Y Chromozone (2013)

Q Theatre, Rangatira, Auckland

16/10/2013 - 17/10/2013

TEMPO Dance Festival 2013

Production Details

Silk Aerial – Edward Clendon with live piano by Flavio Villani  – Edward Clendon will be performing on Aerial Silks.  His performance will be an attempt to escape human form and show us the spirit beyond…
Edward Clendon is a core member of The Dust Palace and a trained actor of theatre and film. His passion for circus began three years ago when he discovered it out of the blue and fell in love. Circus is to Edward an escape! To a better… more sparkly world.

Speaking in Tongues – Tynan Wood –   Tynan is a second year classical ballet student of the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington. He was born in Newcastle (NSW) and started dancing when he was eight. Earlier this year Tynan took top honours at the Alana Haines Australasian Awards and represented the New Zealand School of Dance at the Assemblée Internationale dance festival in Toronto. Next year Tynan has been invited to spend three months with Sydney Dance Company on secondment. Tynan will perform ‘Speaking in Tongues’ to music by Sheila Chandra.

CONSTANT ENERGY STRUGGLE by Mathew Moore – adapted from choreography by Moore and Andrew Cesan and performed solo by Moore due to an injury to Cesan. Although they journeyed separate ways in terms of dance style, having grown up closely together meant the prospect of collaboration was always in the air but never taken advantage of until now. Music by Andrew Cesan

ELEGANT ERROR  Performed by Duncan Armstrong – Choreographed by Armstrong with Cat Ruka with music by Colleen.   – 

WORLDS 2013 – Identity Dance Crew

SOMETHING HE DOES WELL IS FALL APART byAaron Burr – Aaron performs on a Chinese pole lifted to new heights, this swinging pole bridges the gap between traditional aerial and ground based circus acts.

Fall Creek Boys Choir – The Friday Company’s Artistic Director, Brigitte Knight created Fall Creek Boys Choir on Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Medhi Angot but will be danced by another beautiful dancer in Tempo. The work contrasts striking detail and fluidity through interactive film and beautifully crafted live performance. Performed by Xin Ji (on-­‐stage performer) & MedhiAngot (on video)

THISISMYGAME Choreographed by Joshua  Rutter Performed by Adrian Smith Music Mixfor Disjecta magazine

FATHERS by Amanaki Prescott – A dynamic and explosive Tongan Contemporary Dance work that explores the roles of Tongan men in their communities, families and homes.

EYE Choreographed and performed by Luke Hanna with original music by Jason Wright

The SIX SWANS choreographed and danced y Christopher Olwage

Stefaan Morrow – Stefaan is a second year classical ballet student of the New Zealand School of Dance in August. He has a contract to dance with Singapore Dance Theatre from January 2014. Stefaan will perform ‘The Bee’s Knees’ to the music of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov performed by Wynton Marsalis.

Fields of Jeopardy choreographed by Michael Parmenter (1988 -music by D. Downes, J. Psathas and D. Shanly) – “Exhilarating in its demanding manoeuvres exacted by a group of seven dancers who charge through space catching and supporting each other in a series of gravity defying formations.” Otago Daily Times 

Performed by Eddie Elliott, Terabwena (Ben) Temoku, Adam Naughton, Kosta Bogoievski, Te Arahi Easton,
Aloalii Tapu, Xin Ji, Christopher Ofanoa, Reece Adams, Shane Tofaeono, Reghis Malonzo (understudy)

Dance ,

1 hour

Let's hear it for the boys

Review by Christina Houghton 18th Oct 2013

The vibe at the Rangatira Theatre for TEMPO’s Y Chomosome mixed bill is electric with cheers and plenty of support for the hard working performers on stage. This particular format captures certain essences that any other kind of show would find hard to achieve. Each work really emanates the quintessential notion of what it is to be male, exploring such themes as masculinity, strength and vulnerability, yet touching on the full scale of what the embodiment of this might be. As the cheeky MC suggests, we are all here to celebrate what it is to be the male gender and “what isn’t there to celebrate”.

The evening is separated into sections, which gives the show an interesting texture and allows for the MC to introduce each work. This clever device highlights the thoughtful curation of the show and also adds some extra quirky dialogue, much appreciated in a bill of twelve different performances.

Silk Aerial Choreographed and performed by Edward Clendon. A beautifully mastered performance to captivating piano accompaniment by Flavio Villani that defies gravity, not only in the technical ability but the choreographic elements that create a dreamy spaciousness between amazing tricks and Villani’s notes. The audience lets out a few gasps during this piece.

Speaking in Tongues-  New Zealand School of Dance. Performed by the technically exquisite Tynan Wood,  this piece is an interpretation of a vocal percussion track of the same name by Shelia Chandra, similar to the chants of a tabla player sounding out his drum rhythms.  Wood, in red tights with a bindi between the eyes, performs a quirky piece with a humorous undertone. I wasn’t quite sure if the humour was intended, however it seemed to represent a pure response to the rhythm of the music rather than an underlying gender reference.

Constant Energy Struggle. A Duet by Mathew Moore and Andrew Cesan. Performed as a solo by Moore due to a last minute injury to Cesan, this has quite an impact as a solo and leaves me wondering what the duet could have been like. Moore has a  performance quality that fills the large space. The performance embodies the combined dance history of both dancers being hip hop influenced, yet seems to hold the sense of experimentation and expression of identity. A great performance.

Elegant Error. Auckland Blackout Performance Assembly– Performed by Duncan Armstrong, a winner at the Short & Sweet Dance 2013 Festival, this piece is an intriguing collaboration between Cat Ruka and Armstrong that combines the brilliant ability of Armstrong as dancer within the conceptual framework that critiques the pursuit towards being a professional dancer. Armstrong’s intense and controlled balancing on rocks and twisted bar work really sends shivers done my spine, as does his choking on lettuce. Great to have such a self-reflective piece to make us think.

Worlds 2013 Identity Dance Crew. Choreographed by Josh Cesan with the dancers, this hip-hop world championship piece fresh from competitions in Las Vegas (where they won silver) punches onto the stage with a bang. These guys really capture what it is to be young, male, and dancing hard out. Their energy and powerful performance quality are a blast to watch and I really enjoy some of the clever choreographic tricks, such as winding up the guy in front and spinning the one off the side. The crowd lets out a crazy whoop and the champs are back in town.

Something He Does Well is Fall Apart. Choreographed and performed by Aaron Burr. This piece is a gorgeous expression of what it is to be “man with a stick”. Performing with what is called in circus performance a “Chinese Stick” (a huge batten that is suspended from the rig) Burr creates a touching choreography that evokes strength, vulnerability, and the spirituality of oneness. His captivating performance presence still allows room to appreciate the extraordinary visual imagery. My favourite is the final handstand with the swinging stick circling his upside-down body.

Fall Creek Boys Choir – The Friday Company. Choreographed by Brigitte Knight. An interesting and quite lovely piece between a screen dancer (Medhi Angot of the Royal NZ Ballet) and a live performer (Xin Ji, a Chinese professional dancer studying at Unitec) that plays with our attention between screen and live. Both are amazingly talented dancers and Xin Ji matches Angot’s screen dance very closely.  It is nice to see the moments of synchronicity and the slippage between the two. I wanted to know more about the connection between the two performers.

Thiismygame. Choreographed by Joshua Rutter. This piece lies perfectly in the line up as an embodied experiential “Exploration into Globalised Fantasies” (Choreographer’s words). Adrian Smith’s engaging performance presence moves through a plethora of visual body stances, exploring stereotypical representations of masculinity from gangsta videos, blockbuster movies and child-hood comics. Played out in complete realness, Smith takes us to those places and what results is a sense of his hopeless, ironic participation. I also saw this piece as a representation of all that small boys love as they emulate of the male role models in their lives. This work cleverly operates as subtle critique of male identity in today’s age. Really brilliant and funny.

Fathers – LIMA Dance Theatre Choreographed by Amanaki Prescott-Faletau. This extract from a much longer work was a lovely collage of contemporary Tongan dance styles as a celebratory performance for those transgendered. A delightlful, and rightful message, that not all is black and white when it comes to gender distinctions. What we experience is a flux of masculine and feminine gestures and moving rhythmic sensations. Thus we are reminded of the connectivity in our everyday lives and particularly in relation to our families.

Eye. Choreographed and Performed by Luke Hanna. This piece is performed with a wonderful self-reflective quality that opens spaces for thought and spontaneity. Hanna performs a full expression of hi self in movement which allows for us to experience his obvious physical capability and question what it is to be audience or performer. How do you see me? A very compelling performance.

The Six Swans Choreographed and performed by Christopher Olwage. This piece is an outstanding performance of Olwage, a quite muscular male dancer en pointe, dancing the black swan so beautifully that my expectations of how I usually view ballet are definitely challenged. The sense of strangeness is enhanced by the tutu and leaves a strong visual impression behind. I really like this unexpected work and enjoy the strength and gentle vulnerability. Lovely to watch.

Fields of Jeopardy – Unitec boys. Choreographed by Michael Parmenter. This piece broughtan explosive finale to the evening with the Unitec boys stepping up to the fine work of Michael Parmenter, a massive sequence of highly technical partnering, including flying bodies. This work was first created in 1988 and tonight is the first time with an all male cast. The Music of David Downes is still relevant today and creates a spatially complex and moving scape in which the boys scribe through space. I had to ask myself what is it about men dancing with men that sends shivers down my spine?

To sum it up, Y Chromosome this year was a plethora of the virtues of what it is to be, not only one with the Y, but what it is to be a dancing man and from my experience of this show the boys have got what it takes. I look forward to this showcase next year. 


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