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Between Two - Kelly Nash (Tipu) & Douglas Wright (M-Nod)
6 October 2018, Q Theatre, Auckland
TEMPO Dance Festival 2018

Reviewed by Summer Aykroyd


The two acts of Between Two  were so different but equal in their intensity. I was captivated by the unnerving and unsettling performances.

In the dark, intimate vault theatre, Tipu is an imaginative performance illustrating new life, death and rebirth. The stage lights came up revealing a minimalistic setting; a bare stage, a box and three silhouettes. Two of the silhouettes began performing and were simply beautiful to watch. Their performance was truly emotive and I was completely engrossed in the music and movement. The third silhouette was revealed to be a mother and her baby, a real life connection which was unmatched in raw emotion. The interactions of all four performers - mother, baby and the two dancers - demonstrated a captivating and honest story of new life, death and rebirth. One dancer told a story of death whilst the other told a story of rebirth and the baby represented new life. As with life, they were all intimately connected. A particularly powerful moment in the performance was the mother singing to her baby. Her voice was incredibly powerful and heartfelt, I was completely mesmerised watching as the dancers and the baby reacted and shared my emotion. 

M-Nod had a completely different and unique vibe. It was absolutely unsettling but at the same time, simply mesmerising to watch. I loved it.  Prior to the performance, we were instructed to close our eyes and once it began to open them. Upon opening our eyes we were immediately drawn to a man lying down, wrapped in a white sheet under a chair. There was an instantaneous visual link between the man in the white sheet and a body bag. The man spoke, as if to wake him from some morbid dream. There wasn’t a need for a narrative because the performance managed to capture the surreal moment between an intense lucid dream and waking. My eyes never strayed from Sean Macdonald, the performer, who was completely committed to his performance and amazing to watch. One powerful image that I will take away from this piece was of Sean lying on his side under the sheet, violently shaking his head as if to shake himself awake. He repeated this action at the end and even though it was simple, it was powerful and created such intense imagery.

Nash and Wright did not disappoint with their innovative choreography and beautifully pieced together show. Between Two is definitely a Tempo highlight.

Between Two by Kelly Nash & Douglas Wright

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