One Way – New Zealand School of Dance Choreography Season 2010

May 31, 2010 at 1:28 am | Posted in Dance Review | Leave a comment
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The New Zealand School of Dance is holding its 2010 Choreography Season, 21 – 29 May.

I went along last night (Wednesday 26th) and I found it interesting: acting, vocals and dancing on multiple surfaces. There were 10 pieces, all segueing into each other – which made it difficult at times to identify one piece and the next. Three pieces struck for me:

  • Hanging from a string – Kyah Dove
  • Back to the Beginning – Emma Coppersmith
  • Love Songs – Danielle Lindsay

Hanging from a string was all about sterotypes and non-comformance: two women dressed in 50’s clothes and danced like suburban wives; a third women does not and endures what can only be described today as domestic violence. The choreography and costumes worked well; having the voice over at the beginning – with references to coming last at a horse race – was just overkill; and coming at the beginning, intially set my mind off on the wrong tangent.

Back to the Beginning was a lyrical piece that was nice to watch, and ended in confusion – what is the dancer doing with her cardigan? why is she just standing around? The programme ultimately enlightened me – it is about dementia!

Love Songs seemed to be about a love triangle, but what excited me with this piece was the utilisation of two surfaces to dance ‘on’. Part of the pas de deux at the beginning involved the woman dancing on a vertical surface, during holds and lifts with her male partner. I hope Ms Lindsay, and other choreographers, play with this more.

Also a pat on the back for Alana Sargent, who in her piece – Table for Eight – took modern dance to a less gentle type of floor work’. Her choreography required bodies to impact the floor – percussive dance!

One other thing I found distracting were the lights slowered down from the celling towards the end. Given the stark emptiness of the stage, these lights took on a life of their own, and I found them very distracting. Especially, when the dancers did not as far as I could see interact with them in a significant way.

Another excellent effort.

Lady Gaga – The Ballet

May 10, 2010 at 2:28 am | Posted in Ballet Review | Leave a comment
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After I saw the newspaper article, I could not resist looking up the YouTube video of Lady Gaga – The ballet. The sound track wasn’t too great, but the dancing was very nice.

Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Jaered Glavin‘s short choreograph for six dancers to Lady Gaga’s song Bad Romance puts classical ballet steps into a new setting. The dancers execute well and it is a nice bit of fun.

The clip got enough attention that Jared was interveiwed on Campbell Live and the six dancers got to dance the piece live on national television. The TV sound track is better, and the roving camera work give you a different perspective on the piece.

I think this piece is part of the Company’s professional development programme. In the past it has produced such crowd pleasers as Koo Koo Ka Choo – by Catherine Eddy and Brendan Bradshaw; which made it onto the playbill of Tutus on Tour 2009. So I look forward to Tutus on Tour 2011, where this piece will be a little more polished – the workshop only had 12 hours to work the piece up.

Pour Elle

May 6, 2010 at 12:59 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Contains: plot details

I went to this the other day and was quite surprised: I believed that a mild mannered man could do violent things for one he loves; Diane Kruger looks like Natalie Portman’s older sister; and sub-titles become invisible after awhile.

Pour Elle is a French film directed and written by Fred Cavayé. Kruger, even though her character (Lisa) is the elle of the film spends most of it off camera – she is in prison for murder. And slowly going out of her mind. Her husband (Julien) – played by Vincent Linden – is desparate to get her out. Having exhausted all legal avenues of appeal, he decides to take matters into his own hands. We see what a man of reasonable intelligence and determination is capable of.

It is all very French and gritty. Somehow more believable than an America movie.

There is violence; many laws are broken – though only a few moral ones. How does a man break his wife out of a medium security prison and then fly off with her and his young son? Avoiding police drag-nets and their photos being posted at all airports and sea port? With lots of money, lots of planning, calm execution, and a little bit of luck.

The big takeaway, is that if you ever find your carpark obstructed by a fire extinquisher -don’t immediately pick it up ! Walk around your car and other cars, and look for a body.

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