Fabricate - Fabricate Collective
2 March 2017, Thistle Hall, Wellington
Reviewed by Kimi Young
In Fabricate’s programme, a description of the show was provided, including the information that Fabricate would ‘…explore the tactile environment which you sit on’ and ‘…we scope out the space we have made’. There are two main different meanings to the word ‘fabricate’, and judging from these programme excerpts, the co-creators explored the version where it is defined as constructing, creating and making. It seems that both literal and abstract interpretations of the word were explored through approximately eight pieces within the show.
The first idea and motif introduced, was a web like structure in the corner of the room. The five company dancers literally constructed this with balls of white, woollen-like string. This was simple yet mesmerising due to the dancers captivating focus and awareness of one another and the space they occupied. The string motif continued to be fairly consistent throughout majority of the show. In the second section, a single piece of string was pulled from a dancers mouth; the third piece, the dancers became quite tactile with the string, gently bouncing off it, pulling on it, and at times asked the audience to hold the string to make a horizontal web. And in the closing sequence people are seen eating the string. It could be interpreted that the string motif in Fabricate was a metaphor for words, thoughts and the channels in how we communicate to one another, as well as how we form and build relationships.
Other motifs around ‘fabricate’ were embodied through movement and gestures throughout the show. For example, hands covering the mouth (communication), high shrugged shoulders (decision making) and robotic arm movements (mechanical day-to-day monotony). These can be analysed as the company members exploring the idea around choices and decision-making, and the inner turmoil that it can sometimes bring.
The co-creators certainly were successful in exploring the many literal and abstract meanings of fabricate - to construct, create and make. However, as there are so many mini pieces within the show and each with a slightly different idea, as an audience member I found myself becoming lost in what was being communicated to me. This was particularly noticeable when it came to a segment where a table with two dancers lying on it was introduced. By now, at the sixth excerpt, there are so many ideas being presented; it was slightly overwhelming to shift to the next idea so quickly without having time to absorb, understand and connect one to the next. Unfortunately, I lost attention as the sixth piece drags on a bit and I failed to understand what was trying to be conveyed. Having so many ideas within an hour length show is slightly confusing to track and understand. Perhaps having fewer sections would provide more flow and clarity to the show.
At times I was slightly confused and only sometimes understood what was going on. Regardless, overall the show involved a dance collective whose synergy, stage presence and focus was strong, consistent and captivating.
Fabricate Collective were the recipients of the SYNZ Tour Ready Award at the 2017 Fringe Awards.