New Zealand School of Dance 2009 Graduation Season

December 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Posted in Ballet Review, Show Review | 1 Comment
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I went to this year’s graduation performance by the New Zealand School of Dance. The printed programme as has become the norm was produced to a high standards – though I found the font size a little challenging in dim light.

Nov 21, 2009 by Show_Hanger

Saturday the 21st of November, the New Zealand School of Dance‘s Graduation Season 2009, at the New Zealand School of Dance.

The night’s performance consisted of:

  • Pas de Quatre
  • Haere
  • Love
  • Pas de Trois (from Raymonda, Act I)
  • X300
  • Crossed Fingers
  • He Taonga – a gift
  • Airs

There were eight pieces : three ballet pieces and five contemporary pieces; arranged around two intervals.

The opening piece – Pas de Quatre, originally choreographed for four of the (five) pre-eminent ballerinas of their time – set the tone for the night. It spoke of a confidence in the graduates’ techniques and performance abilities, and a willingness to put on something special. Lucile Grahn (Alison Carroll), Carlotta Grisi (Hayley Meek), Fanny Cerrito (Katherine Grange), and Marie Taglioni (Haruka Tsuji) cast a very long shadow.

Love – a short contemporary piece – was amazing, the duo of Nicola Leahy and Robbie Curtis, had so much energy and connection, back by technique.

The second Act opened with the Pas de Trois from Raymonda, Act I. This was superbly executed by three technically very proficient dancers: Haruka Tsuji, Anna Ishii and Andre Santos. The audience appreciated each execution. Watching Santos dance, especially the jump turns, I thought to myself : “I want to see him do Le Corsaire!” At the end of the dance there was a huge outpouring of applause from the audience; and Santos chivourously ushered his two fellow dancers forward – staying well back.

I found the Guinea Pig segment of X300 the modern piece I could most relate to; it was very street theatre – maybe it was the costumes. But it got the point across – that nuclear explosions are not good!

Crossed Fingers was breath taking. I am not sure what neo-classical ballet is, but if this is an example, I am all for it. Katherine Grange and Loughlan Prior were amazing, Katherine Grange in a simple red leotard was both flexible and strong. They executed a series of unorthodox ballet lifts, which were refreshing and stunning in the demands on the dancers’ technique. Grange’s head stand finale stunned the audience !

The final piece – Airs – was a soft lyrical way to finish the evening; light music, and some nice fusion of ballet and contemporary. I found my mind drifting along and left focused on of all things – the handball incident in the France Ireland world Cup qualifier!

Overall, the programme was strong, and pieces that showed the graduates strengths appear to have been chosen.

The evening was a well put together one. As has become the norm, there as a photo exhibition featuring the graduating students, in the lobby; there was a small well stocked cash bar; and some well appointed tables to sit at.

0.3

Apologies for taking so long to get my thoughts blogged, but I have had a very busy few days since the preformance.

Oh: FIFA needs to move into the 21st century and have a video official review all red cards, penalities and goals. These events result in a stop in play, so the stuffy ‘it will effect the flow of the game” object won’t wash. As for the France Ireland game, replay it; the official name of the game is Football; the affect of the “Hand of Frog” on the eventual goal makes a mokery of the game itself.

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