REVIEW: Missing Lids (The Basement)

Review by Brigitte Knight

[Tupperware Talent]

Missing Lids is one of Holly Newsome’s first full length works; an entertaining trio of dancers in yellow morph suits captivating their audience within the confines of the Basement’s Studio space.

Since graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance, Newsome has created work (under her company name Discotheque) for Footnote New Zealand Dance and the Wellington Fringe Festival. Experience dancing for some of New Zealand’s most reputable choreographers looks to have informed her clear sense of structure, production technology and sweet blend of pathos and humour.

The opening moments of entwined dancers starting onstage and moving to loud, electronic music does not feel especially fresh, but Missing Lids finds its trajectory and moves through a variety of well-paced sections. A stylised vocabulary drawn from everyday actions (grooming, working) is a successful trope, especially when presented as succinctly as this trio do while seated in a tight, vertical line. Inspired by a 1960’s Tupperware commercial, the work has an abstract theme and humourous use of recorded voice, exploring “the funny and the not so funny times in life where you just have to keep going no matter how hard life gets”.

Missing Lids contains lovely use of breath, stamina and swift unison sections. Soloist Jess Newman delivers a knockout performance throughout, but completely steals the show with her brilliant solo. The nuanced and detailed choreography is beautiful and strange, utilising Newman’s elite physical control and classical training. Newman is aware of every body part in space, manipulating her body with deliberation and care. She is the kind of dancer that enables choreography to shine.

Overall, Missing Lids is a thoroughly entertaining work, leaving us with the promise of more to come from Newsome and Discotheque dance.

Missing Lids is presented by Discotheque and plays at The Basement until 10 March. 

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