Big Kumara d-floor legacy takes to new Bats’ stage
INFAMOUS student haunt The Big Kumara may be gone, but its legacy lives on in a show inspired by dance floor shenanigans .
Gizza Hoon is a new pop dance show created by Brigid Costello and Pinwheel Dance Theatre for the Wellington Fringe festival, and is being staged at Bats Theatre’s new location in the former student bar, The Big Kumara.
Ms Costello, a secondary school teacher and ex-ballerina, was interested in getting inside the pop machine and figuring out what makes it so addictive.
“It’s kind of like junk food for the ears and seems to have a really powerful effect on people,” she says.
The idea for the experimental show came about in September last year.
“Initially the title of the show was ‘In da club’ because I liked the idea of really ugly dancing to pop music that you see on Courtenay Place on any given night,” she says.
But a more New Zealand perspective brought on the unique name Gizza Hoon.
“It encapsulates the style of the show which is ‘give it a go’, ‘get amongst it.”
The style of dancing rarely seen on stage, but may be familiar to some audience members who hit the town on Saturday nights.
“It’s definitely not what I’d call pretty dancing, we’ve tried to stay away from pretty dancing, and it’s more movement that any one on the street can do.”
Dancer in the show Melissa Phillips says she drew on personal experience of dance clubs when work-shopping ideas.
“Sometimes people are dancing when they’re drunk and they think they’re doing one thing when what they are doing is completely different.”
She says the show gives an insight into that world.
“As soon as you’re of [an] age when you can go out you’re opened up to this whole new world,” she says.
Another dancer, Amber Gribble, says she thought the show, including their skimpy costumes, was an over-dramatization of club life.
“But on Courtenay Place the other night I was like, that’s actually what we’re wearing in the show.”
Tane Upjohn-Beatsman created the shows soundtrack with todays popular music like Call Me Maybe and One Direction in mind.
Ms Costello says they used those as base tracks to inspire the movement before the new soundtrack was created.
“He’s come in and created a completely original score, which obviously had the same rhythms but have an entirely new take on things,” says Ms Costello.
Gizza Hoon is playing at Bats’ new location on Dixon Street until Saturday 16 March.