A series of intriguing, compelling solos designed for intimate, non-theatre spaces took the audience on a mini-tour of Lorne St during the Footnote Forte Solo Series in the Tempo Dance Festival.

Performances were presented in the Art Lounge at the New Gallery, a narrow elongated rectangular space shrouded by white curtains and glass walls; paintings provided the backdrop in the main gallery at City Art Rooms; and the mini-stage at Cassette9 was supplemented by a large hoop-shaped trapeze hanging near the bar.

The solos were commissioned from New Zealand choreographers given the joint task of highlighting the particular qualities of their assigned dancer and incorporating some reference to an iconic artist who inspired the choreography. This challenging combo was fruitful, with many resonances and masterly performances of dances that deserve to be presented more widely.

Sarah Foster's energetic Firecracker was danced by Anita Hunziker to a series of tracks from Ladyhawke, the dance shaped like randomly lit handfuls of double happies and jumping jacks, with the odd catherine wheel for a more spectacular effect.

Ross McCormack's Stealth, inspired by the graffiti art of DLT, meshed with dancer Jeremy Poi's own history, resulting in a muscularly introspective yet fast-paced dance to the music, at times, of Jody Lloyd.

Maria Dabrowska's Stark recalled the heady days of the 1920s and 30s when the Civic was home to troupes of dancers including local star, Freda Stark. Sarah Knox was a convincing Freda, a strong dancer with wonderful line who prowled her stage, posing and pirouetting and extending into arabesques, and spinning the big hoop trapeze to stupendous effect.

Adze, choreographed by Kristian Larsen, inspired by Phil Dadson and danced by Claire Lissaman with occasional music by Josh Rutter, was a richly satisfying combination ultimately given life by the dancer. A multi-layered work, it managed to conjure up a search for geological material which was then shaped into an adze, the adze-wielder constantly on the watch as she patrols her territory. A precisely honed performance.

Dancer Francis Christeller was serious of mien throughout Michael Parmenter's elegiac Somebody's Darling, inspired by a pair of graves in Central Otago and Douglas Lilburn's 1951 song cycle, Elegy, which is a setting of poetry by Alastair Te Ariki Campbell.

Christeller slowly undresses in the course of the dance, starting resplendent in his grandfather's evening jacket and bow tie over shirt, pants, and black shoes as he lipsynchs the first song in formal presentation style - ending in boxer briefs and knee pads worn for a punishing kneeling dance.

What: Footnote Dance Collective: Footnote Forte Solo Series.
Where: City Art Rooms/ Cassette9/ Art Lounge, New Gallery.