November 30, 2014 at 8:59 am | Posted in Dance Review | Leave a comment
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Last weekend I went to see the NZSD’s Graduation Season; this week I went to Whitireia Performance Centre’s Commercial Dance Graduation Show.

This year’s show was very good, the dancers improve from year-to-year, and this year the show was very cohesive. Every piece was based on a painting or set of related paintings. This gave each piece a bit of context, which made each piece more accessible. The choreography, technique, and the performance did the rest.

Seven of the dancers did an amazing cancan. Their high kicks were ear snapping. The choreography threw in high kicks, with clever little hitch kicks, some comedy, forward and backward walkovers, and the jump and drop into a side split!

The show gave the dancers an opportunity to show their group and individual talents. there was ballet, lyrical jazz, jazz, tap, hip hop and contemporary. I found the contemporary piece choreographed for Edward Munch’s The Scream quite unsettling. There was even a little bit of flamenco – Fabian Perez’s Dancer in Red. The tap piece showed off lighten fast footwork. I even found myself enjoying the hip hop. The duets were great: Zachary Warmouth being the only male dancer did much of the partnering, and lifting. Many of the dancers also had some cool gymnastics moves.

I hope the show contributes to the dancers’ audition videos, because they would have some very good footage.


NZSD: Graduation Season 2014

November 23, 2014 at 9:21 am | Posted in Ballet Review, Dance Review | 1 Comment
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I went to the New Zealand School of Dance‘s 2014 Graduation Season last night.

The programme was dominated by contemporary and neo-classical pieces. The third (mini-) Act was one long neo-classic series of pieces labelled: Purcell Pieces.

The first mini-Act consisted of George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco – all very tidy and precise, with some clever choreography to move dancers around each other; and The Speech (by Charlie Chaplin). The latter seemed more polished than when I saw it at – well done Jeremy Beck.

Another piece to catch my eye, was Val Caniparoli’s Double Stop – Samantha Vottari and Tynan Wood did a very good job.

Finally, exercpts from Douglas Wright’s Rapt was performed. This piece is – according to the programme, loosely base on the Lord’s Prayer in sign language. It begs the question: if it is not alright for dancers to speak or sing, why should they sign? Or, maybe this mix of dance and signing, will open up a new form of dance expression.

This year’s graduates look good.

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