Jennifer De Leon of Poyema Dance presents a dance work about What It Takes

Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Jennifer De Leon returns to TAPAC with two works which explore some of life's key questions: Do we get there? Where is ‘there’? Does it matter? Do we care?

"Seeming to address internal struggles, the challenges of creation and performance, taking new directions which challenge everything that has gone before.” - Raewyn Whyte.

Directed by Kerry Wallis, costuming by Olga Khimitch, poetry by Anthony Doerr, performed by Jennifer and Dhruv Mody (for Swimmer), with Karen Plimmer (harp) and AV by Vernon Rive. 

Presented back-to-back with no interval. Come prepared to feel. Flow, bloody-mindedness, grace.

"Doesn’t look like much, does it?
Hardly a couple of ounces of bones and feathers.
But this little bird can fly to Africa.
Powered by only bugs – and worms - and desire."

- Doerr, 2014

BUGS and WORMS and DESIRE is an intimate look into a journey. Determination, grace, grit.

In this work Jennifer confronts a question that, sooner or later, confronts us all - what does it take?

Whether it be to get there, go forward, go anywhere, simply GO – what does it take?
Yes - endurance but there is more, a kind of divine grace. Undergirding not just the movement but perhaps the essence of why this happens at all.

BUGS and WORMS and DESIRE is preceded by
SWIMMER with Dhruv Mody. About Being There.

About Jennifer De Leon: 

Among other esotericism Jenny believes this: either you give up – or you keep going.

Born with a small hole in the heart, as a child she wasn’t allowed to run. Rheumatic fever at ages 9-10 hardly increased the likelihood of a life in dance. Nevertheless she completed ballet training at NZ School of Dance and travelled the world…until a car accident at age 25 killed her mother, and left Jennifer comatose and searching for threads of memory that (for a very long time) slipped away.
She established a small dance company called ‘Poyema’ – a word taken from the Bible and meaning ‘God’s work of art’ - and performed in small and wondrous ways throughout NZ.
Then the motorbike accident. She was told “you’ll never walk again” – but Jenny chose not to agree and after eight operations (over eight years on-and-off crutches) – she walked again. And danced.
Since then there have been two hip replacements, not to mention the steady, inexorable fellow-journeyer… Age.

Choreography, moves and a body that challenge everything physical and emotional you can think of.
Then… just a couple of months ago Jenny fell out of a tree. Broke bones in her pelvis and lost all feeling in one leg.
Endurance - and more, a kind of divine grace? Perhaps the essence of why this happens at all.

Jennifer De Leon, choreographer/performer is “a dance artiste who pushes her boundaries continually. She tests herself and her body with new forms of movement and choreography, searching for and discovering the dance that is truly her/ and her's.” - MaryJane O’Reilly

“De Leon is one of our most radical performers.” - Raewyn Whyte

“Bird like movements, darting beady eyes and coy smile hide a tiger or panther that lies beneath her downward glare. Jennifer’s beauty is inherent in her bone structure and mana, these are her anchor.” - Merenia Gray

“When she left the stage it seemed for a few seconds as if she was still dancing in the empty space.” - Ann Hunt