Media Release 26.01.2015
MAN-MADE is a new work from award-winning choreographer Oliver Connew, the second in a triptych of duets each inspired by friendship, but not about it. Gareth Okan and Connew perform alongside each other in a work that points to the presence of the ‘privileged’ physicality of the male body in our world’s power structures. Drawing from inherent experiences of power, force and control, Connew and Okan send their male bodies into engineered territories of distorted surety. MAN-MADE is inoffensive and wholly uncertain, yet, at the same time, bursting with aggressive confidence.
This work surfaced from Connew’s home, the artistic saturation of Berlin where some of the most contemporary of contemporary artists live and practice.
Connew and Okan have been working on the project in Auckland since the beginning of December. Taking cues from Berlin’s penchant for genuine artistic experimentation, MAN-MADE explores what is new choreographic and performative territory for both these artists.
In a move away from traditional theatre contexts, MAN-MADE will be performed in The Long Hall in Roseneath, Wellington and Touch Compass Dance Studio in Auckland. These spaces accommodate a unique performance in which all production elements — lighting, sound, performers and audience — can be installed into the play of the game and vie for a top position.
“In ways, this work has become the processing vehicle for the huge amount of input I have had during my time away from New Zealand in Berlin,” says Connew. “It feels good to begin undertaking that task in New Zealand.”
MAN-MADE is a work of power, relentless and reactionary with an over-zealous vigor reflective of an attitude of self-congratulation within the world's powerful elite.
Connew likes to describe the work through anecdotal metaphor:
“I let the kittens outside into the garden for the second time ever. I stroked them and said nice things to them in a sweet voice to keep them close by to lessen the risk of their escape. But — and here is the LOL factor — in the end, I scooped them up in one hand, put them inside and shut the door.”
Wellington: 2+3 February 2015, 8:30PM, The Long Hall
13 Maida Vale Rd, Roseneath
Tickets: $15/$20 iTicket, cash door
Auckland: 6 February 2015, 8:30PM, Touch Compass Dance Studios
40 Ethel St, Sandringham
Tickets: $15/$20, cash door
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