Reviews, News and Commentary

NZ Dance Company to present two major works

John Daly-Peoples

NZ Dance Compnay, Night Light Image John McDermott

Night Life

New Zealand Dance Company

National Tour, Auckland, Whangarei and Christchurch

September 3 – 16

Two major new dance works, The Fibonacci and Uku – Behind the Canvas will be presented  the New Zealand Dance Company’s (NZDC) touring production of  Night Light performed in Auckland, Whangarei and Christchurch, this September after the production was cancelled  last year due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Fibonacci, choreographed by Tor Colombus explores energy pathways through dance, sound and place in relationship to the mathematical Fibonacci sequence revealing a tapestry of pattern and form, which provokes a feeling of connection to something deeper than the detail of each individual action.

Fibonacci was a 13th-century Italian mathematician who brought the Indian-Arabic number system to Europe. The Fibonacci sequence begins: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 and continues from there. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. As the numbers increase the ratios of two successive Fibonacci numbers keeps increasing getting close to the golden ratio of 1.618.

That ratio has been used in other art forms for centuries in the architecture of the Parthenon and works by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe artists such  as Da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer and  Mondrian as well as composers  and Bartók and Debussy. 

The world premiere of emerging Māori choreographer Eddie Elliott’s Uku – Behind the Canvas explores the power of vulnerability and the strength within struggle. With inspiration from visual artist Andy Denzler, Eddie draws from the pūrākau (storytelling) held within Te Ao Māori and weaves it with New Zealand Sign Language to reveal the complexity of his own human experience. Anticipation and intensity are at the heart of movement paired with cleansing uku (clay) which symbolises the relationship between Hineahuone and Tāne – where we’ve come from and to where we will return. 

In an earlier review I described NZDC’s work as “operatic in scope … full of inventive and evocative sequences with marvellous sculptural tableaux with a small group of dancers using their bodies to create shapes and patterns which expressed personal and collective turmoil.”

NZDC Co-artistic Director and choreographer of The Fibonacci Tor Colombus says, “Night Light is a reflective offering in response to this moment in time that we are collectively living through”.

“We are thrilled to share these two dynamically contrasting yet complimentary works in this double bill originally commissioned by NZDC Founding Artistic Director, Shona McCullagh,” says O’Hara.  

From floating through time and space, observing nature’s mysterious golden spirals in Colombus’ The Fibonacci to grounding down with feeling in Elliott’s Uku – Behind the Canvas where confronting storytelling is at its most raw.

Event Details:


Friday 3 September, 7.30pm

Saturday 4 September, 7.30pm

ASB Waterfront Theatre


Wednesday 8 September, 7.30pm

Forum North


Thursday 16 September, 7.30pm

James Hay Theatre

By johndpart

Arts reviewer for thirty years with the National Business Review

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