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.

Stripped Back: A Review of Cock
Read Time: 7 mins
Sam Brooks reviews Cock, a co-presentation between...
Theatre
Stripped Back: A Review of Cock
By Sam Brooks
An Impossible Sexuality: With or Without Cock
Read Time: 11 mins
Jess Holly Bates on Mike Bartlett’s play Cock, sexual...
Theatre
An Impossible Sexuality: With or Without Cock
By Jess Bates
Playground Battle: A Review of Lord of the Flies
Read Time: 9 mins
Centrepoint Theatre's latest Open Stage production...
Theatre
Playground Battle: A Review of Lord of the Flies
By Adam Goodall
Chalk Stories: A Review of My Best Dead Friend
Read Time: 7 mins
Anya Tate-Manning draws on personal stories of loss...
Theatre
Chalk Stories: A Review of My Best Dead Friend
By Melissa Laing
 The ‘D’ Word: In Conversation with Alice Canton
Read Time: 17 mins
Diversity, like oppression but fancier.
Art
The ‘D’ Word: In Conversation with Alice Canton
By Lana Lopesi
Loose Canons: Ralph McCubbin Howell
Read Time: 10 mins
Theatre
Loose Canons: Ralph McCubbin Howell
By Ralph McCubbin Howell
Loose Canons: Anya Tate-Manning
Read Time: 8 mins
Loose Canons is a series in which we invite artists...
Theatre
Loose Canons: Anya Tate-Manning
By Anya Tate-Manning
Speaking Under Urgency: A Review of E Kore A Muri E Hokia
Read Time: 6 mins
Te Rehia bring E Kore A Muri E Hokia – their Te Reo...
Theatre
Speaking Under Urgency: A Review of E Kore A Muri E Hokia
By Matu Ngaropo
Beta!