Art and Stage
Christchurch is donning its collective dance shoes for the 2012 Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre. Today we preview two of the productions on stage.
These talented feet are made for dancing - and walking.
For Christchurch's Jolt Dance Company, the 2012 Body Festival has sparked a new stage production inspired by the physical act most of us take for granted - the simple yet essential art of progression on one's feet.
Not surprisingly titled Walk (September 23, 24 and 25), the work is described as an innovative and inspired exploration of the history of walking. Why and how do we walk - for survival, for exploration, for our rights?
The work, performed by Jolt Youth, uses original film by Eugene Lee to explore past and present cultural connections to walking, including the story of Ernest Shackleton and his epic trek to survive.
Funny and moving, Walk fuses film, dance and physical theatre in Jolt's trademark style.
Created in 2002, Jolt Dance has established a national reputation for high-quality and innovative work.
Jolt Youth Company was formed in 2007 as an integrated company bringing together students in the teenagers' class with young people from the community - individuals with and without disabilities. Since 2007, Jolt Youth has created four original shows as part of the Christchurch Body Festival. In 2004, Jolt won the prestigious NZRA outstanding programme award for excellence and was named best Creative Space for 2009 by Arts Access Aotearoa.
Two years ago, Tablo - The Notional Theatre Company of New Zealand was in the thick of rehearsals for its show, It'll End In Tears.
Devised specifically for the 2010 Body Festival, it was an exciting departure for the Christchurch-based mask and puppetry company, a large-scale, highly collaborative physical theatre production.
The title proved eerily prophetic when the September 4 earthquake led to the cancellation of that year's Body Festival.
The show's 2011 production also proved impossible to revive after half the cast moved out of Christchurch following the February 22 tremor and Tablo needed to fulfil previously booked commitments to perform in a number of overseas festivals, including the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringes.
However, with the premiere of It'll End In Tears (September 25 to 27) at this year's Body Festival, Tablo hopes that tears will finally be turned into triumph.
Part creation myth, part rites of passage, the production explores those familiar life moments when fate plays out a hand which inevitably ends in tears.
Tablo take its trademark innovative mask and puppetry and combines it with dance sequences choreographed by Christchurch choreographer Fleur de Thier.
The Hagley Dance Company forms the corps de ballet, performing to a soundscape featuring cello compositions composed by the New Zealand conductor Kenneth Young.
Film and clowning complete the imagery where events emerge from a set where swathes of material shape and shift to form the emotional fabric of our lives.
Full of surprises and moments of humanity, Tablo promises that It'll End In Tears will be be a moving tour de force that will linger in the mind long after the curtain has fallen.
Jolt Youth: Walk. Ferrymead Friendly Societies Hall, (50, Ferrymead Park Drive) 2pm, 6pm, Sunday, September 23; 6.30pm, Monday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 25. Production lasts 60 minutes. Book at Dash Tickets.
Tablo, The Notional Theatre Company of New Zealand: It'll End In Tears. NASDA Studies and Theatre, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (E Block, Madras St). 8pm, Tuesday, September 25 to Thursday, September 27. Production lasts 50 minutes. Book at Dash Tickets.
- © Fairfax NZ News