Try This

BATS Theatre, Wellington

19/06/2012 - 23/06/2012

Production Details

A moment of like velvet in taste form sounds of people waking up in the morning if you feel a little touch phantom smells an image that defines sweet and sour ssshhhhh…

Premiering in June is an original dance work created and performed by young emerging artists from the Wellington community.  Try This is an in depth look at the human senses, the most basic but often the most exciting tools we have as human beings.  Are they given the value they deserve? 

Tasting, smelling, hearing, feeling, seeing. In the fast pace of modern life do you make the most of these stimulations? 

A thoughtful and curious work, Try This looks to open the eyes of the audience to sensory experiences that are part of every day life.  Along with an original score by sound artist Emi Pogoni, Director Fleur Cameron has been working with a group of talented dancers to explore the extremes of sensory perception.  Things are eaten, sounds are heard, noses sniff, every sense is given it’s own spotlight. 

Regular updates on the projects progress are posted to the show’s Facebook page along with observations, articles and videos, giving an interested public insight into the creative process.  Followers are also encouraged to comment and share their own experiences and ideas. 

To stay up to date with the show join the facebook page:


Tickets ($18/$14) available from

Dancers/Collaborators:Kimiora Grey, Isabelle Nelson, Frankie Sampson, Felicity Hamill.
Marketing Design:Becky Routley

Garnering the real?

Review by Greer Robertson 21st Jun 2012

Bats is famous for supporting and mounting all manner of performances, some good, some quirky, some dreadful, some fabulous.

Knowing this, I attend shows at Bats with a more consciously prepared open mind.

I arrive in plenty of time to settle and read the programme.

I am thankful that there is a programme.

I am also thankful that there is written intent of what I am about to witness.

“A new contemporary dance and sound production, by emerging Wellington artists, based on the five traditional senses: smelling, tasting, touching, hearing and seeing. ‘Try This’ aims to address, stretch out, celebrate and indulge in the sensory dimensions of the human condition, one at a time. We are told so often what we should like, what we should do and what we should feel, do you know what a real response is?”

Dressed in ordinary clothes, four female dancers stand emotionless and motionless in front of the audience. These dancers are graduates fresh out of training institutions in New Zealand who have collaborated to fit the brief. 

It very slowly unfolds with the less than attractive fit-like twitching that is currently in vogue in NZ contemporary dance production. Granted it’s hard to do-  but it’s also hard to watch for a long period of time. After the twitching at an even slower pace, and after childishly smelling the audience, the dancers settle on a basket of apples. Predictably biting and experiencing the tart or not so tart taste, each of  the dancers in turn experiences the apple in a different way. This is a laboured and very drawn out process.

Homemade recordings of breathing and normal chatter crash about in the air, and the general movement and mission of intent, is very under developed.

There is a glimmer of hope in a solo performance which possesses another kind of dance integrity, balance, grace, fluidity and commitment coupled with a sense of being alive. Surely this is the reaction of any of the senses? This solo is beautifully demonstrated by Isabelle Nelson.

Aside from Nelson’s performance, as each long minute passes, my personal response is that this 40 minute piece needs to stay in its workshop mode, taking longer to develop with expert guidance behind closed doors, where more intensive and challenging exploration can be experienced before it takes to the stage. 


Tracy Cooper June 23rd, 2012

I so enjoyed seeing these young ones have the courage to fully explore and engage their craft.  I also agree that this piece will benefit from further development but with regards to the tone set in the above review I would venture to suggest that the reviewer herself could benefit greatly from further 'development' of her own craft.

Well done to the Try This cast and crew, you have much talent to build upon for future explorations.

An avid theatre goer June 22nd, 2012

Having just read this review I am somewhat saddened that a reviewer can be quite so hard on an experimental work, when for so long Bats has been known as a safe place to do just that, experiment, be it good or bad!

Of course, you can't please all the people all the time, and of course a reviewer can absolutely love or hate a show no problem.

I just often wish reviewers would take a moment to pause before they hit print and think about the effect their words can have; especially when it comes to young new creators who are being brave enough to put their work out there for the first time.

I think the reviewers comment about further workshopping was useful, however I found the "behind closed doors" addon unnecessary, as why should works hide away until they are perfect, when often a creative sounding board such as Bats can provide the perfect environment for inspiration, encouragement  and feedback to go on to great things.

Words can stick, and it brings to mind a saying:

"I have spread my dreams at your feet,

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams"

-W. B. Yeats-

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