Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
The show is about love and is constructed using Redman's lived experiences. It is told in segments and each segment is introduced by Redman in a spotlight at the front of the stage. This is a “conversational dance” and throughout the show the movement feels very responsive. Redman brings an impromptu nature to her choreography, speeding up, slowing down and otherwise un-syncing with the sound design, making the piece feel more alive than a pre-choreographed and extremely performed dance show might.
Redman interacts somewhat with audience members. When she does it’s generally warm and well-received. A highlight of the show is having an audience member time her for a section. This for me was a highlight and without spoiling it the segment spoke volumes in its simplicity. It’s a great moment of clowning from Redman who has trained overseas and the game she plays here makes it the strongest part of the show- at least the most succinct. Most of the other segments are drawn out movement and dance and I would suggest that Redman explore the clowning side of love as possible shorter segments to go between the longer ones.
I would also invite Redman to delve into love outside of love for people or each other. Suggestions could be love for a place? Your tūrangawaewae? A love for a thing? Something else that I left wanting was more creative uses of the large mirror at the back of the stage. There was a beautiful image constructed when the lights were off on the stage but on in the audience, making Redman and her reflection silhouettes against our reflection, which matched perfectly with the section’s themes of dehumanizing, sexualised observation.
Redman's dedication to how they express their perspective is enticing. A performer's conviction is the wall that keeps us from awkwardness and just as much as Redman's conviction kept us intrigued during the longer dance sequences, it also holds us into the scenes of nudity. I left Te Auaha with a sense that this piece was good but has not finished its developmental journey.
LOVE/LOVE/LOVE/LOVE/LOVE is on at Te Auaha until this Saturday the 25th February, find more info here.