Y Chromozone

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

09/10/2010 - 09/10/2010

Tempo Dance Festival 2010

Production Details


Y Chromozone
is a spectacular all male shared programme featuring dancers from some of New Zealand’s leading  companies;   Black Grace, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, TMC and Prestige – with artists Taiaroa Royal, Taane Mete, Justin Haiu and guest artist Kim Bergh (ex Principal dancer of PACT – formerly Cape Town Ballet).

Featuring contemporary dance, ballet and hip hop, this vibrant one hour programme showcases the versatility and skill of these talented artists in a powerful fusion of passion and high energy. 

Y Chromozone offers a thrilling diversity of works:   the famous and demanding Le Corsaire solo by guest artist, Kim Bergh – a superb classical solo danced in the past by some of ballet’s greatest – including Mikhail Baryshnikov.    Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete perform the stunning duet, Hand to Hand by acclaimed New Zealand choreographer Michael Parmenter, and Justin Haiu’s contemporary work Journey to Wallis pulsates with the energy of the Pacific.

Two shows only at Tapac in Western Spring, so book early for this rare chance to see some of New Zealand’s best male artists perform in one programme in this compelling season.

2 performances only
Saturday 9 October 
6pm and 8pm
$30 adult / $27 Concession 

Tickets available through www.tempo.co.nz, tickets@tempo.co.nz or on 09 845 0295 

Definitely a winner

Review by Sue Cheesman 12th Oct 2010

Y CHROMOSOME packed a punch with its vitality, variety and powerful male performances, closing the two week tempo dance season at TAPAC on a real high. It is inspiring to see young men at the beginning of dance careers share the stage with very seasoned performers.

The styles performed ranged from Pacific dance from Wallis Island infused with hip hop, contemporary and classical ballet, tap, contemporary dance and more hip hop, all showcased to a high standard. The audience was buzzing with enthusiasm after the show confirming that Y Chromosome struck a very positive male dance note and was, for me, one of the performances far above other tempo shows.  

In this programme it is very noticeable how the training maps the male bodies differently and this is particularly evident in the use of the floor. The ballet dancers seem to glide down and up from the floor as if floating and suspended above it whereas the contemporary dancers seem to own the floor. They hit the floor running with weight and energy as they turn and slide, In contrast the hip hoppers tended to move up and down often on the spot as they sharply change various different poses with momentary holds.

The first work entitled Call to Wallis by Justin Haiu, accompanied by live drum beats only, is very effective in the way the groups form lines, trios and a triangle shape apex closest to us. Through the work we can clearly distinguish the choreographer’s experiences from Hip Hop to Kapa Haka. A basis for the dance which he returns to frequently is the fast dance style from his ancestral land Wallis Islands called Fakafutuna of Soamako. This successfully underpins the dance with a distinctive Pasifika feel. 

A relaxed style belies the complicated patterns and rhythms these two accomplished tappers executive with such skill. TMC Tap duo often use call and response between the two dancers that transforms into split second timing, unison tap phrases. Plaid shirts and great two tone old-fashioned tap shoes complete this dynamic duo.

From Black Grace two short works choreographed by Neil Ieremia were performed. Made off, a quartet about the global financial crisis, is peppered with the odd stylised gesture alluding to empty pockets, and money bags being carted of begin and end the piece. Accompanied by driving music, the four dancers’ strong sharp movements punctuate the air as they group and regroup, fore fronting the strong crafting we have come to expect from Neil. Guitar Man shows the bravado between males with the hit and response antics of the two dancers as they mock one another with increasing intensity and lightening speed. 

Manipulated Living is an exquisitely danced solo with a green jersey as partner. Tom Bradley, from the New Zealand School of Dance, manipulates the jersey by hugging it, swinging it around, wearing it, knotting it, in a dance symbolic of materialistic obsessions.

Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal performed a section from Tama Ma, choreographed by Douglas Wright. Both men have drag Queen personas which are deconstructed as the piece progresses with an underlying sense of pathos. Wearing bright red high heels and long-haired wigs, false eyes lashes and a crimson purple dress bedecked with a frill, these two strut and pose for us as the piece begins. Particularly uncomfortable is the close up of the stocking distorting the face as they take forever to come off. In contrast, their limping around the stage with one red high heel on is very funny. The piece swings between being funny and disturbing. Gradually they are striped of all these layers and return to Taane and Tai, however in the form of a two-headed Maori carving.

On the Brink, a contemporary ballet trio choreographed by Brendan Bradshaw, sees movement ripple wave-like through their bodies and seems to stretch out through the extremities with clean lines of extension as relationships change. It is very lyrical and aesthetically pleasing to watch.

In contrast Prestige hip hop dance crew performs with gusto. Their feminine mincing spoof on Beyonce had us reeling in the aisles with laughter. Cleverly mixed music with all the sound effects accents the movements and emphasises the messages to great effect. Andrew Cesan’s 360 degree horizontal turn in the air sets the benchmark for individual tricks and it is easy to see why they are New Zealand’s top hip hop crew.

This show was definitely a winner in my book.
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