A clever touch

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 10:50 12/10/2012

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REVIEW

The Body Festival: How To Make Friends And Still Appear Normal

Black Sheep Productions

September 28 and 30 at NASDA Theatre

At some point in life most people will ask themselves "am I normal?" but the question is seldom answerable, often rhetorical and always pointless.

How To Make Friends And Still Appear Normal asked that question through raw, evocative and humble choreography, but there was nothing pointless about it.

The show, by Natalie Maria Clark, was a theatrical dance piece that explored the inner-weird, the outer-normal and everything in between.

Clark choreographed, produced and directed the show in collaboration with fellow Unitec graduates Sarah Elsworth and Sofia McIntyre.

Set in a restless urban world full of uniformity and mundane tasks it evolves around Clark's "character" as she struggles to find her place within it. Typed statements appear on the screen at the back of the stage that immediately unravelled how silly the concept of "normal" is. It was a clever touch.

One minute the trio worked in unison and harmony with stunning fluidity and the next they were disjointed, erratic and individual. All three were remarkably talented.

There were some truly comical moments in the show yet you never quite know whether to laugh or not - I like those kind of shows.

The soundtrack, featuring original compositions by Wellington student Emi Pogoni and former Christchurch man Joseph Ernest Harper, was a delight. Pogini's pieces were faintly reminiscent of a ballerina music box, eerie yet familiar, and work in magnificent concord with the visual prowess of this piece.

There is something real and earthy about How To Make Friends And Still Appear Normal and it didn't pander to the "normal". In fact, quite the opposite.

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- The Press

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