Sketch: NZ School of dance Choreographic Season 2011

May 19, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Dance Review | Leave a comment
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Just got back from the Reviewer’s Evening of Sketch – the New Zealand School of Dance‘s 2011Choreographic Season – showcasing the choreographic of their senior contemporary dance students. I found it very entertaining; clearly everyone had put in lots of hard work; and good on the choreographers for putting their work on display.

Once again the School managed to surprise me with the way they transformed the foyer. Tonight they had a cellist playing in the Plaza, and visual artwork: a very short silent dance film entitled Aura projected on four large white panels. The film by Emma Cullinan and Holly Macpherson.

The works were:

  • Ignite by Alice Macann
  • Yin for Yang by Kimiora Grey
  • Duck Duck Goose by Fleur Cameron
  • Newton’s Cradle of Flesh by Yan Hao Du and Levi Cameron
  • Fifteen Minutes Left by Carl Tolentino
  • Anoesis by Isabelle Nelson
  • Left Unsaid by Rebecca Bassett-Graham
  • Variations on a Team by Zoe Dunwoodie
  • Shredded Strands by Jonathan Selvadurai
  • Shepherd by Thomas Bradley

Lighting was very effectively used to create mood and support all of the dances.

I found the pas de deux by Katie Baring-Gould and Jonathan Selvadurai in Kimiora Grey’s Yin and Yang quite original and touching. It looks like Grey set out to have the dancers dance while lying down. It was lyrical and touching – not only were the dancers lying down as they flowed over and past each other, but they were seldom out of physical contact with each other.

Fifteen Minutes Left, like a number of works during the evening, required the dancers to do some acting. It was fun and funny. Once again lighting was cleverly used – at times the dancers were contained by rectangles of light projected onto the floor. Most of the time they were constrained by very small T-shirts!

Left Unsaid started a bit slowly, but my hat goes off to Samantha Hines for putting so much of herself emotionally into her performance.

Part way through Variations on a Team, I though “this must have been choreographed by a woman;” and afterwards I found it listed against Zoe Dunwoodie in the programme. This work uses only male dancers who ‘strutted around’ in a number of very stereotypical male ways. It certainly struck a cord with the female members of the audience.

The dancers had superb physiques – perhaps a sign of the hard work they have put in during the course of their training.

If you can get tickets go – at $20 for an adult, it is tremendous value – 10 well danced original works. (and I am not just saying that … see below)

Declaration: I did say “Reviewer’s Evening” at the beginning of this post; the School gave me complementary tickets – it made my week when they offered them to me.

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Source Code

May 15, 2011 at 12:45 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see Source Code the other day – curious to see how it would handle the central “ground hog day” premise.

Jake Gyllenhaal is Captain Colter Stevens, a US helicopter pilot ‘in Afghanistan’. But who seems to be trapped in a capsule, where the only means of communication is a video link to a mysterious (US Air Force) Captain Goodwin – played by Vera Farma.

The Air Force has some secret project that sends someone’s consciousness backwards in time – Stevens is that someone and Goodwin is his controller. Steven’s mission is to find out the identity of the person who put a bomb on a train. The only catch is that Stevens arrives just eight minutes before the bomb kills everyone on the train (including his ‘host’). But ‘they’ can, and do, send him back as many times as it takes; or until the nuclear bomb, that the train bomber has threaten Chicago with, goes off.

The whole science behind the project is implausible – but the usual suspension of belief gets one through.

Stevens strikes up a relationship with Christina – played by Michelle Monaghan – on the train. Christina is a regular commuter – along with Steven’s host – and Steven eventually falls in love with her.

Stevens must find the identity of the bomber and find a way to save Christina (and all of the people on the train), and spend the rest of his life with Christina. Stevens is very focused on ‘not leaving friends and comrades behind.’ Christina represents something good – someone to spend one’s last moments with (forever).

Goodwin is driven to find the bomber and save Chicago, and she must build a relationship with Stevens to keep him focused on the mission, and along the way they develop a mutual understanding. The film and Goodwin are time constrained as to how to build this relationship, and it ends up with Stevens recalling Hot LZs at night. Farma does a good job in a difficult role.

Stevens dies over and over again, each time he uncovers another clue, or overcomes an obstacle.

As to whether Stevens can save anyone on the train, that depends on whether it is a time machine or a portal to a parallel universe or something else.

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