3 in 2 1… Go! [by Matt Baker]
Presented by Etched Dance Productions, 3 in 2 1 is the staging of three short dance works for the 2015 Auckland Fringe Festival.
As a duet, These Our Body addresses several themes that are inevitably raised when exploring the concept of identity and self. Beginning from a relatively intellectual narrative standpoint, the piece gradually evolves into a more emotionally driven character piece, provoked by the sense of play between Samantha Wood-Rawnsley and Jess Quaid, and supported by Amy Mauvan’s musical composition. These Our Body raises exponential questions of grand philosophical weighting, too many and too much to address in a thumbnail critique, but ones that deserve an audience’s consideration. My only issue is the piece’s abrupt ending. Abrupt, as it occurs when things really start to get interesting and offers no conclusion. Appreciating the fact that it is a fringe festival triple-bill, I am intrigued to see whether These Our Body will be adapted to a longer, standalone production.
Taking a more interpretable approach and in keeping with its programme noted “blind collaboration”, Echo uses the elements of “disturbed repetition” and “reoccurrence” to present a gritty and confrontational performance. Amy Mauvan immediately demonstrates her skill with strong yet subtle movements, employing her height and striking definition to create aneasily identifiable glam-costumed figure. Videography by Leah Beanland is an apt theatrical device for the central theme, but, while its necessity is clear (and its limitations must be accepted), it does not contribute symbiotically to the live performance, and takes away from Mauvan’s organic and personal portrayal. Likewise, Andrew Batt-Rawden’s composition, while providing a harsh and base edge, does not feel like a truthful component evoked from the story in its execution. Fortunately Mauvan’s journey from static and contorted gaudiness to sensual rediscovery provides a pleasing and optimistic completion to thepiece.
After a thoroughly thought-provoking half-hour, an on-stage wardrobe, a chalkboard schedule, a varied musical selection, a dice-based lineup, and a group of seven willing dancers is all that’s required for the semi-improvisational collaboration, One Dance 7 Times. From Annabel Harrison’s hilariously passionate Borodin’s Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2, to Sierra Palmer, Jess Quaid, and Samantha Wood-Rawnsley’s vaudevillian-style Your Feet’s Too Big by Fats Waller, One Dance 7 Times provides an original, fun, and light-heartedending that will be unique for each audience.
3 in 2 1 is presented by Etched Dance Productions and plays as part of Auckland Fringe at The Basement until Feb 12. For details see The Basement