Sound design to dance show Mtyland hailed as “compelling”

When dancer and choreographer Claire O'Neil returned to her native New Zealand recently, there was much expectation. She had been living in Europe for several years and was returning with a show called "Mtyland". The title was her way of questioning her roots. Is it an empty land? Mighty land? And what is the difference between the two? Performed by the Footnote Dance group, the show received very favourable reviews, with Lyne Pringle of Theatre Review saying, "O'Neil teases apart the liminal space between emotional states, toys with dualities such as 'attack and defence, emptiness and fullness' to reveal a new perspective on the quest to find an 'emptiness (openness, acceptance) in a full world'." Sue Cheesman called the show "invigorating, challenging, exciting".

The sound design and music by British nu-jazz composer Herman Martin was noticed with Pringle calling it "compelling and appropriate", whereas Shruti Navathe noted the "stark... and occasionally startling" effect.

The show went on to win an award as the "Best Choreography by an Established Artist" at the Tempo 2008 dance awards.

Herman Martin has provided music for a number of O'Neil shows, NowHere, Lost Property and Loaded. He is known as the composer of the manga series "Code: Lyoko" and is currently finishing his début album of nu-jazz called "Pretensions (of a Stranger in a Strange Land)" in Brussels.

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