NZSD: Insight (Studio Performance)

September 28, 2012 at 7:22 am | Posted in Ballet Review, Dance Review | Leave a comment
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I went to the New Zealand school of Dance’s latest studio performance – Insight – last night.

The dancers were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year dance students; the dances were put on in the main studio.

Two ballet pieces stay in my mind: Fractals and Facade.

Fractals is a neo-classic ballet piece choreographed by Parrish Maynard to music by Kenneth Kirschner. The 3rd year dancers executed this exciting piece really well – strong, good lines, and a controlled passion.

Facade is another neo-classical ballet piece: choreographed by Jeffrey Tan to music by Samuel Barber. Elisabeth Zorino and William Fitzgerald had a lovely connection and really did justice to this lyrical pas de deux.

Luis Piva Jnr danced James’ solo from La Sylphide Act I: strong, powerful and nice lines.

These NZSD studio performances are a real bargain: excellent dancing at gold-coin donation prices.


World of Wearableart 2012

September 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Dance Review, Musical Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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WOW ! went to the 2012 World of Wearableart dress rehearsal last night – great, get a ticket if you can.

A mixture of surreal and fun would be how I would try to sum up this year’s show.

The Children’s Section has a little girl falling into her toy box at bed time and entering a dream world – there is even a rabbit in a car!

I liked the tiaha wielding warriors in a video game: clever and it must be hard dancing with a projection.

The Open Section used Argentinian tango as the ‘back drop’ – some very nice dancing. This section also introduced a little meme for the show – unaccompanied male dancers. In this section, the ladies danced by themselves and it look more like flamenco, and the men partnered each other. It wasn’t exactly smoldering, but nevertheless had a degree of intensity.

The Visual Symphony Section was innovative and ‘big’ – grunge steam punk. The Gareth Farr composed and directed music partly utilised the garments themselves for musical notes. Some of the garments were very quite and this was dealt with through handheld microphones choreographed into the dancing. I liked the big disk / wobbleboard.

The Avante Garde Section was wonderfully surreal: opera, candles (lots of them), lyrical dancing, and really out-there art-on-a-person garments. I was a bit worried for the dancers and models because of all the naked flames.

The Bizzarre Bra finale was fantastic – literally out of this world. A wonderful mix of B-grade and classic science fiction moments. There were three actual spaceships!!! and a space monster.

Another brilliant show.

La Bayadere

September 11, 2012 at 9:01 am | Posted in Ballet Review, DVD Review | Leave a comment
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I just watched the Opus Arte DVD of The Royal Ballet’s 2009 production of La Bayadere: The Temple Dancer. Really good ! The Shades in the Act 2 (Scene 2) is a hidden gem.

The official billing is choreography by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa; though I notice that revival staging is accredited to Olga Evreinoff, and principal coaching is accredited to the latter and Alexander Agadzhanov. Anyway the choreography was great. I did have a little problem with the costumes in combination with the lush scenery – a switch to more dessert and sand might have worked better.

The story is pretty and easily followed: two women love the same man and one women poisons the other. There is some rich emotion to be mined and it is an opportunity for some excellent choreography and dancing. Carlos Acosta dances the part of Solor the ‘love object’ – he is a brave warrior (and hunter of tigers). Tamara Rojo dances the part of Nikiya – a temple dancer: the Bayadere. Marianela Nunez dances the part of Gamzatti – the Rajah’s daughter and the other women.

The Shades in scene 2 is very reminiscent of the mass swan scenes in Swan Lake, but with a much more dramatic entrance. The interview with Leanne Cope and Francesca Filpi on the ‘Extras’ really add some wonderful context to this scene. Incidentally, the ‘Extras’ segment on this DVD are really good; as is the accompanying booklet.

A DVD worth watching.

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