In its 2016 season, Footnote New Zealand Dance draws upon the talents of overseas based artists to present an intriguing double bill.
In a well curated 70-minute production, Transfer features the talents of Joshua Rutter (Berlin/New Zealand) and Jeremy Nelson (New York/New Zealand).
Tomorrow After All is Rutter’s first commission for Footnote. It opens with a series of electronic rhythms, immediately changing the energy in the theatre and focusing our attention upon a number of cylindrical inflated black garbage bags. The work begins with three dancers emerging with long wigs covering their face and speaking in raspy tones.
Hints of the Moirai (Spinners of Destiny in Greek mythology responsible for controlling the thread of life for all mortals) weave in with a smattering of pop culture references that examine sexuality, the environment and the artificial constructs we inadvertently create.
Through a colourful visual palette, Rutter creates a rich breeding ground of ideas that defies any particular vocabulary. While the landscape is amorphous, and that is part of its appeal, the lack of direction and substance renders it somewhat flaccid.
In contrast, Bridges and Doors by Jeremy Nelson, is almost its predecessor’s antithesis. Explicit choreographic vocabulary comes to the fore allowing the versatility of its dancers (Jeremy Beck, Brydie Colquhoun, Emma Dellabarca, Jared Hemopo, Lana Phillips) to shine in a myriad of exceptionally beautiful sequences. While informed through the dialogue around inner and outer dwellings and constructions and re-constructions of space, Nelson’s choreography nevertheless focuses more on the form rather than ideas.
A highlight of the production as a whole was the exquisite lighting design and operation by Amber Molloy and Sam Mence, genuinely innovative touches that added a depth of delicate vibrancy to both works.
Bringing an international flavour these two works responds to and reflects a global perspective and for anyone interested in the development of contemporary NZ dance these are worth seeing.