The next piece is Tunnelling Wormholes, a performance choreographed by Miriam Esklidsen and co-deivsed and performed by Elani Austin-Tennant, Sharvon Mortimer, and Sydney Magnus about an offbeat friendship based on the unlimited possibilities of imagination. The pair moved as one organism, their hands creating some incredible stage pictures as they grapple for leadership in this dynamic. Their white ruffled shirts that flowed with their movement and white hats adorned with beads (that made an excellent sound) also added to the imagery on stage, kudos to April Haszard for the design! I did find it hard to follow at points, I’d have liked to see a little more variation in their facial expressions/interactions to get a better sense of the relationship between the two. They moved beautifully together, but I found myself wanting to see why there’s this tension between them, and a little more of each character’s story (and what the red beings were, they looked great though).
The final piece is Digital Nomad, choreographed by Jacob Reynolds and Andre Busby and performed by Busby, this piece tackles the all too familiar ‘doom scroll’. Busby is onstage from the beginning doing his puzzle, which is perhaps a metaphor for the doom scrolling, and his performance may be my favourite. There is a wall at the back with a puzzle drawn on it, one where you have to find your way into the middle, and as he begins this puzzle, his body has other ideas. His body jerks and moves in ways that seem to surprise even him, the sweat clings to his body in a red tracksuit, his face and eyes work in tandem with his body to tell this story, this is what dance is all about. There are some fantastic scenographic elements utilised, particularly the wall that seems to be closing in on not only the performer, but the audience too.
Although I’m not a dancer by any means, I absolutely adore watching it. There’s something that feels really special about watching these rangatahi sweat, pant, and dive around the stage to tell us these stories, again it just feels so human. Seeing how others speak their truths onstage through their body is such a joy, the diversity of these pieces is a reminder about the diversity of storytelling. I may not have understood each one exactly how it was meant to be read, but I think that’s the beauty of Search Party, you really can take what you need from it.
Search Party is on at BATS on the Dome Stage until Saturday 4th February.