NZSD Insight Studo Performances September 2013

September 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Posted in Ballet Review, Dance Review | Leave a comment
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The New Zealand School of Dance has just put on another of its Studio Performances – to give their public a taste of what to expect in their graduation season in November. As usual it was a mixture of classical ballet and contemporary works.

I liked:

  • Waltz of the snowflakes: it reminded me of ballet-school productions.
  • Sorley’s performance of Kitri’s variation from Don Quixote act II.
  • Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Solitaire – girl’s solo danced by Yayoi Matches.
  • Rise – choreographed by former RNZB dancer Jo Funaki.

Technical issues meant that No Lost Islands – choreographed by Michael Parmenter – could not be performed. [I suspect the Apple devices upgraded to iOS7 refused to work withe the School’s non-apple cables.]

Luigi Vescio was able to perform his solo set to Glassworks (music by Phillip Glass), by having the music physically played on the studio’s piano.

All this, and more, for a gold coin donation!

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World of Wearableart 2013

September 28, 2013 at 3:22 am | Posted in Dance Review, Event Review, Musical Review, Show Review | Leave a comment
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Another brilliant show

WOW ! I went to the 2013 World of Wearableart dress rehearsal AND opening night!  Obviously, I think it is great, so get a ticket if you can. I might even try for another session.

Likes: Man Unleashed and Costume & Film

I liked the Man Unleashed section. WOW moved away from the models on revolving stage segments for this section; the audience got a close-up on the garments via a big screen.  The guys danced and hammed-it-up on temporary stages made of white boxes moved by movers dressed in white unitards. The ‘Born to be Wild’ garment nearly bought the house down.

I also like the Costume & Film section, which was based on a 1900’s circus theme. The circus acts was so good that they stole the show 🙂

Observations: a Lighter Shade of Pale

WOW was very ‘white’ this year: many of the garments were white, cream, or dominated by light colours. The make-up, lighting, and ‘props’ tended to create a pale aesthetic. This was very noticeable in the South Pacific section. In other sections, things verged on a WOW re-interpretation of a Victoria Secrets show.

Between the Dress Rehearsal and Opening Night, WOW swapped the order of the Costumes & Film section and  the Avant Garde section. The Dress Rehearsal closed with the Avant Garde section leaving everyone feeling a little flat.  Opening Night used the Avant Garde section to create a serene calm before a torrent of circus fun closed the show. I thought the change was a good move – the little wave from the final circus act aptly closed the show.

Disappointments: No Air Guitar and Clutter

The Man Unleashed section had a very short  air guitar sequence that did not give it the time to develop the energy that it deserved.

At times individual sequences seem disconnected, as many sections had large opaque artifacts – albeit very artistic ones – in the middle of the stage that blocked out a complete view of the stage.

RED 2

September 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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Warning: plot spoilers.

This sequel picks up a few months after Red [1] finished: Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) are settling into a safe, if dull, suburban routine. Then Marvin (John John Malkovich) is blown up in the Costco car park and it is all go.

There is a nice touch with “You can’t always get what you want” playing at the funeral – just like in The Big Chill.

Anthony Hopkins is Dr Bailey – the baddy – and I though it was a nice touch for him to get back into the action/spy genre – an early foray was “When eight Bells Toll“.

A running gag is that everyone keeps giving Frank relationship advice! Sarah is not settling into the relationship – because Frank packs her in cotton wool. She just wants to be a kick-ass like Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

Katja is an old flame of Frank’s, and her re-entry into his life causes some extra tension in the relationship. Katja and Frank have the most amazing driver swap sequence – possibly ever.

Mirren tends to steal the film with here restrained performance.

Its a bit violent, but worth a go.

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