Leaps & Sounds


Through a serendipitous Twitter conversation I scored a ticket to Leaps & Sounds, a collaborative performance by the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. They matched 9 RNZB dancers/choreographers to 9 music pieces by young composers (from the NZSO’s Young Originals Todd Corporation Young Composers Award.) Some of the music had never been performed live for an audience. Some of the choreographers had never seen their work performed before a public audience. There were only two shows and tickets were free. I was too slow to book a ticket, but luckily one of the composers had a spare ticket. (Thanks @ellisrobbie!)
I wish I’d taken some paper and a pen in with me so I could take notes because all I’m left with is an impression without many details. I remember that I was surprised by what some of the composers did with their pieces. There were some with a steady driving rhythm and some that were more lyrical in their approach. Some had repeated melodies. Some were melancholic, some were creepy, some were bouyant, some did tricky things with timing. Similarly with the choreography. The dancers were fragmented, then in sync. I remember really liking a piece that had a woman partnered by two men (a recurring choreographic theme), plus another that had partner work that switched fluidly between woman/man, and man/man, woman/woman, and back. I laughed at cheeky comedic touches, and was moved by the beauty of some of the dancing.
Robbie’s piece was called Feral. The dancers were costumed as demented dolls in full body beige onesies with different coloured high ponytails. They were all over the place like broken clockwork dolls, then they’d be together for a while, then off again. There was some nice demented partner work as well. Robbie was really pleased with the choreography by Jaered Glavin. ‘He gets my music’ was his comment. I hope the other composers felt the same way.

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