Review: existential questions explored in movement

Life’s big questions came into focus during Week 1 of Auckland Fringe in two hybrid performances which provided plenty  to think about.

In I Know What I’m Doing, solo performer Melody Rachel steadily drew the audience into her inner world of doubts and fears, self-talk coping strategies, and motivating Big Questions. Combined with a series of social encounters which presented alternate personas matching her internal commentary, she got us thinking about what it is to be human and beset by irrational thinking, but also how craftily the performer develops a relationship with the audience. Brilliantly done!

Also brilliant on a much larger scale, This Fragile Planet magically created a sense of the passing centuries of life on Planet Earth and the way things have changed over time.  A collaboration between The Conch and the NZ Dance Company, choreographed by Ross McCormack, with an evocative sound score by John Gibson, six extraordinary performers, a sheet, some fur coats and a small rock, this gently raised the question of what it is to be human in today’s world, faced with the daunting challenge of survival and regeneration of Planet Earth itself. We were left with a feeling that resolution lies with people joining together.

I Know What I’m Doing – Melody Rachel, Q Theatre Loft, 25-27 February;
This Fragile Planet – NZ Dance Company with The Conch choreographed by Ross McCormack, Auckland Town Hall, 25-26 February

Reviewed by Raewyn Whyte

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