A Dance in 5 Installations

A dance in 5 installations

From the moment the first artist in A Dance in 5 Installations slinks along the top of a wall and launches himself onto aerial silks, you are transported on a powerful journey.

Choreographer Glenville Lord says the work represents the full circle of his experience, starting as a junior dancer at the Oceania Centre, working in Samoa and then returning to USP’s Oceania Centre as coordinator of the dance program.

“The show is not only about me, per se, it’s about human experience and how we experience it. And it’s my version and my interpretation of how I experienced life and the struggles and tribulations that I went through and the happiness and the joy and the tears. But also, how the human body experiences it through movement, and how I can project that and tell that through dance and see how the audience can relate to it and what they can take from the movement flowing through the stage, like waves crashing on the ocean shore.”

A Dance in 5 Installations is a visually stunning display of power and grace, control and abandon. A simple set featuring doorways, the appearance of silks for aerial dance segments, the use of light and shadow, and the way the choir’s voices and bodies move through the audience, make for an immersive experience.

The musical score created by Calvin Rore, which features the chants and harmonies of Pasifika Voices, the beat of the lali, and natural soundscapes and voiceovers, adds depth and intensity to the performance.

Lord explains that the work draws from his experiences, both professional and personal.

Glen Lord
Glenville Lord

“This is my language. This is me drawing from my knowledge of the Pacific and what I’ve learned in over 17 years. The knowledge that I’ve been so blessed to pick up and learn in terms of the Pacific cultures and the Western cultural techniques and choreographic styles and genres, and how I fuse that together to tell my stories is my language.”

Lord initially went to Samoa to work on choreography and costume design for the 2019 Pacific Games and was offered a contract to be co-director at SPACE, Samoa Performing Arts and Creative Excellence. SPACE was founded by the late and great Samoan dancer and choreographer, Allan Alo, who was Lord’s mentor and teacher when he first started learning and performing at the Oceania Centre.

A pioneer of contemporary Pacific dance, Alo inspired a generation of dancers, including Lord, who says he took the role in Apia as a way of giving back to Samoa: “To give back to the family that allowed their child, Alan, to come to Fiji and nurture us here in Fiji and teach us. In my heart I thought I will go to Samoa and I will give what I can give as an artist to them as a thank you for having Alan come all the way to Fiji and inspire us as artists.”

In his role in Fiji, Lord hopes to be able to support a new generation of dancers.

“I believe sharing what you’ve learnt and what you’ve accumulated just means that you also live on through your students and I think that’s a very beautiful thing. I’ve had three teachers and their work lives on through me, and I’ve had students that have gone on to form their own dance companies and my work lives on through them. And I think that’s a beautiful way of living the performing arts life, just passing on knowledge.”

A Dance in 5 Installations is on tonight at the Oceania Centre Pavilion at USP’s Laucala campus.

The show starts at 7pm.

Tickets are available at the door for $30 each.

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