Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga

29/10/2015 - 29/10/2015

Tauranga Arts Festival 2015

Production Details

Footnote Dance

The Watch This Space sees dancers interacting with art works in gallery spaces wherever Footnote New Zealand Dance are on tour, all over the world. Performances are usually 30- 40 mins and the public are free to observe. Spoken word and live music may also be in the mix.

2015: Performers: Jeremy Beck, Kosta Bogoievski, Brydie Colquhoun, Emma Dellabarca, Adam Naughton, Lana Phillips

Performance Poetry , Performance installation , Improv , Contemporary dance , Dance ,

30 mins

Mobile art works

Review by Dr Linda Ashley 30th Oct 2015

Small but beautifully formed, Tauranga Art Gallery exhibits a powerful collection of contemporary art. Visual art usually has a certain stasis. When dancers come to play, both the architectural interior and the art works come to life. Bookended by extracts of unspecified works from the current 30 Forward repertoire, the dancing starts in the Atrium with two trios. The six dancers (Jeremy Beck, Kosta Bogoievski, Brydie Colquhoun, Emma Dellabarca, Adam Naughton, Lana Phillips) then scatter at random around the collection into spontaneous improvisations. The gallery offers the promenading viewer a multidimensional of their movement from above, close-up, inside the artworks, far away in the distance and through the installations themselves. The effect is like being in a mobile artwork. I love dance that is not in a conventional theatre.

Amidst John Reynold’s Blutopia Manifesto, Mia Straka and Roger Kelly’s The Talisman Project, and works by Marianna Bullmore, Mandy Hague and Lea-Anne Sheather the dancers mainly become isolated and estranged from each other. They take inspiration for movement from art works of their own choosing. Rare encounters with each other are mainly spent in intense avoidance although the woven walk through tunnel made of wood and rubber strapping (Straka and Kelly) entrapped a duet in what seemed to be an at times uncomfortable embrace whilst an incarcerated solo dancer called out for help with little assistance. His restricted movement inside the walkway ends with low level crawling in escape. Is contemporary art alienating? I did not find it so and a particularly evocative solo by Lana Phillips captured an involving intimacy with the Talisman photo works and hanging weavings. She fully embodied the works as hands drive one set of improvisations and the delicacy of woven string another – as delicate as a single loop of thread on a little finger.

Gradually returning to the atrium, dancers read aloud and dance out Reynold’s rowdy manifesto in which the plight of our oceans is scrutinised via a series of captivating street protest placards. “It’s the environment stupid!” They form a protest march of rather fragmented appearance. As the music frames the timing of the whole it signals that the dancers break into a jittery, jumpy gestural unison, presumably from the recent repertoire. It fragments into a sporadic canon, back into unison and brings the performance to a suitable conclusion. We watched, the space happened. A happening just happens.


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