Waikato dance troupe Moving Parts presents Enough. The one-hour long performance explores the darker corners of mental health through contemporary dance and poetry. Emerging artists Rebecca Blom, Aimee Stringer and Jade Carey make up the chorus. Choreographer Mikey Sorensen rounds out the performance at the protagonist. Who better than Sorensen to play Enough’s protagonist. His style is dramatic and angular and is based on his own experiences with depression.
Like Lorde’s sophomore album Melodrama, Enough’s structure follows the lead up and fall out of a party. At least, that’s how I read it. After our protagonist battles the masked anxieties, we follow him to a rave, witness his regretful hangover and glimpse his moments of hope.
I was relieved to find the chorus removed their masks for most of the show. With the masks removed, I enjoy the seeing the emotional connections made between the dancers. Apart from an obvious symbol for depression, the masks didn’t add much to the performance for me.
Rock music echoes through the performers’ shoulders during the party. At times the chorus’ headbanging looked a little too controlled, deviating from the sense of numbness. My eyes were drawn to Carey’s ability to melt and flow in the music’s rough current. Gripping beer bottles, the dancers mime drinking in rapid, cyclical patterns. Nausea ripples through the fading party. The dancers convulse, throwing up their energy. Alcohol is a crutch that cannot carry him to the morning, I thought to myself.
A white bed sheet binds Sorensen as he replays last night’s mistakes. Over. And. Over. Repetition and canon are heavily and effectively used in this chapter - or perhaps Sorensen is building himself back up, bit by bit, only to fall apart again.
Michael Moore’s spoken word poetry accompanies Sorensen’s solos. Moore’s voice is warm and assertive. I want to hold on to every word but they confidently march on. He describes Sorensen’s inner turmoil and the double edged sword that is performance. He is both liberated and imprisoned in the spotlight. Combining poetry and dance is definitely a challenge. The choreography tends to translate the spoken word a little too literally at times, in an attempt to emphasise its meaning. I would have liked the movement to trust in the power of the words chosen to carry the emotion to the audience.
Towards the end of the dance Sorensen has more control against the chorus. Unlike the violent beginning, he engages with the chorus through mimicry and beautiful lifts. I craved more lifts in the piece. Moore’s poetry emphasises the idea of ‘rising,’ and the athletic interaction is visually stunning.
Contemporary dance is an interesting medium to explore depression, a problem so prevalent in New Zealand, especially for men. In a culture where men feel ashamed to talk about mental health, it is ultimately uplifting to see Sorensen’s efforts to share his personal journey.
Enough is on until 10 March at 6:30pm at BATS. Book your tickets here.
Where to find help:
1737, Need to talk? – Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor
Lifeline.org.nz (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354
Depression.org.nz – 0800 111 757 or text 4202
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO);
Youthline.co.nz – 0800 376 633, free text 234, email email@example.com
Kidsline.org.nz – 0800 54 37 54 for people up to 18 years old. Open 24/7.
thelowdown.co.nz – Web chat, email chat or free text 5626\
Supporting Families in Mental Illness - 0800 732 825