WHO ARE WE NOW
26/02/2016 - 01/03/2016
Who Are We Now?
By Maria Dabrowska | Performed by ChoreoCo.
Circa Theatre, Wellington, 26 February – 1 March
As she watched hordes of people exiting a train, clad in colourless clothing and looking despondent, choreographer Maria Dabrowska had the seed of an idea. There is a certain rhythm in workaday drudgery, but the absence of joy made her wonder: why have we fashioned this as our lives? What are we moving towards? Who are we now?
In collaboration with the dancers of ChoreoCo by Footnote, Dabrowska explores the freedom inside conformity in this sometimes-moving, sometimes-absurd look at life as we know it. Global communication, over-population, slanted information. Yes, but the newspaper only holds part of the story. Beyond the black and white there is jubilation, celebration and maybe even exaltation.
ChoreoCo is a short-term company created especially for the New Zealand Fringe Festival from the brightest new dancers. Footnote’s ChoreoCo initiative began in 2014, and went on to win Best Dance in Fringe that year and again in 2015! For Who Are We Now?, six young dancers at a pivotal point in their career join one of New Zealand’s most versatile choreographers, supported by the experience of Aotearoa’s longest-running contemporary dance company.
Who are we now? The moment you know, you know. Twenty thousand people or just us six. As long as there’s life for you and me…
Circa Theatre, Wellington
Friday 26 February – Tuesday 1 March
Fri 26 Feb7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Sat 27 Feb7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Sun 28 Feb7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Mon 29 Feb7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Tue 1 Mar7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Contemporary dance ,
A very entertaining, high-energy show
Review by Ann Hunt 02nd Mar 2016
Who Are We Now? is a very entertaining, high-energy show that had the audience on its feet and dancing with the cast at the finale.
It is performed by ChoreoCo, a short-term company created especially for the New Zealand Fringe Festival and which comes under the Footnote umbrella.
Choreographer Maria Dabrowska is a very inventive dance maker, whose work usually has a wider view than simply dance and so it is here.
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A joy-producing machine
Review by Anna Bate 27th Feb 2016
Six joyless, indifferent, newspaper readers shuffle through pages on stage at Circa Theatre. They are the cast of choreographer Maria Dabrowska’s latest collaboration with Choreoco – Foootnotes’ Fringe Festival Company. They are Veronica Butturini, Lydia Connolly-Hiatt, Josh Faleatua, Sione Fataua, Adam Naughton and Paige Shand. They look disengaged, with the pretense of being engaged. There is stiffness to their beings. However, beyond this opening stanza the cast of six and the work ‘Who are we now?’ are every bit engaged and engaging.
The work itself has a scattered feel. It was a ’Where are we now?’ experience for me. I jump around as a viewer but we are easefully entertained and taken in every which direction that the performance goes. All credit to the dancers for their loose, open, honest and playful engagement with the script.
Structurally there is a pattern of highlighting individuals and pairs, inner and inter-personal experiences, punctuated with buoyant group activities. On reflection I can make a sense of these scenes, as these artists are questioning our collective choices of how we live in our bodies, positing that we have the potential to generate more joy in our everyday lives. It is hence a social choreography that intersects clearly with choreography beyond the theatrical stage. It is also very much a social event, as bold moves are made to interconnect with the audience.
What strikes me most about this performance is the tangible forms of energy that are produced through the exuberant, trance-like, (unison like), sections of ‘group’ choreography. Such sections demand a particular form of engagement from the body, and connection between bodies. A specific attention, that whilst focused, ricochets throughout the black box injecting all with its force. It is a kind of joy-producing machine. This feel, this emphasis, this effect, is for me, this work’s success.
Like the performers, this work is but young! It’s only three weeks old. And whilst we’re always unfinished, ‘Who are we now?’ needs a chunk more time to navigate its own complexities and settle in with some conceptual clarity. The work in its infancy still shines bright, as do the industry’s newbies!
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