Fletcher Building Dome, Hagley Park, Christchurch

19/08/2011 - 21/08/2011

Christchurch Arts Festival 2011

Production Details

Featuring some of New Zealand’s leading contemporary dancers and an innovative set, this new work offers a unique dance experience to Christchurch audiences.

The work is anchored by the Christchurch earthquakes, using dance to explore — quite literally — how we try to maintain strength, balance and control in a changing environment. Dancers perform on a moving foor within a moveable set in what promises to be a fresh and inspirational take on Christchurch’s journey onwards and upwards. 

Performers: Julia Milsom, Erica Viedma, Aleasha Seaward, Liana Yew

Music    Radboud Mens, Pan Sonic, Hilder Gudnadottir, Colleen Jonsi, Philip Jeck, Oren Ambarchi.


1 hour

Tilt - no longer Terra Firma

Review by Andrew Paul Wood 21st Aug 2011

Perhaps the most significant impression most of us have been left with by the Canterbury earthquakes is that terra is no longer firma, that the earth beneath our feet is not as solid and stable as we used to take for granted. This informs the motif physically and metaphorically underpinning the production Tilt.

Dancers Erica Viedma, Julia Milsom, Liana Yew, and Aleasha Seaward, choreographed by Fleur de Thier, balance, perch, jump, shudder and clamber over a set consisting of large blackboards precariously pivoting on old car tires. The sonic accompaniment brought fitting geological, disruptive and foreboding sensibilities to the experience.

Read the review:  here

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A powerful evocation... of standing on shaky ground

Review by Elizabeth O’Connor 21st Aug 2011

This forty minute piece is a powerful, emotional, at times relentless evocation of experiences of standing (or leaping, falling, rolling, sliding…) on shaky ground. As I watched, that “ground” varied in my mind from the earth under us to our internal security, consciousness, sense of self and bonds with others.
Four dancers, Erica Viedma, Julia Milsom, Liana Yew and Aleasha Seaward, moved, one by one, from stillness to intentional movement, to being thrown about by seemingly irresistible internal and external forces, and back to intentional movement and stillness. This process was not linear, and not all dancers were in the same “phase” at all times – though when they were the effect was electrifying and it was hard to believe there were only four bodies on stage. Strength, agility and even beauty were present, but never “shown off”, always used to propel individuals, pairs or groups in new responses to those forces.
These forces were created in part by the set, which I describe below, but even more potently by the sound. Six composers were credited in the programme. The first track could well have been tectonic plates shifting and grating against each other. The last included a slightly smothered but hopeful chiming of cathedral bells. At all times, the soundtrack seemed to drive the dancers as they struggled with and yielded to all the forces represented. Their movements seemed impelled and justified. The occasional moments of silence and respite were absolutely earned and welcome.
Several large, flexible blackboards, mounted or leaning on small piles of car tyres formed a highly unstable structure which was challenged, accepted and negotiated by the dancers with a paradoxical and impressive blend of assurance and insecurity, as they yielded to gravity and vibration.
The blackboards tipped, slid, were moved by the performers and were written upon in chalk – as were, towards the end of the piece, the black-clad bodies of the dancers themselves. My only real frustration of the night was not to be able to read more than a fraction of the writing. Liana Yew at times seemed to use her chalk to become part of the directive forces moving the others around, revealing faultlines at a terrifying rate.
Nothing was strictly a depiction, yet I saw so clearly people trapped, isolated and desperate, people trying repeatedly to support others who were breaking down, people united, people divided. The moment towards the end where one dancer took off her shoes and walked barefoot to sponge off much of the frenetic blackboard writing left an impression of fragile confidence. 
I am sure Tilt was an experience unique to each person who saw it. It was, for me, a most satisfying piece of art. It explored and expressed vital things about the experiences I have shared with the rest of Canterbury, in a way which I believe would be accessible even to those who have never felt a quake. 
I’ll leave the last words to my nine-year-old nephew who accompanied me. He has never seen dance of any kind that he remembers and has no aesthetic prejudices. “Great, gorgeous and graceful.”

For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.


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