WHITE LIGHT FALLS
08/11/2016 - 12/11/2016
Five female dancers explore vulnerability and the female form in this captivating dance performance. Light sculpts muscle and the theme of resiliency emerges, drawing out insight into the way the moving women are able to cope with the unexpected. The female form comes under focus in a celebratory way, and without being sexualized, instead revealing the sensual quality women have in everyday moments. A layered and soft performance, White Light Falls is as enlightening as it is visually captivating.
Basement Theatre, Auckland
Dancers: Maddy Powell, Emily Jenkins, Sarah-Louise Collins, Caitlin Davey and Cushla Roughan
Dance , Contemporary dance ,
Exploring female support networks
Review by Chloe Klein 09th Nov 2016
White Light Falls is the work of recent Unitec graduates Maddy Powell and Emily Jenkins being performed this week in Basement’s main theatre. Performed additionally with Caitlin Davey, Cushla Roughan, and Sarah-Louise Collins, the piece explores female support networks – particularly the forging and breaking of connections.
Immediately eye-catching are six pendant lights, present as if additional performers above the space growing and focusing areas of attention throughout the work. As the lights dim, five women take their places, each under a light, backs to the audience. The group falls in and out of unison with pockets of connection divided spatially or by mimicked movement. Moments of individuality are distinct through timing rather than movement quality as each performer pulls from the same range of motion: swooping, reaching, upper body extensions, hugging, swinging, releasing. The group holds a quiet, neutral, feminine and gentle energy, in tune as a flock of birds. This vocabulary is appealing, although as the work progresses it would be more satisfying to see the movement progress with it.
The soundscore, composed by Roydon Christenson, hums in soft and often aspirational tones, reminiscent of a guided meditation track. The music and movement complement one another unobtrusively, drawing me into the serenity of their world.
Several threads of relationship between the performers appear. Exclusion and desire are apparent as dancer tries to enter into support with an embraced couple, at first gently, and then desperately as she is repetitively dropped and ignored. Symbiotic sustenance and care are nurtured in an agile duet sharing weight-bearing and assisted travel. The darker edges of power, manipulation, and control are hinted at, and left somewhat unexplored. Communication occurs through gesture and interaction, motherliness presents itself through cradling, and self-defeating cycles through dancers continually throwing themselves at the wall and collapsing. In a group phrase, the performers create structures that break off and reform in different layouts, constantly re-triangulating, like magnets trying to find a place of resting. The partner work throughout these sequences is natural and without hesitation.
I would have liked to have seen some of these ideas developed further throughout the work, taken on a progression of intention alongside the immersion into their created world.
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