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Penny Neilson reviews Hemispheres, a collaboration between dancers from different countries and backgrounds.
Footnote New Zealand Dance and Guangdong Modern Dance Company: Hemispheres
Tuesday, February 26
Hemispheres is a cross-cultural collaboration between a stalwart of New Zealand's contemporary dance scene, Footnote, and China's first modern dance company, GMDC.
It is a project that has brought two vastly different groups of performers and seeks to find a common ground.
Excerpts from Taiwanese choreographer Wu Chien-Wei's The Spring Tide opens the evening's programme.
This piece beautifully captures the GMDC dancers' nimbleness and agility, as well as their fluid lyrical movements. It looks at the relationship between traditional and contemporary and where the new generation might fit in the changing world.
Elliptical Fictions explores the concept of opposing ideas having a reciprocal dependency. New Zealand choreographer Zahra Killeen-Chance has created a hypnotic piece that, after a slow start, draws you in.
Five Footnote dancers are placed in front of a large projection of Richard Killeen's eye-bending imagery, and, as the piece progresses, so, too, does the image as it is slowly zoomed until the screen is completely black and the image is gone.
The programme concludes with the new work from Sarah Foster-Sproull.
Mass Solitude is a collaborative work with dancers from both companies performing this striking piece.
It features rich red fabrics and intertwined bodies heaped and moving in time, providing a human pedestal and walkway, a pyramid of revolving heads.
If these dancers could not communicate verbally with one another during the creation of this work, they certainly communicated through movement and dance, perfectly expressing that connections between people do not have to be through language or technology.
The result was simply stunning, as evidenced by much of the audience giving a standing ovation.
The koha admission was fantastic, a gesture which allows dance to be more accessible to all.
This programme is a wonderful celebration of cross-culture diversity and hopefully the first of many.