One Way – New Zealand School of Dance Choreography Season 2010

May 31, 2010 at 1:28 am | Posted in Dance Review | Leave a comment
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The New Zealand School of Dance is holding its 2010 Choreography Season, 21 – 29 May.

I went along last night (Wednesday 26th) and I found it interesting: acting, vocals and dancing on multiple surfaces. There were 10 pieces, all segueing into each other – which made it difficult at times to identify one piece and the next. Three pieces struck for me:

  • Hanging from a string – Kyah Dove
  • Back to the Beginning – Emma Coppersmith
  • Love Songs – Danielle Lindsay

Hanging from a string was all about sterotypes and non-comformance: two women dressed in 50’s clothes and danced like suburban wives; a third women does not and endures what can only be described today as domestic violence. The choreography and costumes worked well; having the voice over at the beginning – with references to coming last at a horse race – was just overkill; and coming at the beginning, intially set my mind off on the wrong tangent.

Back to the Beginning was a lyrical piece that was nice to watch, and ended in confusion – what is the dancer doing with her cardigan? why is she just standing around? The programme ultimately enlightened me – it is about dementia!

Love Songs seemed to be about a love triangle, but what excited me with this piece was the utilisation of two surfaces to dance ‘on’. Part of the pas de deux at the beginning involved the woman dancing on a vertical surface, during holds and lifts with her male partner. I hope Ms Lindsay, and other choreographers, play with this more.

Also a pat on the back for Alana Sargent, who in her piece – Table for Eight – took modern dance to a less gentle type of floor work’. Her choreography required bodies to impact the floor – percussive dance!

One other thing I found distracting were the lights slowered down from the celling towards the end. Given the stark emptiness of the stage, these lights took on a life of their own, and I found them very distracting. Especially, when the dancers did not as far as I could see interact with them in a significant way.

Another excellent effort.

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