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All My TXTs Come From Vodafone asks whether it can be made to appear that there are many people in a space when indeed there is only one. A solo trying not to be. A performer’s interaction with the space between him and no one.

Performed at Tatwerk Berlin, 4 July 2014.

ALL MY TXTS COME FROM VODAFONE – Tatwerk, Berlin, 4 July 2014 from Salted:Singlet on Vimeo.

Some thoughts from Shelley Etkin who was there that night:

Herzlich wilkommen hangs in the air on balloons, string dangling down to frame the space. We form a circle around Oliver Connew.

Disjointing, and rebuilding, Oliver draws us into his world to co-imagine conversation. With concentrated physical presence, Oliver slowly transforms the space — marking and demarcating. Herzlich wilkommen comes down to ground level. Oliver’s confrontation with this messages and lines of white tape remind me of airport security lines. Here, restraint is a tool to be played with and expanded. With rising physicality I am entranced by limbs flying and nearly crashing, yet respecting the gentle firm presence of the hovering balloons. As a “solo trying not to be” I wonder who else is in the space with us. What times, processes, and companions comprise this world?

http://www.artforum.com/words/id=43998

Dear Garry,

My decision is made. I will withdraw from my study at the New Zealand School of Dance, effective Wednesday 4 April 2012.

My entry into the New Zealand School of Dance, if I am honest about it, lacked expectation. Unlike many other students, I was not well aquainted with the workings of such an institution. I was soon to discover that, with my mind and temperament, the journey through would be nothing less than a monumental struggle. I take a degree of pride in the fact that I disipline myself to ceaselessly question the status quo, even if it does make life awkward. It is vital, from my position, to encourage, if not demand, a critical voice among students to ensure the constant advance of this art form, ballet or contemporary; the creation of an homogenous product is not conducive to healthy artistic expression. However, I do understand the need to supply technically fine dancers who will fit neatly into someone else’s creative programme, it is an honoured tradition that I do not fit.

I am sorry that neither of us has discovered what we expected when you took me in to the NZSD. I leave the New Zealand School of Dance with some regret that we could not make it work, that we could not establish a dialogue, which could have you seen the value in someone different. Of course, it is not all unfortunate. The very positive element of my time at the NZSD, apart from the technical skills I have learnt, is that it has provided the opportunity to realise that I must dance, and that artistic expression must be a fundamental part of my life. That in itself makes the trial of the NZSD well worth it.

Thank you for a most tumultuous time.

Sincerely,

Oliver Connew

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 9.51.44 PM

photo by Catherine Griffiths  LTLU  BMC13-57809  BMC13-57857  CHG13-03940  BMC13-57890  BMC13-57894  BMC13-57900  BMC13-57902  BMC13-57933  BMC13-57945  BMC13-57956

choreographing and performing a new solo work for Auckland Blackout Performance Assembly‘s inaugural outing.

Test my Verge

 

sharing a stage with 3 awesome artists

5+6 July 2013, 7PM, Basement Studio

 

Champagne and Limousines

Reviewed by The Liberal Agenda for thedailyblog.co.nz, 26 May 2013

Right, wow. Where to begin. So, on Thursday I saw Like This, Like Us. It’s a new piece by Salted:Singlet, choreographed by Oliver Connew. I saw Oliver’s first full-length choreographic piece An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree at The Auckland Fringe. I loved it and raved about it at length. I was really excited to see what he’d come up with this time.

Like This, Like Us was different to An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree in a lot of respects; it was slower generally and felt more deliberate. It was more of a journey. I was pleased to see though that it was just as intelligent and thought-provoking as An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree. I was also please to see that it’s the first of a triptych, so there is more to come!

The show is ‘Inspired by the dynamics of a friendship, two humanoids explore the rabid cult of individualism in a plastic-wrapped, ready-to-use world where the contemplations of science-fiction have invaded reality and supplanted the need for commonality.’ Phwoar.

Plastic. Everything is plastic. We are given plastic ponchos, to wear. We all look the same, though some are orange and some are blue. The two dancers are gladwrapped head to toe when we enter. Plastic boxes are stacked at the back of the stage which is divided by a clear sheet of plastic stretched over a frame running lengthwise down the stage. The frame splits the stage so that the dancers start off separated. The performance starts with them slowly extracting themselves from their plastic cocoons. It’s like watching something being birthed. Once free, the slowly explore the space and their bodies.

It’s fascinating to watch. It’s like witnessing someone learning to use and adult human body with no guidance. The movements are bizarre and unnatural but brilliant to watch. They develop differently and then they begin undertaking mundane tasks, getting dressed or making tea/toast. They are performing essentially the same tasks but in a slightly different order, or in a different manner. And the effect is really quite profound.

As with An Unfortunate Willingness To Agree everyday items are used to great effect. Gladwrap, large plastic bags, painting overalls. The mundane becomes fascinating and beautiful.

Intelligent, complex and fascinating to watch. Keep an eye out for more from this exciting new choreographer.

LikeThisLikeUs-Poster

6th May, 2013
Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Like This, Like Us.
New contemporary dance work from Salted:Singlet
7.00pm, 22—25 May, 2013
The Basement, Auckland

Oliver Connew and Georgie Goater
with Alfredo Ibarra (music), Amber Molloy (lighting), Valentina Serebrennikova (set)

tickets: $20/$15
http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2013/may/like-this-like-us
http://www.facebook.com/saltedsinglet
http://www.saltedsinglet.com

Georgie Goater and Oliver Connew are friends, good friends. Yet, their personalities are almost diametrically opposed. To Oliver, Georgie is absurd. To Georgie, Oliver is ridiculous.

This is the starting point for Like This, Like Us, the first in a triptych of duets from award-winning Salted:Singlet (Best in Dance, NZ Fringe Festival 2012) showing 22—25 May at The Basement, Auckland’s home of new and exciting theatre talent. Inspired by the dynamics of a friendship, two humanoids explore the rabid cult of individualism in a plastic-wrapped, ready-to-use world where the contemplations of science-fiction have invaded reality and supplanted the need for commonality. Like This, Like Us treads the first steps of a hypothetical path into our future.

Together with music from accomplished Chilean musician Alfredo Ibarra, innovative lighting design by Amber Molloy and stage design by Valentina Serebrennikova, the alien-like physicalities of these performers take, as a reviewer said of Connew’s recent award-winning work An Unfortunate Willingness To Agree, a further ‘leap across the yawning chasm of the landscape of “self” that has preoccupied a whole generation of choreographers before…’ [Jenny Stevenson, Theatreview].

As with An Unfortunate Willingness To Agree, Like This, Like Us continues a personal investigation into contemporary sociopolitical realities. Connew’s work is initiated by a young generation who he sees as having been coerced into a mode of extreme individualism, where community and commonality are seen as disagreeable and inconvenient.

‘In this work, global themes are personalised, and brought down to a human-scale.’ says Connew.

Like This, Like Us is an ambitious new project from a young up-and-coming dancer/choreographer whose previous work has enjoyed fine reviews [see links below]. With him on this is an exceptional collection of artists, who each in their own way are working to make this a special event.

http://saltedsinglet.com/2013/02/26/auwta-auckland-review-2/
http://saltedsinglet.com/2012/03/02/review-of-an-unfortunate/

Like This, Like Us is supported by Boosted & friends, The Basement, Unitec, and Vapour Momenta Books

END.