WOW 2011

August 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Dance Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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I went to the 2011 Bancroft Estate World of Wearableart Awards Show (‘WOW’) last night.

Fantastic ! Worth trying to get some of the remaining tickets.

Warning: spoilers !

In a two hour dance and wow spectacular there were many highlights, but one of them was the Royal New Zealand Ballet dancing (classical) while partnered with life opera (Aivale Cole and Ben Makisi). Another was staging a dancing on a wall. There were four dance companies involve in this year’s production: the Royal New Zealand Ballet; New Zealand School of Dance; Footnote Dance; and the WOW Dance Troupe! Needless to say there was lots of movement – the models can all dance too !

The Children’s section was its usual youthful bright energetic display.

The UV section left me with a sense of Dance Macabre: dis-embodied legs, skeletons, and eyes.

The Microscope section cleverly created a microscopic world with chains of helium balloons – form a mass of cell like air mass. There were lots of wacky looking microscopic life form inspired garments.

The section changes was very cleverly done. The audience’s attention was dramatically shifted by lighting and staging a little segue piece at the ‘back’ of the auditorium – while on stage, in the dark, stage crew made the necessary changes.

The Open section was chock full of interesting and spectacular; all while dancers stood statute-like on stacked up chairs discarding what seemed like an endless supply of wraps from their bodies!

The Man Unleashed section opened with a large group brides and Billy Idol’s White Wedding! I think this section struck a cord with the ladies in the audience!

The Avante Garde section was just great. I feared that I was in danger of watching too much of the dancing (ballet with live opera), but WOW and anticipated this problem, and had cleverly set the choreography to not clash with the garments.

The ‘Kiwi Icon’ section hit the spot: with the surprise appearance of an iconic comedienne (Ginette McDonald), iconic New Zealander, and an iconic kiwi singer (John Rowles); all to kiwi music. Apparently the iconic New Zealander will change every night; on this night it was Tim Shadbolt.

Well worth the ticket price.


Cowboys and Aliens

August 15, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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A cowboy movie and a science fiction movie rolled into one – how could I resist? So I went to see Cowboys and Aliens.

Daniel Craig is “the cowboy” – Jake Lonergan – “Jake”; and the aliens are extras. Jake wakes up without any memory, a picture of a young women, and a strange bracelet on his left wrist. We are shown a glimpse into Jake’s nature when three bounty hunters try to take him prisoner; Jake kills them all.

The other main characters are: Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) and Ella (Olivia Wilde). For awhile, the film flirts with the audience: is Harrison Ford actually going to play a bad guy – wealthy cattle rancher who abuses his position? Ella, turns out to have a very mysterious past and is crucial to the final outcome – of course the aliens are vanquished.

The film uses the aliens in the traditional role played by indians – ruthless, brutal, and two dimensional. The film is then challenged to work the actual indians in; the film could have omitted them, but they seem to serve to develop Ford’s character.

It is a very busy film: Jake is an outlaw who had set himself on the straight and narrow, prior to him loosing his memory; the colonel actually cares, but because of his experiences in the civil can’t show it; there is new found respect between cowboys and indians; alien invasion; a boy becomes a man; another boy gets another chance; on and on.

Some very nice action sequences. I thought the film was based on a computer game, but it turns out to be adapted from a graphic novel (a comic).

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