2012 Publications

Review:  Looking back at dance September to December 2012
Published in NZ Herald 8 December 2012
The period September to December completes a productively rich year of dance in the Auckland region. Ann Dewey and Spinning Sun set audiences alight in community halls throughout Rodney with Lazy Suzy Boy, an immersive, magical and mystical exploration of our animal natures. Liana Yew, Liz Kirk, Julie Van Renen and Marianne Schultz became co-existing entities – tiger, deer, bear, humanity – in a world where deep respect for all living things is an abiding principle.  Read the review

Review:  Gaga: the unmentionable
Published in Theatreview on 6 Dec 2012
In her latest work, Gaga: the unmentionable, the material comes from the life of writer/producer: Louise Tu’u , touching on her struggles with Gagana Samoa (Samoan language), her experiences while being raised in Auckland by hard-working parents who regularly sent money back to Samoa to help relatives, and with neighbours and other members of the community as she passed through primary school. Throughout the work there are references to the selfless gift of love, skill and commitment required from performers and their family members if art projects are to be brought to fruition.  [Read the review]

Feature article : A new Giselle – The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s leap of faith
Published in NZ Herald on Sat 24 November 2012
There’s nothing quite like a romantic classical ballet when it’s time for a story of love, betrayal, heartbreak, forgiveness and redemption, involving a handsome prince, an innocent maiden, a jealous suitor, and ghostly avenging spirits who dance men to death. Giselle has all those, plus a memorable symphonic score, beautiful sets and costumes, evocative lighting, and some of the most demanding dancing ever created.  [Read the article ]

Feature article: Atamira Dance Company: On the rite path
Published in NZ Herald on Saturday Nov 17, 2012
In next week’s Tohu programme, as part of its annual Urban Disturbance season, Atamira Dance Company begins its 14th year of making Maori contemporary dance. Over the years, the company has made an impressive array of dance works, some short and frothy, and some longer works about very serious matters such as child abuse. Sometimes five or six short works combine to build a programme, but more often the show is just one work.  [Read the article]

Review: The Beaten Track 2012
Published in  Theatreview on 22 October 2012
Six new dance works under development feature in The Beaten Track 2013, comprising the second in an annual series curated by Serene Lorimer. A relatively recent graduate herself, Lorimer is motivated by the ongoing need for independent dance  artists to have a platform for their work – a creative space in which they can share projects and get input towards further development , as well as a shared opportunity for formal presentation of works in progress.  [ Read the review]

Review: the Royal NZ Ballet’s new Giselle choreographed and produced  by Johan Kobborg and Ethan Stiefel
Commissioned by DanceTabs and published 12 November 2012

Reviews of Tempo Dance Festival, October 2012
Published in NZ Herald – click on titles to read each review
Tuakana and Footnote Forte Series
 Fresh Cuts and Y Chromozone
Time Dance & Prime Cuts
Nga Hau E Wha, Okareka Dance Company
Final weekend packed with stunners

Review of NZ Dance Company debut programme Language of Living at ASB Theatre, Auckland
Podcast of review broadcast on Concert FM’s Upbeat programme, 13 August 2012
Listen to podcast

Review: Atamira Dance Company KAHA season 2012
Published in NZ Herald on 25 June 2012
A new section of Jack Gray’s steadily evolving Mitimiti is a highlight of the programme, and a longer segment would have been welcomed. His acutely observed portrait of various kinds of out-of-it disconnection in an array of urban settings is at once dark and full of critique, ironic and hilarious, and deeply personal. It makes the connection to cultural disconnection, colonisation and dispossession as sources of the six fractured identities sampled here.  [Read the review ]

Feature article:  Touch Compass: a touch of inspiration
Published in by NZ Herald 23 June 2012
Fifteen years ago, when Touch Compass Dance Company debuted at the Maidment Theatre, the performers seized the imagination of their audience and inspired all who watched to rethink their ideas about who could be a dancer, and what dance could be. On stage were seven performers, two in wheelchairs and one with Down syndrome, and four others without a disability. The liberatingly spectacular finale was their own invention, a style of dance which rapidly became their trademark.
Read the article

Seminar: Getting Creative Ideas on Paper
Commissioned by Danz Auckland for their professional development seminar series.
Delivered Wednesday 20 June 2012 from  9.30-11.3am.

The Bad Boys of Dance (=guilty pleasures)
Review of Rock the Ballet  published in Theatreview on 13 June 2012
Read the review

Let’s Get Physical
Preview article about upcoming season of Rock the Ballet 
Published in NZ Herald on 9  June 2012
“Our style of dancing is a hybrid. It starts with ballet, then fuses it with hip-hop and jazz and tap and street dance and Broadway and martial arts and gymnastics – whatever we are inspired to add. It’s a highly physical kind of dancing with an impressive array of spectacular moves and awesome athletic feats.”
“It’s theatrical and showy, fun and sexy and fresh. It has a wide appeal, especially for newcomers to ballet, and it’s very entertaining.”

Book review: cactus fear by Douglas Wright, Steele Roberts Sept 2011
Published in DANZ Magazine, June 2012
The poems reveal aspects of the world he experiences, and there’s almost a “stop and smell the roses” feel at times There’s an observation of long grass blades springing back into place after a person’s body moves away from where they have been lying; a paean to tshirts, and  a deeply felt portrait of his no-longer-extant but still much loved companion the “pint-sized ocelot apparition” Alice Thumb. We hear the ceaseless whoosh of rush hour traffic; the endless pecking of the birds of thought which have been driven insane by being caged up; and a dog screaming in Mandarin. We see Douglas the baby in the iconic baby photo;sitting up on a pouf and secretely supported by his mother’s hidden hand. We share ; his first-thing-every-morning look into the mirror to check on the state of his tongue; and we laugh with him at the recognition that a herd of cows does not need a choreographer” to organise their grand tableaux.

Cyclic comedy with an uneven pace
Review of Stephen K Amos in Laughter is My Agenda (Comedy Festival 2012)
Published  29 April 2012 on Theatreview
Read the review

Book review: Dance and Politics edited by Alexandra Kolb, Peter Lang AG, Bern 2011
Published in DANZ Magazine March 2012
The analysis of these dance works considers many things, amongst them the requirements of genre, the question of form, and the effectiveness of choreographic  strategies of address used to focus audience attention on critical issues, with caveats included about the risk that these methods can fail to achieve the desired affects and instead intermesh with audience sensibilities to further entrench the undesired aspects. Shared choreographic strategies are identified — the building of empathy through violence towards a moment of catharsis, the engagement of kinetic empathy and emotional introspection,  and the use of an alienation effect to undermine catharsis and provoke reflection.

Review of Political Mother by Hofesh Schecter at St James Theatre, Wellington for NZ International Festival 2012. Podcast of review broadcast on Radio NZ National on 9 March 2012
Listen to podcast

Review of TeZukA by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui  at St James Theatre, Wellington and MASI by The Conch at Soundings Theatre, Wellington for NZ International Festival 2012. Podcast of review broadcast on Radio NZ National on 5 March 2012
Listen to podcast

Review of Parabelo/Onqoto by Grupo Corpo at St James Theatre, Wellington for NZ International Festival 2012.
Podcast of review broadcast on Radio NZ National on 27 February 2012
Listen to podcast

Review of Call Cutta in a Box at New Performance Festival, Auckland
Published 18 Feb 2012 on Theatreview
Read the review

Reviews of Short + Sweet Dance Festival, Auckland 2012
Gala Final – published 12 Feb 2012 on Theatreview
The Wild Card Selection – published 12 Feb on Theatreview
Group 1  – published 8 Feb 2012 on Theatreview

Sustainability and the Arts Organisation
Published in DANZ Quarterly, January 2012

Overview of Tempo Dance Festival 2011
published in DANZ Quarterly, January 2012
Dancers and companies from all around New Zealand appeared throughout the festival, with 2 and 3 different shows every day providing for an intense experience and providing a rich snapshot of Kiwi dance for newcomers. Overall, the technical standard was notably higher than in previous years, and  choreographic development seemed to have been given a good deal more attention. Also notable was  a strong representation of younger/emergent artists, especially in Out of the Box,  which featured new trends in local hip hop  choreography and social content expressed through the form.

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