Kiss the Sky
Choreographed by KIM Jae Duk, Victoria Columbus, and Stephanie Lake
Presented by: The New Zealand Dance Company
Opera House, 1st May 2019
Reviewed by: Leah Maclean
The New Zealand Dance Company’s Kiss the Sky is a triple bill of choreographic works by three powerhouse choreographers, and performed sublimely by a company of six dancers: Chris Clegg, Ngaere Jenkins, Xin Ji, Chrissy Kokiri, Katie Rudd, and Carl Tolentino. Kiss the Sky is an ode to the great expanse above us and our natural world.
The first work is a striking piece by Korean choreographer, KIM Jae Duk. Weaving sharp regimented angles with sinuous lines and stark minimalism, Sigan appears to take influence from forms of martial arts and meditation. The cast of four dancers execute the work with admirable discipline and remarkable dexterity. There is a well-ordered satisfaction to this work; however, the jarring musical score (composed by Jae Duk) creates a disconcerting experience.
The Fibonacci, evidently inspired by the mathematical sequence, is created by Wellington choreographer, Victoria Columbus. The Fibonacci demonstrates Columbus' clever mind and sharp eye for choreographic detail. Every moment is a stunning and disciplined pattern, flaunting the effortless synergy of the dancers and perfectly complemented by Rowan’s Pierce’s epic sound design. With his incredible lithe fluidity, Chris Clegg is a magician on stage, making him the standout performer.
Stephanie Lake’s If Never Was Now is a work reflective of the natural world in all its beauty and brutality. It’s like watching the daily life of bees with an industrial flair. Whether it’s through a slyly humorous mating ritual or a brutal slaying (à la a black widow spider), the dancers flit around busily and connect with one another enthusiastically. If Never Was Now is an eccentric and surreal end to the triple bill.
The New Zealand Dance Company don't often perform in Wellington, but when they do their performances are met with a raucous round of applause and stamping feet of appreciation. Kiss the Sky is no exception and there is certainly no denying their astounding talent and innovative flair.