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Read: Orchids is uplifting and beautiful

Trying to tell a story using only music and dance is a challenge – will the audience understand it? But along with that challenge comes the opportunity to gift those assembled the chance to use their imagination and innate ability to interpret symbolism.

Last night, Orchids rose to that challenge. 

The set was minimal with just a huge gossamer cloth anchored bowl like to the stage which would either lift or fall depending on the story playing out. The lighting was mostly muted which gave a sense that we were in a womb like reverential space. The music was perfectly suited to each set being mesmerising and hypnotic or beautifully melodic and uplifting. 

Orchids explored a range of emotional and physical states: tenderness, sensuality, confusion, and aggression. There were elements that symbolised the dynamics between mothers and daughters, or sisters, friends or even colleagues, yet they could also have been representing any human bond, even for example, a relationship between countries. 

There was one instance that particularly stood out. Five of the dancers surrounded a colleague and used their hands to manipulate her facial muscles and lips. It seemed to me, to be a skilful way to portray the myriad emotions, thoughts, or even personalities that can struggle for dominance in a single person’s mind.  

It was this use of the dancers hands that I found intriguing – in addition to that mentioned above, they also created snakes, antlers, crowns and even something that resembled an Elizabethan ruff cradling a face. 

The director of choreography for the show, Sarah Foster-Sproull, says she and the performers have been exploring female relationships, both to one another and to the metaphysical realm of the goddess.

That was clearly evident, yet for me, there was also something bigger, a profound sense of the universality of the human experience.

Orchids is a beautifully choreographed piece of work that is skilfully executed, and incredibly uplifting to watch. 


Wednesday Jul 17 2019 – Saturday Jul 20 2019

Q Theatre (Rangatire) 7:30 PM

55 mins, no interval

Ticket price:

$29 – $42 

for more information and bookings click here


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