Nearing the end of a three-month national tour, Footnote NZ Dance brought its eerily mysterious new work The Clearing to Auckland, appropriately enough, on Halloween.
The Clearing is a dark and discomforting dance work, somewhat haunting, with five people apparently lost for all time in a forest clearing somewhere past the end of the road.
The arboreal peace and quiet, supplemented at times by the sounds of water and weather, swishing trees and scrabbling in the undergrowth, was shattered every now and then by raucous sonic blasts from a series of mobile speakers, and occasionally dropped quiet snatches of conversation and desperate questions into the space. "Hello. Is anybody there?" "Can you hear me?" "Can you take me home?"
Forces and rhythms absorbed by the people trapped there, resulted in bizarrely unpredictable behavior from the increasingly tense and distracted individuals who, at times, interacted with unseen forces. These interactions became increasingly taut and combative, eventually culminating in an extended hunting sequence, with a final clustering together for protection, and a dramatic swallowing of one entity.
The movement sequences were complex and relied on intricate timing and utter trust in one another. They were delivered without fault by the dancers who have co-developed the work with choreographer and set designer Ross McCormack, sound artist Jason Wright and lighting designer Lisa Maule.
After three years of working and touring, dancers Adam Naughton, Josh Faleatua, Anu Khapung, Tyler Carney and Georgia Beechey-Gradwell are now moving towards new challenges with dance companies elsewhere in the world, and a new set of dancers will inherit their mantle.
What: Footnote Dance Company – The Clearing
Where: ASB Waterfront Theatre