Creative ingenuity features in Sunset Affair

by Raewyn Whyte

A river of apricot silk, old-fashioned roller skates, and a large self-inflating air mattress are key objects of attention in a mixed bill of short contemporary dance works by local independent choreographers this week at the Basement Theatre.

Collectively titled Sunset Affair, the three works share a melancholic feel, yet each is in its own way novel and zany, and you can’t help feeling uplifted by the creative ingenuity which is so evident in their crafting.

Georgie Goater’s Subject Matter Object Pink, a duet for herself and Touch Compass colleague Alisha McLennan, marks the end to their creative partnership as Goater heads off to Finland to pursue advanced studies. In four sections, the work introduces each performer, brings them together to revel in the joy they take from performing together, and sends them off again, each in a different direction. Throughout the work, we follow the slow transformation and animation of a long length of apricot silk, a metaphor for the way relationships slowly change over time.

In her new solo Love Me Do, Zahra Killeen Chance wears bright-blue roller skates with yellow arrows and grey stoppers. Set to three loud, tracks whose lyrics hint at what’s going on, the work sees her arriving, waiting patiently, restlessly filling time, and then eventually giving up on waiting for someone who never comes. All the while, whether seated on a bench or restlessly moving across the floor, she explores the dynamic variations which the skates and their stoppers enable, impelling and propelling herself to and fro through the space in an endlessly inventive array of manoeuvres.

Tallulah Holly-Massey’s It’s a soft Suggestion, for dancers Lisa Greenfield, Solomon Holly-Massey, and Adam Naughton, is in five sections which explore various boundaries and configurations of social space. Activities are centred on and around a queen size Bestway air mattress, subjecting it to an array of positions, actions and uses the manufacturers surely never intended. Despite some intriguing interactions later in the work, nothing ever eclipses the riveting opening section in which Greenfield employs some astounding antics to get the mattress to move her about the space as she lies atop it.

Sunset Affair: a triple bill
New works choreographed and presented by  Georgie Goater, Tallulah Holly-Massey and Zahra Killeen Chance
The Basement Studio, Auckland 4-7 July 2016

NB This short review was originally written for the online NZ Herald but was not published.

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