Celebrating Difference: A Response to 'Here and Now' Festival Works

Theatre

25.04.2017

Celebrating Difference: A Response to 'Here and Now' Festival Works

Dance Like Everybody's Watching, directed by Alice Canton and Mouth Tongue Teeth, from Niu Wave Collective directed by Grace Taylor were staged as part of Auckland Theatre Company's Here and Now Festival during the weekend, alongside Boys. Kate Prior saw both works with Astrid, 14, who responds here.


Dance Like Everybody’s Watching

Dance Like Everyone’s Watching is a lovely, fun-filled production. The play is very high energy from the start to finish. It's very easy to understand and the actors are very friendly and do an awesome job getting the whole audience involved in each stage of the play.

The play starts with the cast coming down an elevator, walking out and dancing to their music. This play is a unique experience, as the audience walk around the whole space with the actors and interact with them. Interacting with the characters make them seem a lot more real than if they were up on a stage, because the audience is experiencing everything with the characters and we see them evolve throughout the play. This kind of interaction between the audience and the actors is something you don't get from film and television.

The end of the play ties the whole thing up really effectively. Everyone – the cast and the audience – goes down in the elevator dancing. The play sends a positive message: to love yourself, be yourself and to do what makes you happy. 


Mouth: Tongue: Teeth

Mouth: Tongue: Teeth is a profound spoken word piece, mainly focusing on colonisation and the effects it has had on today’s youth. I'd not seen a spoken word performance before. The spoken word format is more effective than written poetry, as there are certain auditory effects which only work when poetry is read out loud, and these effects make the poetry really come alive.

The piece starts with a compelling monologue about how our teeth hold all of our stories and all of our memories, that they have trapped all of these things over the years. The next poem is a boy at the dentist, about to get his teeth pulled. The teeth are used as a metaphor; his culture has been shunned and disrespected and society is trying to rip it out of him and replace it with something that isn’t real.

In another poem, the poet describes wanting to speak in her native tongue. She wants to be in-sync with her culture but it didn’t feel natural because her ancestors had been forced to speak English. Back then, it may have been framed as possibly 'for their own good', so they wouldn't be discrimated against, when in fact, it has had the opposite effect on the culture.

Mouth: Tongue: Teeth shows us that all cultures are very important and that we need to accept everyone for who they are so we can all be a lot happier. Not everyone should be the same, and our differences should be celebrated, not looked down upon.

Mundane Hellscapes: The Subversion of Hir
Read Time: 9 mins
Jean Sergent dives into the disruption of Taylor Mac...
Theatre
Mundane Hellscapes: The Subversion of Hir
By Jean Sergent
Back to the Future: Spaceships, Tōtara, and the Christchurch Performing Arts Precinct
Read Time: 13 mins
Triumph or monopoly? Erin Harrington on Christchurch...
Theatre
Back to the Future: Spaceships, Tōtara, and the Christchurch Performing Arts Precinct
By Erin Harrington
Loose Canons: Cassandra Tse
Read Time: 7 mins
Writer, director and musical fanatic Cassandra Tse...
Theatre
Loose Canons: Cassandra Tse
By Cassandra Tse
Announcing New Volumes: Our 2018-19 Critics in Residence Programme
Read Time: 2 mins
Our Critics in Residence Programme for 2018-19, presented...
Theatre
Announcing New Volumes: Our 2018-19 Critics in Residence Programme
By Pantograph Punch
The Difficult History and Precarious Future of the PACE Programme
Read Time: 34 mins
Amidst a crumbling national arts scene, Adam Goodall...
Theatre
The Difficult History and Precarious Future of the PACE Programme
By Adam Goodall
Loose Canons: Nancy Brunning
Read Time: 13 mins
Writer, director and performer Nancy Brunning digs...
Theatre
Loose Canons: Nancy Brunning
By Nancy Brunning
The Last Regional Theatre: Inside Centrepoint's Fight to Stay
Read Time: 22 mins
Baz Macdonald talks to the people fighting to keep...
Theatre
The Last Regional Theatre: Inside Centrepoint's Fight to Stay
By Baz Macdonald
Change of Fortunes: Lessons from the Death of a Theatre
Read Time: 41 mins
What's beyond the box office? Kate Prior analyses...
Theatre
Change of Fortunes: Lessons from the Death of a Theatre
By Kate Prior