Dance review: Tempo Dance Festival, Q Theatre

By Raewyn Whyte

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Fresh Cuts at the Tempo Dance Festival 2012. Photo / Supplied
Fresh Cuts at the Tempo Dance Festival 2012. Photo / Supplied

Two more contrasting showcase programmes than Fresh Cuts and Y Chromozone are hard to imagine. Back-to-back placement on the Tempo 2012 dance festival programme, however, lets them become complementary opposites.

Fresh Cuts offers a distinctly feminine series of perspectives on everyday life, through contemporary dance works that tackle issues arising from interpersonal behavior in a social context, cross-cultural influences on ideas of what makes one beautiful, events that disrupt one's world, everyday insecurities and vulnerabilities, getting out of bed in the morning with enough energy to tackle the day's demands, and a critique of iconic representations of Pacific women. The programme mostly comprises complete short works, though some excerpts are included.

Y Chromozone is a celebration of the kind of polished masculinity which features in a wide array of dance forms. Examples here were taken from contemporary dance, hip hop and street dance, aerial dance, bharat natyam, the traditional dance of Manihiki (Cook islands) and Samoan siva afi (fire knife), Michael Jackson, tap dance and the tango.

The program is split between short excerpts and complete short works, with stellar performances by an array of well known local performers including Michael Parmenter, Sopi Jensen and Prestige Dance Crew complemented by exciting showings from emerging artists Joel White and a student quartet - Te Arahi Easton, Eddie Elliott, Jared Hemopo and Ben Temoku.

Fresh Cuts is at times messy and chaotic, intensely competitive, riven with insecurities, and with social realities thrown into relief. The most developed work on the programme, Jessie McCall's Gimme Some Sugar, I Am Your Neighbour delves into neighbourly rivalries and acts of kindness, jealousies and genrosities along with the craving and consequences of gift circulation amongst friends.

Also impressive, and with a strong, clear focus in its thematic material is Anitra Hayday's If You're Going To Be Late, Why Don't You Just Leave Earlier, which opens and closes with figures strewn across the floor and the sound of alarm clocks. Whatever these dancers are on has great potential as a drug - from the moment the alarm sounds they are galvanized into action and utterly unstoppable.

What: Fresh Cuts
When: 11 October (6pm)
Where: Loft, Q Theatre

What: Y Chromozone
When: 11 October (8pm)
Where: Rangatira auditorium, Q Theatre

- NZ Herald

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