Wellington Performing Arts Centre: 2008 Graduation Season

December 8, 2008 at 8:49 am | Posted in Recital Review, Show Review | 1 Comment
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Dec 7, 2008 by Show_Hanger

I went to an evening performance, Sunday the 7th of December, of the Wellington Performing Arts Centre‘s 2008 Commercial Dance Graduation. The programme listed a large creative team, but the web site credited Leigh Evans and Anne Anderson.

This was the graduation for the commercial dance graduates and as the title suggests the show had a Las Vegas theme. I don’t know what commercial dance constitutes, but I guessed that it wasn’t going to be ballet – or was it?

I really enjoyed the short piece – Excalibur – danced by the three male graduates. They looked more like members of Robin Hood’s band, than knights in armour. But there was no doubting their vigor and passion, nor the ballet training. They were armed with swords, rather than sabres, and the clash of swords often rang out from the stage. I was reminded that dancing and its attendent footwork was often taught to young warriers in many cultures.

I don’t get to see much tap dancing – and I found I enjoyed the flashing footwork and rhythm in all of these pieces.

I liked Venetian – a mascarade ball piece, with very dramatic costumes, executed in a balletic style.

I also liked Treasure Island – a piece about pirates done in a cross between contemporary and stage show styles. There cannot be a pirate sword left in Wellington’s toy shops! Still, the choreography was crisp and the use of long strips of silk very inventive – first as waves and later as a ship!!

The evening was a well organised and enjoyable, with 19 dances in all – with no interval! TEven though the dancers worked hard, they clearly enjoyed themselves – lots of smiles – and consequently, the audience was more relaxed and cheered and enjoyed themselves too. Initially, I found sitting so close to the action a little off putting, but I suspect that this was a good run through for the dancers, as there will be times when they are in close proximaty to their audience when they are working. My only suggestion for the producers would be to have a very short welcome and introduction at the beginning so that the first number doesn’t just burst out.

I believe that this is an annual event; hopefulliy I will be back next year.



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  1. […] was a balletic feel to the show – in contrast to the more broadway themed of past shows. It got quite physical at times – swim-throughs, backward walkovers, […]

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