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Read: The sublime beauty of The Monotone Era

When we think of the ways we communicate the most dominant is with words. Language both written and verbal are ubiquitous for most of us. And yet, we also, almost subconsciously, use movement, facial expression, and gestures to underline our words. When seeing dancers use non-verbal motion we can often appreciate the meaning and symbolism therein. 

In The Monotone Era, by Jawline Dance Co, guttural verbal expressions often accompany dynamic facial expressions and gorgeously  fluid physical movement to tell a number of stories. In the playbill they offer up six potential stories in two parts but advise us to let our own imaginations decide what the stories are. 

Part one, called Subclinical, was a series of three scenarios that were fascinating and mesmerising. The over-arching theme for me was an exploration of what it means to be alive – to learn, to touch, to follow, but in a primordial, primitive sense.  The third scenario titled Lifecycle mirrored the life of an insect. The performers beautifully recreating the stages from egg to larva, to adult. It was incredibly intimate and beautiful. 

The second half, Oessiah, seemed identifiably human. Illustrating our togetherness but also our disconnectedness , the dramas, loves, conflicts. Coming through it also was a strong sense of kinship and humour. At times more frenetic and discordant than part one, Oessiah showed the energy and dynamic nature of human relationships. 

At least that’s my take on it! 

Putting meaning aside, it was simply delightful to watch a troupe of very talented and charismatic dancers working together and creating moments of sublime beauty. 

The Monotone Era plays

Dates:  6 – 10th April 2021, 6:30pm

Venue: Basement Theatre

Tickets: $18 – $38

Bookings: www.basementtheatre.co.nz or phone iTicket 09 361 1000


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