Forte series 2012 - Footnote Dance
Boating Shed & Museum Art Hotel, Wellington, until August 21
Reviewed by Jennifer Shennan
Six short pieces on a single programme make for choreographic contrast. Constant throughout is Footnote's hallmark commitment of the dancers to each work.
The Boatshed's wide windows offer a sparkling backdrop of the city's lights and traffic ribbons, though this was not incorporated into the performance. A pity, since this is one of the best views of Wellington by night.
Michael Parmenter's Absence used freeze-framing of a couple moving in tandem but eschewing any shared rhythmic drive. Striking images resulted, but overloud amplification of the score kept the effect in check.
Kristian Larsen's A Common Language, for the full company, had intriguing juxtapositions in its combination of meditative, contemplative sequences around the forces of martial art.
Fleur de Thier's work, Feet Firmly Planted, although not explicitly narrative, was themed around experiences of life in Christchurch. It carried mystery, with shaded references to the many ways in which the brave people of that beleaguered city have interacted through all manner of challenges.
This was a mature work that communicated a palpable spirit through its stylised movement. Lucy Marinkovich in Vile Bodies put up a stylish and amusing, deliberately unsubtle parade of bright young things strutting their stuff. It was cleverly done, and of course ironically titled.
At the Museum Art Hotel, Lyne Pringle's Beautiful Prison had a true whimsy, and the women's movement caught quite beautifully the sense of place and solace in the New Zealand bush. Endearing calls of tui in Matu Booth's evocative sound score proved most supportive.
The final piece, Rabbit Brain Terrain by Maria Dabrowska, was a zany chase through a dream that never went smoothly. Somewhat long, and curiously placed in the final slot, the work held to its style throughout and the two dancers gave it their slapstick best.
The sizeable audience was in good humour, and will follow with interest as Footnote passes to a new era with Malia Johnston as the incoming director, after decades of committed leadership from Deirdre Tarrant.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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