Hamilton Gardens, Surrealist Garden, Hamilton

27/02/2020 - 28/02/2020

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2020

Production Details

A re-imagining of falling in love for the first time.

This stunning show re-imagines what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. When our heroine unexpectedly falls victim to love’s powerful spell, we are taken on her heart’s journey of what is and could be… with a twist.

The concept of love is portrayed by her heart, and we follow it through the emotions of desire, despair and determination as it grapples with its newfound existence, as told through movement in music and space.

This unmissable experience is a beautiful exploration of the heart’s desires through the lens of one unassuming girl, and will take the audience on a journey of love and loss, exploring the memories that shape us for life.

A timeless reminder for all ages.

Supported by Creative Waikato with funding from Creative New Zealand.

Dance by Hannah McFarlane

Surrealist Garden

 Thursday 27 Feb, 6.30pm

Friday 28 Feb, 6.30pm

Saturday 29 Feb, 2pm

$27 General Admission

$24 Concession

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

60 mins

Twists and turns in the name of love

Review by Sue Cheesman 29th Feb 2020

On entering the newest addition to Hamilton Gardens I am struck by the oversize scale of everything, a distortion which is a common feature of surreal gardens. I gaze upwards, noting that grass to sky is bridged by a giant white door complete with a black door knocker. a manicured hedge bookends the door. Both the door and the hedge form the spectacular backdrop for this performance. Seated to one side in front of the hedge are two musicians who aptly play double bass and keyboards throughout the piece adding hugely to the ambience and mood changes. The music is composed by Dr Jeremy Mayall. Three Little Words explores the theme of love through the vehicle of physical theatre splendidly performed by Hannah McFarlane, Christina Wilson and Jair Ramirez. All three performers play to their strengths with Hannah and Jair ‘s being gesture and dance while Christina’s is voice and gesture.

Movement, music and text richly weave together to reveal the love story of two young women. We are taken on a journey that twists and turns through the emotions of despair, joy, delight, desire, loss and determination all in the name of love.

I like the way a simple childlike gesture of a paper plane being propelled around the space begins and ends this piece. Jair is often seen as the controller between the two women, enticing them together, interrupting the conversation,  encouraging connection through physical gesture and impressive acrobats.

A park bench, tiny against the backdrop, is very well used throughout with performers having conversations on it, jumping over it, balancing on it, leaning away from it, peering underneath it, sliding on it, cleverly supporting the ups and downs, and ins and outs of love.

Several moments catch my attention: the playing in the rain motif is delightful, full of the joys and playfulness of love; and the giving of a necklace and the underlying significance this can have within a romance. A duet containing a movement motif of leaning and being caught one way, another way, and yet another way, superbly captures the turmoil of decision making for one of the women in love.

This piece is cleverly structured through memory. At times the narrative is played forwards  or backwards or skips between. At one point there is filmic score device of snapshotting previous events as if in a rewind. The use of repetition allows us to revisit important moments in the story and interpret our own sense of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and was struck by the way movement, music and text all meshed together seamlessly to take us on a journey reminding us of the power of love. This is the result of a very talented devising team consisting of the four performers named above plus Milailo Ladevac and Dr Laura Haughley.


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