Thursday , April 15 2021

Douglas Wright's great celebration: He has a mirror up to New Zealand society.



The dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright have died after a long fight with cancer. It was 62. As the New Zealand Dance Society mourns, we look back at the final work of Wright in this piece by Laura Walters, first published in 2015.

This could be the culminator known at the last work, Douglas Wright.

He has said that from before. In fact, after all work, he says himself that this is the last one. But this time, it's different.

Douglas Wright at his home in Mt Albert, Auckland in 2015.

PETER MEECHAM / STUFF

Douglas Wright at his home in Mt Albert, Auckland in 2015.

This time, it's not disappointing in a review or opportunity lost to take the piece to the world, it does not have to do the "juice" yet.

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Wright has been living with HIV for almost his whole career but has not let him go on the way that he's still discharged, until he turns them to art.

Douglas Wright in 1988 for A Time A Dancer "document.

Douglas Wright in 1988 for A Time A Dancer "document.

Wright has created more than 30 contemporary dance work in his 35-year career and will be comfortable if The Tu Mewn Kiss proves to be the last.

This is the first full work that he has created since its 2011 Raptio. Five dancers depict the search for ecstasy in the human culture, by exploring the themes of religion, sex, drugs, extreme physical interference, sado-maskism and, of course, dancing itself, in the corrupt corporeal language that Wright has become famous for it.

It started as many Wright pieces, with an image, were "dream seeds". "It's likely that seeds are planted in your head … and go on to grow very slowly," Wright explained. He says that the idea of ​​this has been hijacked; He tried to ignore the thing but he was waiting patiently, and when he got an idea that goes back, he knows he's going on.

PETER MEECHAM / STUFF

"My job is to do the job … I'm doing the work myself myself proud or I can not bother in parts." – Douglas Wright

Others will enjoy seeing it, he says. Or maybe they will not. But in one way or another, it will stimulate thinking.

Wright has produced dozens of nationally and internationally named pieces but has not gone to his head, not to pocket: living in a comparative unit in the suburbs of Mt Albert, Auckland, is enclosed with Extracted number of paintings, sculptures and books.

The audiences do not have the job to do with the creator, he explains. "My job is to do the job … I do the work myself myself proud or I can not bother in parts."

A scene from The Kiss Inside, by Douglas Wright.

PIPPA SAMAYA

A scene from The Kiss Inside, by Douglas Wright.

This would be "height of the smell" to think to know what an audience thinks or wants.

Wright, who also writes and painted, said he was surprised by the public appreciation of his artwork – he did it for himself, but he was displayed in galleries and & # 39; i to sell.

He won the Montana Book Prize for the first part of his memoirs (Spirit Dance), and then re (Terra Incognito) and two volumes of poetry. He reads the book of the day: "I do not think I would be healthy and still acted if it was not for literature … if you wanted to be dramatic about it, I would say that there is a gen to a close relationship with the dead. "

There is a picture of Douglas Wright of Implication and Immune Artists: responding to the AIDS crisis, a group show in 1993.

CHRIS SKELTON / FAIRFAX NZ

There is a picture of Douglas Wright of Implication and Immune Artists: responding to the AIDS crisis, a group show in 1993.

If he's living long enough, he says, he'll write another book. He is unfortunately for his own death. He knows that death will come to him faster than most. "You just handle the situation as it is."

Her health means that Wright has had to analyze the creation of the piece into three, three-week work blocks. It has taken a year to go to this stage, with one slot of three weeks – and 10 minutes of time – to go.

Sarah-Jayne Howard has worked with Douglas over the past 13 years, and he is one of the strongest five The Tu Mewn Kiss cast. Once Wright himself and Howard described as "nearby hurricanes", she is a line of treasures.

Dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright in 1983.

TIMES STAR SUNDAY

Dancer and choreographer Douglas Wright in 1983.

His high expectations, he said: "You're working off your ass". Wright is hard on his own, he says, a perfectist who brings it into practice: "But you like the human and what you are is coming. "

And while the 37-year-olds now live in Australia, she would leak anything to work with Wright: "This is the real deal. It's a real artist."

Howard believes that Wright has inspired every young contemporary dancer in the country; she remembers disappearing out of class at New Zealand Dance School to take her class with a choreographer company. His "raw" work is an epitome of dance in New Zealand, he says. "Unfortunately, the rest of the world has not seen enough."

She can not understand why Wright's work has not traveled as extensive as she deservedly. "I believe he kills it."

Dominion Post's dance reviewer, Ann Hunt, agrees. "I feel very strongly that it has been depicted … somewhere like Australia would fund it to the cushion," he said, as private fans here do not fill in & # 39 ; The gap left by a lack of money from the government for the arts. "For me, it gives us unforgettable images through the time," he said.

Hunt says that Wright is "visionary" that looks at themes that other choreographers will not touch. "It gives us something to consider … it's still a mirror up to New Zealand society."

But Wright says he does not sour for the money he has received over the years. The Tu Mewn Kiss had commissioned by the New Zealand Festival and received $ 53,105 from New Zealand Creative.

Indeed, he says, he is grateful and not all Kiwi artists are as lucky as he is. Wright likes art to one of organs and bodies. "We have not yet realized that the arts are an organ in that body that the body needs to stay alive." If New Zealand does not nurture that organ, the body will rot and become "sparkling and mitigating and bending".

The Tu Mewn Kiss Look at a theme that everyone can connect to, search for ecstasy.

"In our lives, we are always looking for some sort of satisfaction or some sort of orgasm. That's the best kind of ecstasy."

Even if it's a rush of a heroine or eating chocolate chocolate, everyone looks for ecstasy, says Wright.

People are often looking for ecstasy through religion, he says.

Although Wright usually stays away from comments on contemporary politics, this piece breaks the rule and looks at the impact that religion has got on the world.

Wright and dancers must expect in their souls to create images that have been injured for a long time.

But it's still worried about the work: if it's not about how the audience will respond but just one that will imagine.

Wright says that he is constantly injecting the material for any suggestion of a weakness. "I'd rather hear a negative word in the studio, or I'd read in the newspaper a few months later because there was something that you've lost."

And even after these many years of creating admired work, it needs encouragement outside it.

"There's sometimes a praise like a fuel, when you need it. We all have the same, and I'll need to know that I've gone to the correct address."

This first piece was published in the Sunday Star Times on February 27, 2015.


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