Curated by Tru Paraha and Hosted by Tempo Dance Festival
Old Folks Association Hall, 4 October 2019
Reviewed by Tia Reihana-Morunga
From the side street of an Auckland cityscape where the arts fringe of in-cohesiveness blossoms, The glØaming, curated by Tru Paraha and hosted by Tempo Dance Festival fed portraits of blood and beetroot.
In the familiar smells and shapes of the Olds Folks Association Hall we gathered. Low pulsing soundscapes accompanied our entry, the mauri of past performative disruptions still lingered in hallway, wood walls and floors, broken windows and stage. Dust, mess, and informality as set design disrupt pleasantries of the aesthetic to perhaps foster as Paraha states, “unhuman terrortories of Te Pō where bodies collude in a blackening choreosphere “. There is a collision, and in the richness of Te Pō there is potentiality negotiated in a diversity of artist present.
To begin the rich darkened musical depths of Clare Duncan, aka. i.e Crazy, called us into a collage of unsuspecting rhythm. Coated in lyrics of diaspora, disparity and near death vibrations, words were sewn together in fragmented storytelling.
Following the work of Charles Koroneho maintained the occupancy of dark potentiality. His work navigating Pōrangi (an existence between the space and energy of night and day, a place of paradox and the contrary) and Pōnamunamu (passage of night, searching the confined and narrow) played still against the afflictions of strobe lighting. Moving in space as tall dark pou, Charles navigated quivered vocals whilst disrupting with embodied provocations.
A work by Kelly Nash, in collaboration with, and performed by Anja Packham explored ideals of the distorted selves and bodies. In deliberate discomfort where balloons were stuffed into stocking to appear as layered skins, boils and boulders, AnJa moves peeling outer layers to inner revelations framed by slender latex body. It is deliberate, rough and undone.
From distortional to conventional, Virginia Kennard greets in tulle and glitter red heels. Her presence is felt as she crosses the space, raises self onto stage, greets, urinates, and sweeps with fluidity holding skirt, her fluid along the floor. The notorious Old Folks Association Hall is mopped, perhaps not for the first, or last time, in the bodily excrement of creativity’s finest applause. Under layered dress is the stage where ceremonial traditions, even colonial considerations of such, are shown via sequences that cross between soundtrack, motif and genitalia. The conclusion where blood was searched for, and gathered from within her vagina as means to taste, wash, and adorn herself, revealed personal conversations intimate to her own feminist energies.
From feminism to mana wahine transitioned by the momentary cries of a child in the audience, the work of Rachel Ruskstuhl-Mann is a wash of bitter humour and reality. The affronting acidity of pickle beetroot makes my eyes water… as Ruckstuhl-Mann along with performers Clare Luiten, Katrina George, Rewa Fowles, Megan Smith, Liana Yew, and Claire O'Neil move in abstract gesture under, near, and around large blue sweeping materials and air filled rubber gloves. The final performance houses an erratic play on narrative. I am swept into voices of Kate Bush and thoughts of motherhood. Spoken word adheres to our unstable sustainable future, as kitchen knives are dropped around encased bodies on beetroot stained floors. It’s frantic and good.
The glØaming … may be considered fringe, though this word feels problematic to describe the evening overall. All works scoured amongst the depths of remote performative landscapes, where we can shuffle in uncertainty and uncanny states of audience expectation and interaction. Where the beautiful may fade away in replacement thresholds of the disposable, The glØaming suggests that the destructive, unseemly, and disagreeable may stubbornly remain as potential artistic inspirations.