Daring dance

00:05, Nov 02 2012
TAKING RISKS: There’s more to In Flagrante than a leather-and-lace romp.

New Zealand choreographer Mary Jane O'Reilly admits she's taking risks in her latest dance show, the neo-burlesque In Flagrante that will play for just one night at the Theatre Royal on November 27.

Billed as "erotica for the thinking person", Ms O'Reilly says the show, whose title translates as "caught in the act" is witty, satirical and most importantly, daring.

"I've seen a lot of boring burlesque which didn't seem to take enough risks," she says.

"I wanted to shift the genre up a gear and introduce the satiric eye of a contemporary dance choreographer, as well as someone who is interested in the central subject - sex, that is."

Ms O'Reilly was the co-founder of the Limbs Dance Company, which was hugely innovative on the New Zealand dance scene with their highly developed sense of satire, superb technical execution and genius for slapstick physical theatre.

In Flagrante is being brought to Nelson, Westport and Ashburton by the Top of the South Arts Touring Consortium, and spokeswoman Janice Marthen from Nelson's Theatre Royal says she could not be more thrilled.


"It's a combination of contemporary dance by exquisite, highly trained female dancers and a beautifully deviant take on burlesque, that exudes a true sense of art," she says.

"It's a great show to bring to town at this time of year and is perfect for a Christmas outing for clubs or businesses that want to do something a little more daring than dinner out or office drinks."

Ms Marthen says In Flagrante demonstrates not only O'Reilly's crisp and snappy style of dance choreography but also her cryptic eye for comedy and satire: "It takes the audience through the sexy leather-and-lace romp you'd expect from a show like this, but there's also quite a lot more to it!"

In Flagrante is performed by some of New Zealand's top dancers, including Shanelle Lenehan (The New Zealand Dance Company) and Lara Fischel-Chisholm (Stranger Things) as well as Maria Munkowits, Amanda MacFarlane, Molly McDowall and Megan Hughes.

The show has had sell out seasons as part of the Tempo Dance Festival, the Taupo Erupt Festival, New Plymouth's Right Royal Cabaret Festival and Auckland's summer festival Splore, and stand-alone shows across New Zealand.

Critical comment includes: "The show to see", from Ewen Coleman at The Dominion Post; and "An unexpectedly beautiful and hilarious take on the burlesque revival," from Courteney Peters at Gather and Hunt.

Flagrant Productions will also be offering a "MojoCabaret" workshop in Nelson on Monday November 26, with Nelson's Lilly la Rouge Burlesque. Mary Jane O'Reilly will teach the participants some of the moves from the show; and says that students will "delve headfirst into the world of neo-burlesque which is guaranteed to put a smile on many lips". Workshop cost is $25 with only 30 places available. Bookings at the Theatre Royal.

In Flagrante is produced by Flagrant Productions and presented by the Top of the South Arts Touring Consortium at the Theatre Royal Nelson, the NBS Theatre Westport and the Ashburton Trust Events Centre.

Nelson ticket buyers can purchase at the Early Bird price and go in the draw for an $800 prize by shopping at participating retailers. Details at www.theatreroyalnelson.co.nz