Excerpts from reviews of the New Zealand School of Dance Choreographic Season in 2016.
‘SCOPE’, presented at Te Whaea Theatre in Wellington.
An extensive Scope: NZ School of Dance blends Choreographic Season pieces into thoughtful, cohesive work
The New Zealand School of Dance’s Choreographic Season for 2016, Scope, blended its 10 performances so seamlessly, and with related themes, that it worked well as a single, larger piece...
...The performances flowed so seamlessly thanks largely, we believe, to the collaborative processes by the 10 graduating students of the New Zealand School of Dance, who created and performed their own works, cooperating with lighting and sound designers as well as fellow students in following years. It was particularly immersive, more so than the 2015 season that Lucire thought very highly of.
...‘The Private Sphere’ introduced themes of contrast: ‘Plastic fruit and tending flowers. Air freshener and painted landscapes,’ read the programme, but we saw it as humanity’s attempt to introduce technology, but not always in a pleasant way. Dancers mimicked robotic movements as they portrayed artificial materials; could the theme have been the draining of humanity from our everyday lives? From Isaac di Natale’s ‘The Private Sphere’, we moved into Breanna Timms’s ‘Atlas of Intangible’, where the movements became fluid again, almost to show that advancements can see us claw back our humanity. Timms’s idea was to show the connections between all life through energy, how the actions of one influence another, and this was done with great beauty and more tradition in the choreography, helped with music such as Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s ‘Summa for Strings’...
Jack Yan, Lucire
The cast performs as one, highlighting the power of collaboration in this art form. It is wonderful to see each individual contribution moulding itself into the professional production. Visually the experience, in the round, is outstanding...
I fall in love with the vision that is ‘Obelus'. Choreographer Jag Popham does an excellent job creating this work... The opening fight sets the scene strongly, and is executed with strength and precision. The dancers do this moment proud.
All the choreographers, without exception, confront us with interpretations or declarations of change. All are interesting. While the subject matter alone makes the works unique, the innovative approaches are diverse and stimulating.
...As the lights come up, the woman sitting next to me, who has held her breath throughout, whispers ‘crazy'. These are just the type of crazy questions art should be posing for an audience. Do we recognise ourselves here? Are we prepared to change? For me, to leave a theatre contemplating life is an experience not to be missed. That's SCOPE.
Donna Banicevich Gera, Theatreview
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