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Footnote’s Feats Set To Tickle Your Fancy!

30 May 2006

Footnote’s Feats Set To Tickle Your Fancy!

Footnote Dance’s thrilling new programme of contemporary dance works - collectively entitled Feats of Fancy – looks set to “tickle the fancy” of dance-lovers from north to south this winter.

Five of New Zealand’s most exciting contemporary dance choreographers have created works especially for Footnote Dance. The result is an eclectic array of dance works that are quirky, melancholy, high energy, and spiritually evocative. Feats of Fancy tours to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in June-July.

Choreographers Moss Patterson, Malia Johnson, Deirdre Tarrant, Raewyn Hill and leading expatriate New Zealand choreographer Jeremy Nelson have each created their own “feat of fancy” in the show’s line-up. Footnote dancers – Halina Wolyncewicz, Hannah Stannard, Anita Hunziker, Sarah Knox, Lance Riley and Andrew Rusk – have the feat of performing them!

“Imagination, ideas, identity, illusions and impact make up this compelling programme of works,” says Footnote’s Artistic Director, Deirdre Tarrant. “These works are all feats of fancy both in themselves and collectively. They show rich diversity in contemporary dance choreography - offering both light-hearted, humourous moments, alongside deeper, more abstract ideas that are explored and communicated through the sensual medium of dance.”

“We have a wonderfully strong team of full-time professional contemporary dancers and we work with innovative kiwi choreographers who continue to take contemporary dance to new heights,” says Tarrant. “Providing an environment and infrastructure that allows this to happen is what Footnote Dance is about.”

Moss Patterson’s choreographic point of reference for his piece “Kokowai” is the reddish clay that traditionally had many ritualistic and decorative uses for Maori.

”When combined with the human form, kokowai evokes for me images of the distant past, for example, Hineahuone – the first woman who was fashioned from kokowai earth by Tane; images of internal heat, struggle, pain, visceral passion and the inherent form of human energy we term ‘ihi’”,”explains Patterson.

Renowned for creating works that are both decorative in pattern and demand very high energy, “Kokowai” builds on previous dance works that Patterson has created for Footnote Dance; a trilogy based on his Maori culture and tikanga – “Pitau” (2003), “Te Ngaru” (2004) and “Kura” (2005).

Deirdre Tarrant’s upbeat, vigourous dance work, “Cutting the Mustard” examines dialogue around subjectivity, asking the questions - ‘Who approves?’ and ‘What is excellence?’ binding up these conundrums in a display of sheer athleticism and drawing links to those in our society who we see as ‘making it’.

Malia Johnston “Working Title [Left]” takes a different turn from some of her more recent choreographic work for World of WearableArt. Dubbed “a working movement study in parts”, “Working Title [Left]”experiments with the concepts of active versus passive skin, touch, resistance and physicality, performed to an original composition by Eden Mulholland of rock/indie bands Motocade and Motel Fabulous.

New York-based expatriate kiwi choreographer Jeremy Nelson has led Footnote Choreolab on two occasions, and this year stayed on to work with the company to develop a commissioned work for Feats of Fancy. Nelson revisited material shows as a work-in-progress by Footnote during the company’s Home is Where the Heart Is season last year. “Mursh Mellow” explored ideas about fitting into and revisiting, past environments, and this year Nelson used this as a springboard to create an entirely new work. Light and sassy, “Remellowed” incorporates the individuality of each Footnote dancer, drawing out their strengths through the choreography. Following its success in the recent Footnote Forte Season, Raewyn Hill’s popular “In Time of Flight” makes a welcome return to the stage. Inspired by poet Pablo Neruda’s “To Sadness / II”, the piece looks at the relationships between bodies and the movement that creates a dynamic. However, as Hill points out; “In Time of Flight” is a pure movement piece possessing no meaning or message. Danced to a hypnotic original composition by Nic McGowan, “In Time of Flight”is dramatic and mesmerisingly powerful.

Feats of Fancy is at: Herald Theatre, Auckland on 26 and 27 June; The James Hay Theatre, Christchurch, on 29 June; and The Opera House, Wellington on 1 July.

ENDS

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