a banana, Giesen in a dress, Smith in layered cotton knits. Recalling Ottoman era portraits of odalisques, they stand with arms raised above their heads and backs of palms in contact, using a push step to rotate the whole body as if posed on a plinth. The phrasing continues relentlessly, only slowly mutating, and eventually ends in arabesques.
Poet Miriam Barr performs twice, firstly with Giesen, and secondly with Giesen and Jai MacDonald. These dance and poetry collaborations are still finding their feet, with the poetry racing ahead and leaving little space for the dance, and the dance seeking to create a space for itself between the exchanges of the two voices in order to become fully embodied. Similarly problematic is a mock séance led by performance artist Mark Harvey with audience participation. This event ostensibly seeks instruction on what kind of dance Giesen should do, from the spirits of Freda Stark, Anna Pavlova, Sigmund Freud, Margaret of K’Road and Amy Winehouse. Despite good natured collaboration, the “instructions received” are inconclusive, and other than the moving glass, no dance results in the short term. [Apparently something appeared later during the post-show dance party.]
The highlight of the evening is the electrifying and complex finale, Bitch 21, an interactive collaboration between Giesen and Josh Rutter in which cueing of sequences shifts to and fro between Giesen’s movement and Rutter’s live mixing of sampled sound and live voice with triggered lighting and sonic effects. Wearing an oversized white tshirt emblazoned with a subtly altered Bad Boy logo (with flatter angles and sideways stretched eyes, an upside down Nike swoosh for the mouth, and no words at all), Giesen is a powerful presence, crouching swooping, swirling, delivering threatening moves and volleys of punches with a good deal of relish. The dance (co-developed with Rutter) is a brilliant series of accumulating moves intercut by reversed sequences, a mix of bboy/bgirl, video game, martial arts and boxing, sports and WWE, monsters and villains, supplemented by those flickering micro-gestures of face and body of which Giesen is the master, and punctuated by bursts of coloured light and sound.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer