Made to Move

February 28, 2013 at 9:03 am | Posted in Ballet Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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I went to the opening night of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Made to Move, last night at the St James.

Made to Move premiered three works commissioned by the Company:

  • The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud – by Javier de Fruitos
  • Of Days – by Andrew Simmons
  • Bier Halle – by Ethan Stiefel

I was struck by Of Days: lyrical choreography, sparse lighting,(leaving much of the stage in a warm darkness), switches of lighting and drops (changing the viewers’ gross perspective, highlighting some dancers, and removing other dancers), combined with phrases and words projected onto the background. The orchestral music was light and complemented the dancers on the stage.

Abigail Boyle, with her dancing and presence, stood out in both The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud and Of Days. Medhi Angot, also stood out in both works.

Bier Halle was a fun piece that show cased the dancers. Gillian Murphy was amazing: she made everything look effortless and light; she went from motion to stillness (en pointe)) with no discernible transition; her dancing was technically precise; she casually threw in lots of fouettes! Qi Huan reached new heights: entrechats from second position; and did a series of ‘russians’ to complete a circle!! Paul Matthews and Kohei Iwamoto got to do a comic turn. Jacob Chown and Dimitri Kleioris were the ‘young males’ turned by the flirting Antonia Hewitt and Clytie Campbell – nice forward rolls. Jacob and Dimitri also got to skull two pints (each) on stage!

A Good Day to Die Hard

February 24, 2013 at 9:36 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I saw A Good Day to Die Hard – or “Die Hard 5” – today. Warning: plot elements revealed!

Bruce Willis is John McClane – a New York detective – heads to Moscow to ‘save’ his son John McClane (Jai Courtney) from an attempted murder charge. Instead he steps into a mass of trouble – all of it of his own making.

This film is more about the two McClanes and the nature of their relationship to each other, than a film where Willis/McClane(Snr) escapes one death trap after another – and both McClanes escape one death-trap after another.

The film starts off with McClane (Snr) thinking that McClane (Jnr) needs bailing out and ends up mucking up a CIA mission three years in the making. It turns out that Junior is just working for the CIA, and Senior blows the whole mission! The early part of the film all about an American abroad – interfering without understanding and generally causing a huge mess. I lost all sympathy for McClane (Snr) and it took lots of mindless violence for me to recover a sense of suspension-of-dis-belief.

There is an interesting juxtaposition of another father-child relationship – one that works quite effectively: Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and Irina (Yuliya Snigir). The latter are the baddies in this film, and desipte appearance always have a strong bond. The McClanes had a parting of the ways, and through continually escaping death-traps, they re-bond.

Is this a passing of the torch?

Ella & Will

February 17, 2013 at 9:12 am | Posted in Dance Review, Musical Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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I went to Anita Hutchins’ Ella & Will Friday night – part of The Wellington Fringe Festival.

Billed as a dance-theatre work, I was looking forward to a dramatic work that featured dance but in a different way to say a ballet.

At it’s heart Ella & Will is a love story: Ella is torn between will and the man in her dreams!

The continuous 2-hour long work features dance and video projection, as well as dialogue. It also featured life music – composed by double bass player Mostyn Cole.

I liked the clever movement of an assortment of boxes to create mode, create a sense of motion, and to create an amazing range of landscapes.

I also liked the pas de deux between Ella and Will – where they dance inside her skirt.

Cast (and dancers): Will Barling (Will), Anna Flaherty (Ella), Tanemahuta Gray (the man in Ella’s dreams), Sandra Normal Shaw, Aleasha Seaward, Jillian Davey, Andrew Miller, Lara Strong, and Anita Hutchins.

Script: Donna Banicevich Gera.

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