Songs for Drella in AUT Dance Showcase
Songs for Drella, an imaginative new work, by TIMOTHY GORDON of Company Z, opens with a soundscape of New Yorkese singing, a lone dancer and his flock of swirling, mechanical bodies. Theme and costume ricocheted the audience back to the seventies.
My memory of this dance draws forward a truckload of wistfulness. Is it about a man and his journey through an artistic life, matched closely to the words of each song, devised and rendered by John Cale and Lou Reed, and in this way, never lost? I became more and more aware of the enormity and the fragility of dance as an art form.
This new venture dance work is a personalised, riveting vista of movement vocabulary and stretches open the possibilities that this company may be on the brink of achieving an excellence that has been otherwise confounded by distance from a western theatrical source. This series of dances (like a folkloric occasion, strangely) evoke mother and son, loneliness and then beauty.
Songs for Drella could be translated as songs for Gordon. Towards the finale of the work, the dancers move across the stage like a tide through mesmeric sequences that provoke a capacity for fulfillment. As a company, the dancers have settled into deeper levels of expressivity and performance. They are ready for prolonged seasons of work in that they know the artistic direction of the choreographer and with their delicate, virtuosic detailing, they help him draw pictures about life and contemporary art on the big scale, rarely witnessed in this country.
November 28, 2008
Company Z's and the AUT University Dance Collective joint project: "Songs for Drella" was simply stunning. The Velvet Underground's John Cale and Lou Reed created something special as a wake for Andy Warhol and TIMOTHY GORDON has now turned their soundtrack into a visual and musical dance feast. Timothy has consistently created edgy and interesting performances for Company Z and this latest continues his tradition. Songs for Drella featured Simon Pointon as the look-alike Andy Warhol dancing with a hazy drug feel but always with control and style. The rest of the company were at their best with Benny Ord and especially Estelle Vermeulen shining out with a classical solo on hippy point.Malgosia Treter-Bogatski
November 18, 2008
The Company Z Dance and AUT Dance Collective piece was very unique in style, different from all other Company Z works that TIMOTHY GORDON has choreographed. The music was used very differently - the singerís prose dominated the music and told an engaging story which was moving together with the dance. I found myself attentively listening to the words and watching the dance, an unusual sensory combination! The choreography blended perfectly with the story and depicted the central character (the voice) and changes in his internal and external environments. The central character (Warhol) was depicted very accurately with the dancer Simon Pointon. He presented his personality very distinctly. The external environment was portrayed mostly using the other dancers who had interesting directions and movement patterns to set, maintain and evolve the scenes.
The piece depicted a young and similarly optimistic American man leaving his small town and going to make a living in the big city. He encounters a system of society which is not welcoming, but he accepts his position at the bottom and enters the pattern, works hard. The later part of the piece shows a destruction and collapse of his inner world and relationships with others, even though he attained his desired success and fame. A lot of repetition was used both in the song and in the dance to set a heavy mood and convey this inner sense. I think I saw someone shedding a tear in the audience. The piece ended with sadness and death, which was followed by what seemed to be an afterlife - an uplifting review and letting go of past experiences, finally leaving it all behind. The sequence of this piece at the end of the show was well placed, both for the quality and maturity of the work and for the emotional catharsis it produced.Valera Koltslov
November 17, 2008
Christmas Bon Bons
I saw your performance just before Christmas & just wanted to thank you all & to let you know that I was totally captivated by the disciplined fine artistry that you create. For me it is just what dance should be and I could feel myself lifted into another dimension by it - something I have not experienced at a performance of contemporary dance in Auckland before. You must all work extremely hard to achieve what you do & I really hope that you are able to attract all the support that you so need & deserve to continue to grow & develop in 2007 & beyond.
Auckland, New Zealand and indeed the world needs you!
Happy New Year to you all
January 10, 2007
Suppot for TIMOTHY GORDON and Company Z Dance
Company Z Dance have now positioned themselves as a North Shore based Dance Company and are developing a fantastic repertoire.
He dancers are as dedicated as ever and they have just had successful seasons at the Rose Centre and the Pumphouse, two venues on the North Shore.
Company Z Dance is expanding the dance audience because they are glamorous, great performers with have strong classical/contemporary technique. Their performances are delighting North Shore and Auckland audiences. They are developing an audience which appreciates and enjoys their contemporary dance aesthetic.
TIMOTHY GORDON has an incredible pedigree of dance experience internationally, his experience and aesthetic is mainly European theatre dance which brings something classy and different to the New Zealand dance scene. He is also inviting choreographers such as Chris Jannides and myself, among others, to do work on the company so is developing a dynamic range of repertoire. This dance company have proved they are serious and determined. They present quality performances and are well organised.MJ OíReilly
July 28, 2006
I am writing to explain the total enjoyment I received one night last year. I was invited to see Company Z perform at Eggs Hall. I must admit I hadn't been to see any form of performing talent for while and I was absolutely mesmerised by the amazing works created by such an experienced and talented team.
I love all forms of dance and they certainly carried a show with a wide range of choreography with each dancer uniquely talented. The young lead male was astounding, his movements so amazing I wasn't sure if he was a trained ballet dancer or gymnast.
I love being entertained by young people who have created such a high level of professionalism in their work. They are truly a well trained diligent, dance group. To perform a first night of a variety of works without any faults, (I couldn't see any) and the show ran so smoothly from Lighting to timing.
The costumes were so in tune with the dance and the dancers... that alone was exciting and wonderful.
I would love to see this company really go to great heights as their talent is explosive. I came away wanting to see them again soon and even had to go through every dance and the costumes with the family when I arrived home.
I will be following their every show and I know I won't be disappointed.Yours sincerely
bruary 20, 2006