21 Movements, an interactive work by Berlin-based Kiwi performance artist Alexa Wilson, offers another chance for Auckland Fringe audiences to get involved with what they're watching.
This time, we're asked to think about memories and emotions connected to significant global events of the 21st century. Structured like a Pecha Kucha event, it references 22 such events, giving 2.5 minutes to each one.
Less than two decades old, this century has already proved tumultuous with the 9/11 bombings in New York City, wars in Iraq and Syria, Indian Ocean tsunamis, Haitian earthquakes, bombings in London, Edward Snowden's whistle-blowing, Brexit and the election of President Trump. Less epic, but also included in Wilson's roster, are the impact of technologies such as Facebook and other social media, and the spread of the Occupy movement.
As each event is announced, an image by photographer Nick Watt is projected onto the wall with brief text and movement commentary presented by Wilson. The audience is encouraged to remember images and experiences associated with each event; invitations are also offered to audience members to incorporate their experiences into the performance, with opportunities for them to take the floor, complete a task or speak into a microphone.
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More than half the opening night audience took to the floor at some point to share their material while Wilson's own contributions offered 22 ways of responding to upheaval. She was, by turns, kind and gentle and circumspect, wild and wanton and dishevelled, naked and watchful yet elegant, masked or cloaked, feral and raging, frenzied and erratic, compassionate and comforting, erudite and informative.
Wilson heightens our awareness of what we have lived through and reminds us of the healing power of love, the value of connecting with others and the need for collective action if we are to change the future for our planet. Her art prompts us to continue making contributions towards planetary change.
What: Auckland Fringe Festival - 21 Movements by Alexa Wilson with Nick Watt
Where & when: Basement Theatre, finishes Saturday