Y Chromozone (2012)

Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

11/10/2012 - 12/10/2012

Tempo Dance Festival 2012

Production Details

See some of our most acclaimedmale  dancers share their unique talent in a programme of brilliant creative force which will definitely leave you wanting more.  

Featuring new work by Michael Parmenter inspired by the art of tango, high energy fun from internationally award winning hip hop group Prestige, internationally awarded tap artists Simon Watts and Andrew Cesan, classical Indian dancer Veshnu Narayanasamy, a beautiful contemporary Maori duet choreographed by Merenia Grey, aerial artist Mike Edwards from the Dust Palace (Cirque Non Sequitur, Venus Is…), the amazing talents of 16 year-old Michael Jackson tribute artist Liam McEwanand much more.

Y Chromozone is proudly supported by Katrina Todd.

Fresh Cuts vs Y Chromozone: complementary opposites

Review by Raewyn Whyte 13th Oct 2012

Two more contrasting showcase programmes than Fresh Cuts and Y Chromozoneare hard to imagine. Back-to-back placement on the Tempo 2012 dance festival programme, however, lets them become complementary opposites.

Fresh Cuts offers a distinctly feminine series of perspectives on everyday life, through contemporary dance works that tackle issues arising from….

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Celebrating men dancing

Review by val smith 12th Oct 2012

Come prepared for screaming, verbal orgasms and shout outs because the audience of Y Chromozone are out for a good old fashioned hoe-down of appreciation of all things male, including dance.

Y Chromozone is a charmingly framed celebration of a diversity of male bodies, male dancers, and predominantly male choreographers. As hinted at by its promotional image of a topless man, Tempo dance festival serves us this showcase programme as one instance of dance as an outlet for desire. It seems we have been given the ok to indulge in an enjoyment of dancers as gendered sexual beings. But have we as audience gone too far? Is male dance being minimized through an objectification of the male body, a simplification of an artform?

I begin to wonder what we are here to celebrate anyway? Do we celebrate male dancers because they are still the significant minority in the world of dance dominated by females? Do we celebrate male dancers because of their virtuosic skill or technique? Do we celebrate the male performer who knows how to woo an audience with a wink? Are we here to celebrate male choreographic talent? The audience of Y Chromozone celebrates all of this and more, this showcase is in essence a celebration of the diversity of dance in all its manifestations.

Dance is lived.

We are lavished by contemporary dance choreographer Michael Parmenter performing an excerpt from his acclaimed Jerusalem.

Dance is ritual.

We taste the power of performance prowess as Lameke Nehemia offers a Cook Island welcoming chant Hau Mohi as choreographed by Tuaine Robati.

Dance is a way to explore ideas.

We are teased and humored by Without Eve, a playful and innovative work by choreographer Ashleigh Coward, impeccably performed by second year Unitec dance students Te Arahi Easton, Eddie Elliot, Jared Hemopo and Ben Temoku.

Dance navigates life’s disappointments.

We are confided in as Sopi Jensen performs Siva Afi, traditional Samoan fire knife dance, without fire though, due to  theatre regulations (A fire marshall must be present.)

Dance is aesthetics.

We are flavored as TMC performs a piece that combines tap dance with the style of Hip Hop.

Dance reflects our human condition.

We are seduced by the gorgeous fluid movement of sixteen year old Joel White in his Last Man work. This work is soft, full of hope and tenderness. A welcome contrast to the top-heaviness of the programmes’ mostly normative expressions of masculine gender in dance as hard, strong and tough, with accented heavy movements.

Dance is a mathematical manipulation of pelvic articulation.

We are thrusted to the rhythm of A Billion Bucks choreographed by Identity. Somehow within this formula there is a sense of supple spaciousness.

Dance is preservation is adaptation.

Sopi Jensen performs a second Siva Afi.

Dance is story telling.

We are pleasured by the potency of gesture, of dance as mythical narrations across the ages. A dancer whose maturity in his dance form of classical Indian dance, brings the quality of assured calmness to Kauthaum choreographed and performed by Thamizhvanan Veshnu Narayanasamy.

Dance pushes our sense of what is possible, dance inspires.

We are moved by the clarity, strength and confidence of Matthew Moore in Excitable Cell as he condenses into details of popping and expands through contemporary extensions into space.

Dance is hypnotic.

The movement from polyrhythms to unisons heightens our excitement in the second number by TMC.

Dance is referential, dance is simplicity, dance is waiting, dance slowly unwinds, dance is humour, dance is personality, dance is perplexing.

Palpable in the work Shel We by Tupua Tigafua is the fun the chorus of suited characters with fake moustaches is having as props and background scenery within the choreography. Nod to Christopher Tevita Ofanoa, Aloalo(lii) Tapu, Adam Naughton, and Kosta Bogoievski.

Dance mimics, dance honors.

We are amazed at the meticulous detailing of Tribute by  Michael Jackson impersonator Liam McEwen. This piece and the performer himself bring the qualities of wonder and commitment to our understandings of dance in this event. A joy to witness.

Dance is spectacle is relational is physical is physicality.

We are sexed by Throw your arms around me performed by Mike Edwards and choreographed by Mike and Eve Gordon of physical and aerial Auckland based The Dust Palace.

Dance, a place to explore and test the forces at interplay between dancers.

We appreciate dance as someone’s life-long passion in this glimpse of tango experiments by the established contemporary dance artist Michael Parmenter with Alex Leonhartsberger in Sabor Compadre.

Dance builds community.

We are erupted into the work of Prestige Dance Crew in their explosive signature dance  Prestige. This established urban dance troupe has been honing their particular style for over 10 years.

Dance creates culture.

Within, through, and from the body as a vehicle for thinking and imagining our worlds, dance forms a shifting understanding of our lived experience in the world. Y Chromozone, Tempo’s celebration of male dance, presents a rich diversity of dance as varied body cultures and communities. Dance styles and genres slip and morph through time, repetition and diversification, creating spaces for new expressions.

The use of costume in a lot of the works however reinforces a narrowing of the gendered expression of the male dancer, where we see a repetition of the use of suits, the baseball cap/skinny jeans/sneakers urban combo, and the male dancer in pants with shirt off look. This produced a sense of gender and performer uniformity which, I felt, invisibilised the individuality of the dancers. I wanted to see more of the personalities of the individual dancers coming through rather than the playing out of cultured clichés through choreographic means.

On an expansive note,however,  in the bigger picture of dance, we see through this programme how new generations feed into dance culture a hybridising vision for dance into the future. We also witness how more mature artists hone their specific interests into a refining of dance as art and as research.


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