Dance

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS : BONNIE CURTIS PROJECTS IMPRESSES WITH ITS DEBUT FULL LENGTH PRODUCTION

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS is the first feature length work to be performed by Bonnie Curtis Projects and is part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.

Bonnie Curtis Projects has previously performed various short pieces examining the theories of psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud, domestic violence and other related topics.

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS attempts to explore the experiences of young modern Australian women, body image and sexualization, the mask women wear as a public face, and the use of social media.

Our emcee for the evening was Melinda Penna, in a black dress with a white fluffy short wrap – think the ads for Australian Dance Theatre’s Birdbrain – and sparkly silver high heels.

Penna introduced the two works to be performed through the evening and has a big part in the second half – more of that later. Continue reading GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS : BONNIE CURTIS PROJECTS IMPRESSES WITH ITS DEBUT FULL LENGTH PRODUCTION

THE BAD INFLUENCE CONCERT @ 107 PROJECTS REDFERN

This concert will feature Sydney’s freshest electronic artist Leotrix, Bad Influence kicks off the holidays with a night full of vibes and music!

Set times:
HardKorsun – 7:00
Xorts – 8:00
Leotrix – 9:00 headlining act

Free soft drinks, all ages.
No alcohol to be consumed on premises.

DETAILS: –
30th September 2017 @ 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.

For more about Bad Influence @ 107 ft. Leotrix, visit http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/bad-influence-107-u18/97610
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UNREAL : AUSTINMER DANCE THEATRE’S HIT SHOW COMING TO SYDNEY

Featuring works by three highly acclaimed international Choreographers, Maurice Causey, Iratxe Ansa and Spencer Gavin Hering, UNREAL, directed by Michelle Forte, is a diverse triple bill that invites the viewer to question reality and illusion.

Featuring a 13 strong cast made up of dancers from Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Queensland and Melbourne, UNREAL conjures thoughts which challenge the authenticity of paradoxes and how the nature of relationships influence our connections with one another.

This trio of fresh contemporary dance is sure to inspire, engage and excite.

Austinmer Dance Theatre’s sell-out productions consistently receive rave reviews with their team of dedicated dancers attracting impressive recognition.

Company members have attended invitation only international residencies with alumni having gone on to secure part and full time professional contemporary and ballet positions.

‘For the uninitiated, contemporary dance can be tricky business, but ‘UNREAL’ is contemporary dance at its most accessible. It featured bite-sized chunks of high-intensity choreography interpreted by world-class performers whose flexibility and strength defied belief.‘ – Lindsay Fischer, Northern Illawarra

‘UNREAL, a triple bill presented by Wollongong’s Austinmer Dance Theatre, features works by international choreographers Maurice Causey, Iratxe Ansa and Spencer Gavin Hering. This company of young professional and pre-professional dancers directed by Michelle Forte is going from strength to strength, with this being the most ambitious of its productions to date.‘ – Lisa Maris McDonell – Independent Reviewer

Venue:- HPG Fringe Hub, Stage1, 225 Euston Road Alexandria
Dates :- September 5-9
Time :- 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Bookings :-

https://sydneyfringe.com/buy-tickets-2017/

For more about Unreal, visit http://www.austinmerdancetheatre.com
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BLUE LOVE : SHAUN PARKER AND COMPANY @ JOAN SUTHERLAND PAC

The Joan is bringing award-winning Australian choreographer Shaun Parker to Penrith to present BLUE LOVE, a poetic and satirical take on the clichés of pop culture, romance, coupledom and suburbia. This quirky, character-based work combines multi-media with physical theatre and comedy. It’s accessible, challenging and enormously entertaining.

From a fantastic place where TV soap meets art-house film, Blue Love’s protagonists Glenn and Rhonda Flune take the audience on an expedition in search of the clichéd, perfect relationship.

Infused with intense movement, film and dance, BLUE LOVE is inspired by famous works of art, theatre, music and film; all of which deal with the concept of love. Glenn and Rhonda draw on and reference all of these art forms, parodying the lip-service given to love and its incarnations. Continue reading BLUE LOVE : SHAUN PARKER AND COMPANY @ JOAN SUTHERLAND PAC

SAND SONG @ BARANGAROO

Families will love SAND SONG, an uplifting contemporary Aboriginal dance and theatre performance and workshop at Barangaroo during the October school holidays.

SAND SONG will illuminate the Cutaway at Barangaroo Reserve across six days from Tuesday, 3 October to Sunday, 8 October 2017.

A unique and inspiring Aboriginal culture experience for children aged 5-12 and their parents or carers, SAND SONG tells the story of ‘Cheeky Brolga stealing Emu’s egg’, which is the Gammilleroi Dreaming story of the ‘First Sun’ – the first time the sun’s light shone on Australia. The story also represents the dawn of understanding, growing up and gaining wisdom.

During a 30-minute hands-on workshop, children meet the performers, learn the Emu dance and ‘paint up’ their dream on a glass ‘dream holder’ that becomes part of the SAND SONG set. Children will get to keep their dream holder after the show.

The workshop is followed by a mesmerising and humorous 40-minute performance exploring the power of light, dreams and fire and featuring a fusion of contemporary and traditional music, with live singing, didgeridoo and clap sticks.

Created by visual artists Walbira Murray and director Elena Vereker, and produced by Insite Arts.

For more information and tickets, visit www.barangaroo.com/see-and-do/whats-on/sand-song/

DATES
Tuesday 3 October (10am), Wednesday 4 October (10am), Thursday 5 October (10am & 1:30pm) , Saturday 7 October, Sunday 8 October (11am & 2:30pm)

For more about SAND SONG at Barangaroo, visit http://www.barangaroo.com/see-and-do/whats-on/sand-song/
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GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS : BONNIE CURTIS PROJECTS ANNOUNCES ITS DEBUT SEASON

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS is a double bill of original works presented by Sydney’s daring new dance company, Bonnie Curtis Projects.

Staged in a heritage church, the show gives audiences a personal and intimate experience, at times blurring the lines between audience and performer.

The title piece Girls Girls Girls is a gutsy new work by choreographer and filmmaker Bonnie Curtis. Exploring the experiences of modern Australian women, their deepest, darkest thoughts and insecurities are paraded on stage.

Hilarious, clichéd, and deeply moving, this performance is an unconventional work sure to provoke discussion.

Kate Garrett’s work When I Was… transports audiences to another time and place, discovering the joyful stories of generations past.

Garrett’s piece features music by British folk band Steeleye Span, and explores the profoundly human experiences of love, misjudgement and loss.

GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS represents the first full-length work of Bonnie Curtis Projects.

DATES FOR THE DIARY 

September 8, 9, 10 at 7.30 pm at Annandale Creative Arts Centre,  81 Johnson St Annandale 2038

For more about Girls Girls Girls, visit http://www.bonniecurtisprojects.com
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PINA BAUSCH : THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF ONE OF THE LEGENDS OF DANCE

“ Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost …“

Marion Meyer’s book PINA BAUSCH : THE BIOGRAPHY  is the first biography of the legendary dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch to be published in English.

Pina (short for Phillipina) Bausch ranks among the most influential performers and choreographers of the twentieth century, regarded as a leading influence in the field of modern dance from the 1970s until her death in 2009.

Born in Solingen Bausch’s parents were hotel owners and her career began at a very young age performing for the hotel visitors. At age 15, Bausch was accepted into the Folkwangschule (Folkwang Academy directed by the highly influential Kurt Jooss. Bausch eventually joined Jooss’ Folkwang-Ballett (Folkwang Ballet) after a stint in America on a scholarship and ended up becoming artistic director in 1969.  Continue reading PINA BAUSCH : THE FIRST BIOGRAPHY OF ONE OF THE LEGENDS OF DANCE

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TO HOST THE SYDNEY EISTEDDFOD BALLET FINAL

With the eight most promising ballet students Australia can muster and top dance troupes vying for other awards, this is one of the most popular annual events in the Sydney Eisteddfod calendar.

Sponsored by The Guillermo Keys-Arenas Dance Trust and supplemented by the Sydney Eisteddfod Jubilee Fund, the total prize value exceeds $36,000, often being recognised as the most valuable awards in the Southern Hemisphere, and attracts very keen competition.

Talented dancers who have  been nurtured by the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarships  have been sourced by the leading ballet companies around the world for decades. The Australian Ballet’s Leanne Stojmenov and Adam Bull and The Royal Ballet’s Steven McRae  are shining examples.

While the ballet finalists delight with their grace, in complete contrast, the wild and wonderful troupes competing in Dance Group Final amaze with their seemingly impossible moves and tricks.

The Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship & Dance Group Final will take place on Sunday 30th July at 2.30pm at the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House.

Cost: A Reserve: Adult $69, Concession $59; B Reserve (restricted viewing): $55.

Bookings:

http://www.sydneyeisteddfod.com.au/balletfinal

 

 

 

TWISTED ELEMENT PRESENTS ‘OPUS’ @ THE DUTI STUDIOS ENMORE

This was a strange, exciting, visually stunning work that can best be defined as a ‘dance theatre event’.

Twisted Element has finally returned (hooray) after several years hiatus and with a slightly changed name to bring us this ‘immersive and interactive contemporary dance theatre work’.

The ensemble work was strong and terrific, requiring precise control and there were some excellent solos and duets.

A lot depended on the special costumes the performers wore, as well as the lighting design which was very effective.

The electronic soundscape beeped, throbbed and hummed.

As we entered the space we were greeted by the sight of Charlotte Schinckel-Brown who was standing on a plinth. She was topless (but taped across revealing areas) and was wearing a long, specially formed skirt that was circular at the bottom. It was quite sculptural and the effect was beautiful and challenging. She used her arms in long stretched lines above her head or in angular poses. Eventually she descended and used the skirt in various formations. Continue reading TWISTED ELEMENT PRESENTS ‘OPUS’ @ THE DUTI STUDIOS ENMORE

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY’S ‘ORB’ @ THE ROS PACKER THEATRE

Swift as wind. Supple as water. Grounded as surely as the summit of a mountain nimbly flits through fleeting clouds, and stays irrefutably present.

The spry air is charged, set alight by the fiery lightning that strikes from dancer to dancer and shoots through the audience.

The space between dancers is at once brimming with intercourse and fully, delectably pregnant: opening a boundless wellspring of infinite flow and limitless directions in which to move. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY’S ‘ORB’ @ THE ROS PACKER THEATRE

LIMITLESS DANCE COMPANY IN ‘SE7EN’ @ THE NIDA PLAYHOUSE

Featured image – Olivia Kingston, Raegan Williams and Alex Warren in Limitless Dance Company’s ‘Se7en’ at the NIDA Playhouse.

When does synchronised motion stop mimicking a machine and, instead, move like a flock of birds in flight?

When do the constituent parts of animate limbs stop being mere tendon, muscle and bone and, instead, soar like the wings of an eagle?

When do individual dancers stop moving in brilliant unison and, instead, let one another’s individuality brilliantly move each dancer into living intercourse with the whole, much like the wind can rouse the leaves of a tree to leap, each leafy blade shimmering the other? Continue reading LIMITLESS DANCE COMPANY IN ‘SE7EN’ @ THE NIDA PLAYHOUSE

AUSTRALIAN BALLET IN ‘FASTER’ @ JOAN SUTHERLAND SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

From where does an accomplished dancer dance? From every pore of their body.

From where does a very accomplished dancer dance? From every pore of their body inspired by the heart.

From where does a supremely accomplished dancer dance? From every pore of their body inspired by the heart and reflected through their eyes.

Enduring is the joy, infectious, exquisite and soul melting, that is caught from dancers performing in full intercourse, not just with an apt freedom to effect poetry in motion, but to share the flight to naked bliss through their eyes. These are the inestimable moments which we, the audience, crave.

A superlative example of dancers who penetrate each other’s soul as well as the audience’s heart, was provided by Amy Harris and Brett Simon of the Australian Ballet who stood out with their performance in the title piece directed by David McAllister, at the Joan Sutherland  Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Brintley originally choreographed the work for the Royal Birmingham Ballet in 2012 in anticipation of the London Olympics.

Harris and Simon dance the roles of two wrestler-fighters competing in an Olympic games. Watching them perform is like  being privy to seeing elite athletes undress each other from the strictures of sublime sport to the subtle intimacy of tremulous love making.

For me, it rekindled the excitement that I experienced in the incomparable engagement and spine tingling connectedness of the two nude dancers from the Sydney Dance Company who achieved a mesmerising feat of delicious intimacy  as they performed in front of the painting The Wrestlers – a painting then on show in Sydney from the Tate Gallery.

With this production of David Bintley’s FASTER, the Australian Ballet boldly break the grammar of classical ballet and explore the gutsy beauty of contemporary dance.

 

WILLIAM GOLDING’S CLASSIC TALE GETS THE BOURNE TREATMENT

Dark and disturbing this is a gripping, chilling version of William Golding’s classic novel LORD OF THE FLIES directed by Matthew Bourne.

This is the Australian premiere with a short Melbourne season only and represents the first time that this work has been performed out of the UK. Bourne’s production is driven, relentless and, at time, explosively violent.

Continue reading WILLIAM GOLDING’S CLASSIC TALE GETS THE BOURNE TREATMENT

THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD @ ETERNITY PLAYHOUSE

THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD was part of the Breaking the Mould event series at The Japan Foundation, Sydney. The series brings emerging, boundary-pushing work from Japan’s art and contemporary theatre scenes to Australia.

This was an astonishingly bravura performance that blended ballet, Butoh , theatre and contemporary dance. The performance was poignant, funny and thought provoking, and a performance which gets us to look at the selfishness of modern society as well as meanings of life and existence and the painfulness of death .

Yamamoto is one of Japan’s hottest theatre makers. His solo theatre project Docu(nt)ment has been established since 2012 and his blending of projected text, movement, photography and moody lighting has won him fans and awards across Asia.

It is unclear who the ‘Unknown Dancer’ really is – perhaps he is the person next to you. Or even the one in the mirror. Who knows?

We discover life in a Japanese suburb on the fringe of a major city, a somewhat unsavoury suburb called Nagai. The entire “non-community” of a city precinct is shown as both intimately knowable yet anonymous. In the daytime the neighbourhood throngs with people who treat each other indifferently; at night, it morphs into a dangerous zone, festering with crime.

The densely crowded urban atmosphere that THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD creates – with its overload of technological information , use of projections , the recreation of Japanese morning TV, and the use of Twitter is very contemporary . Simultaneously the show also examines Japan’s complex culture and modes of expression.

Wataru Kitao , the solo performer, is amazing. He morphs from being a gorilla at the zoo to numerous other characters – train attendants, ‘Train Boy ‘( a train itself – sort of think Starlight Express), an innocent school girl trampled to death , a the girl’s mother, a TV presenter, a prostitute, her pimp and their unborn child, a lovesick teenage boy, an old grandfather with a boisterous young child … and many more all wonderfully and clearly delineated. Conversations are carried on using both spoken speech and ‘text messages ’ as translated on the back screen.

Kitao is incredibly energetic and charismatic , with his long hair dyed at the ends .He is sinuous with incredible elevation for his jumps. Martial arts like moves are included but ballet is used as a base (Yamamoto favours a wide fourth position and lots of demi plie at times ,and also some use of demi pointe – but it is fractured restructured and reworked Kitao’s jumps and turns are sensational).

Throughout the work Ei has been talking to his mother on his mobile. But it turns out she passed away several years ago ( or did she ? Is Ei also dead ? has he in fact ever existed ?

The main plot of the show follows the aftermath of a traumatic train accident at Nagai station .There is also mention of a horrific hostage crisis at Nagai library .It is gradually revealed that both events took place years ago yet the narrator can’t forget them. Throughout the performance, characters would consistently be questioned by disembodied voices asking why they should even care about the show’s events.

The work also reflects on the value of life and art – towards the end we are confronted by an ‘ artistic terrorist’ in a direct address to the audience challenging our own passive and superficially neutral observation of the play’s events. The audience was accused of being selfish and of selfishly trying to read hope and despair into what they had just seen. So what are we to make of it and what are society’s hopes for the cold, selfish future?!

Running time 90 minutes. Performed in Japanese with English surtitles.

THE UNKNOWN DANCER IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD played the Eternity Playhouse on the 22nd and 23rd March.

MELBOURNE BALLET COMPANY PRESENTS ‘BEING IN TIME’ @ THE CONCOURSE

The Melbourne Ballet Company  (MBC) has been going for a decade now and this is their first visit to the Concourse with their explosive and dynamic triple bill of world premieres given the umbrella title of BEING IN TIME.

One of the important philosophical publications of our time by Martin Heidegger is the foundation for the work. The program examines the belief that philosophical thinking begins with and reflects its human subjects, in their acting, feeling, and as recognisable living human individuals. This existential understanding of being is grounded in time. Another phrase for it is ‘living in the moment’. All three short, sharp works used a recorded soundtrack. Continue reading MELBOURNE BALLET COMPANY PRESENTS ‘BEING IN TIME’ @ THE CONCOURSE

IN DIFFERENCE : DANCE ME TO THE EQUALITY OF LOVE

IN DIFFERENCE, part of FORM Dance Projects ‘ 2017 and also linked to the current Mardi Gras festival, is a challenging, at times confronting  work, dazzlingly danced by a tremendous cast, that challenges our thoughts and preconceptions in regards to  LGBTI marriage and (in) equality.

Craig Bary, with his co-creators and performers Kristina Chan, Timothy Ohl and Joshua Thomson, has devised a show that represents two real life couples, one of heterosexual and the other of homosexual orientation.

This work, through a series of ordinary and extraordinary everyday life moments, explores how we interact and express ourselves no matter what our sexual orientation is.

The bleak scaffolding set is shifted and rotated by the cast, allowing for fluid scene changes .Karen Norris‘ lighting is often shadowy and ominous. Eden Mullholland‘s soundscape thrums, beeps and pulsates, and includes songs as well as voice overs of various incendiary speeches about LGBTI marriage and equality. Continue reading IN DIFFERENCE : DANCE ME TO THE EQUALITY OF LOVE

TANGO SYNERGY AND YO YO MA-STER @ HYDE PARK NORTH

 

Several people, to escape the large crowds in the Meriton Festival Village in Hyde Park North, would escape to the refreshing spray of the Archibald  Fountain. To their delight entertainment was still at hand.

At one stage an elegantly dressed man in a white silk suit with spats on his shoes suddenly appeared. He beckoned to a female member of the ‘audience’ to join him. Then almost as suddenly Tango music began to play and the ‘couple’ glided around the Fountain.

Then just as suddenly ‘the audience’ started to tango and one vicariously enjoy the vitality of the music and the pleasure that the tango exponents exuded.

This was a ‘flash mob’ in the best sense of the word under the auspices of a group called Tango Synergy comprising members of a number of tango clubs around Sydney.

As soon as they had finished, classical music wafted through the flower beds and the fountain. A young busker, rather than simply doing his wonderful yoyo tricks ad hoc,performed them in perfect time to the music. It was a beautifully choreographed and skilfull yoyo ballet. Many coins and notes were thrown into his collection box which he richly deserved.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum (c).

FORM DANCE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘CHAMPIONS’ @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Production photography by Heidrun Lohr.

CHAMPIONS is a stonkingly good dance work … with the common touch.

It’s a large scale work with 11 dancers filling a field of dreams inside the vast space and it begins like any large scale sporting event with the team captain interview.  Sports presenter, Mel McLaughlin, well known to viewers as one of the anchors of Seven’s Olympic coverage, is on the screen wall which dominates the upstage area of the arena.  She is interviewing Carlee Mellow and we get a team update on the selections for today’s match.

Pre-game, a suitably comic and silly swan mascot has entertained the large and vocal crowd to a pounding pizzicato on the soundtrack and the audience is ready for the action.  At interval she reappears in a circular lake of light … I loved that! There are cheers and claps as the players wander on with their yoga mats to warm up.  In the same way that everyone’s a sports fan during the Olympics, this work begins with expert coverage to inform and guide us.  Mellow and McLaughlin go through each dancer stats, temperament and what they bring to the line-up while a manufactured playing, smiling, concentrating image of each woman fills the screen. Continue reading FORM DANCE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘CHAMPIONS’ @ CARRIAGEWORKS

SIRO – A @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

 

This is madcap, exuberant fun, making for marvelous school holiday fare. It is a high energy dance, techno and visual spectacular direct from Japan and these shows in Sydney are their only Australian performances.

The award-winning dance troupe have taken the world by storm, attracting millions of views on YouTube following their appearances on America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent.

SIRO_A’s unique combination of energetic dance and ground-breaking video-mapping technology – alongside a pulsating techno beat – creating an audio-visual spectacle that appeals to audiences of all ages.

Their name SIRO-A (SIRO = White, colorless in Japanese) means “belonging to no group, impossible to define as anybody.” SIRO-A fuses mime, groundbreaking visual effects, and a techno soundtrack to create a whole new entertainment, “Technodelic & Visual Show. Continue reading SIRO – A @ THE CONCOURSE CHATSWOOD

BALABALA @ CARRIAGEWORKS – PART OF SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2017

This was the world premiere of BALABALA, the Indonesian sister work to CRY JAILOLO. Dressed in black, and part of a remote community in Eastern Indonesia, five young female dancers, during three minutes of complete silence, one by one slowly appeared on stage with all movements done in extreme slow motion. Choreography choices were based on Indonesian martial arts, all founded on the “Pencak Silat” philosophy of the nine directions.    

To follow, for each of the many set-pieces, each time presented extremely minimised, stylised rhythmic movement patterns, in 2/4 time or 3/4 time or 4/4 time, with pre-recorded musical accompaniment, with one voice or multiple voices delivering “A cappella music” by singing without instrumental accompaniment. However some later set-pieces also added a loop of electronica or electric bass or bass drums or temple bells or a stringed musical instrument.    Continue reading BALABALA @ CARRIAGEWORKS – PART OF SYDNEY FESTIVAL 2017

DANCER : A DOCUMENTARY ON THE GREAT UKRAINIAN DANCER SERGEI POLUNIN

“ A theatre animal with an extraordinary natural sense of belonging on the stage.” Monica Mason, former director of the Royal Ballet

Controversial twenty seven year old Sergei Vladimirovich Polunin is a Ukrainian ballet dancer who was formerly a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet and is currently a principal dancer with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Polunin continues to be one of the most sought-after male principals in the ballet world for his rare combination of charisma, athletic grace and authority. Continue reading DANCER : A DOCUMENTARY ON THE GREAT UKRAINIAN DANCER SERGEI POLUNIN

JO LLOYD AND NICOLA GUNN’S MERMERMER @ CARRIAGEWORKS

MERMER-picJo Lloyd and Nicola Gunn’s MERMERMER has come straight from performances in Melbourne as part of Chunky Move’s Next Move season .

The audience eavesdrops on Lloyd and Gunn’s comic rambling stream of consciousness monologues developed from what they call Conversation Therapy, created while they prepared for their interactive performance at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of Melbourne NOW. The duo keep up physical and verbal conversations simultaneously throughout the show .

The show’s title comes from English, French and Latin language roots and  has multiple meanings – memory and the sea amongst them. Continue reading JO LLOYD AND NICOLA GUNN’S MERMERMER @ CARRIAGEWORKS

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘UNTAMED’ @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

This magnificent double bill will leave you breathless and stunned with awe at the superb performances. The brilliant Sydney Dance dancers excel themselves and are in top form.

Opening the program was Gabrielle Nankivell’s Wildebeest,  first seen in 2014 as part of New Breed.

Nankivell is based in South Australia. Darkly hypnotic and haunting, Wildebeest seeks to explore the hidden ‘beast’ of the dancers. The dancers reveal various aspects of the beast – at times they are like Ents in the forest , or a startled feral creature. Sometimes they all run herd-like.

A lone beast is fragmented and altered each time it makes contact with a nearby group. Nankivell’s choreography is very demanding and athletic. It is also very detailed with assorted avian and creature-like details. They fly, they strut, they explore their surroundings and nervously sniff the air …Some of the slick ensemble choreography is machine like, or like clogs interlocking, as the dancers trace the evolution from animal to human to machine/robot and even beyond.

Bernhard Knauer has a compelling opening solo looming out of the darkness – is he a just born creature finding his feet? – at times he is like a controlled puppet, other times he is explosively exploring space.

Cass Mortimer Eipper intently prowled and sinuously coiled and stretched like a large cat and Charmene Yap also had a tantalizing solo. There is a terrific duo from Holly Doyle and Todd Sutherland . And Janessa Dufty has an intense , gripping Shaman like closing solo.

Luke Smiles’ electronic soundscape is extremely powerful, pulsating and humming. The unisex costumes by Fiona Holley of shorts and tops were in various autumn shades and dark colours.
The second work was Bonachela’s Anima. Dazzling abstract dance, Bonachela’s work attempts to explore the boundary between form and spirit, expressed through the way the dancers utilize their extraordinary elevation and almost fly. Bonachela’s choreography is at times extremely demanding and athletic.

London based, Bulgarian born Dobrinka Tabakova’s elegant ,passionate and haunting score ( Insight for Strings trio , written 2002) was in parts driving and relentless, in other sections heartbreakingly elegiac and lyrical (hints of Tavener’s Protecting Veil). Aleisa Jelbart’s costumes looked like light sleepwear, and a couple of the men were topless. There was no set as such, rather breathtaking lighting and visuals by Clemens Habicht and Benjamin Cisterne whose lighting design glows and luminously transforms the dancers, drenching them in colour – including blinding whites, searing reds and zippy turquoises.

Slinky sculptural pas de-deux blend to astonishing trios with unusual lifts. Bonachela’s choreography demands soft feline jumps combined with long, stretched line as the dancers dart and leap. A highlight would have to be the extended tender and intimate pas de deux for Cass Mortimer Eipper and Petros Treklis with its aspects of male competition and tension, attempts to reach out and withdraw, elegantly detailed hands and an idiosyncratic use of elbows expressing physical longing and desire. Juliette Barton and Sam Young Wright followed this with another mesmerizing duo and the ensemble returned for a leaping finale.

The Sydney Dance Company’s production of UNTAMED is playing at the Roslyn Packer theatre until October 29. Running time 1 hr 45 minutes including one interval.

https://www.sydneydancecompany.com/

PEDAL.CASTLES @ THE OLD 505 NEWTOWN

The Old 505 Theatre in Newtown is hosting shows for the 2016 Sydney Fringe Festival, and PEDAL.CASTLES has created great interest since winning two awards in the NZ Fringe 2016.

PEDAL.CASTLES were created by House Of Sand production company, which also won Most Promising Emerging Company at the NZ Fringe 2016.  At its helm is dancer/performer Eliza Sanders and her brother Charles Sanders, who is the director.  PEDAL is the company’s first work and prequel to CASTLES.
Continue reading PEDAL.CASTLES @ THE OLD 505 NEWTOWN

TRAGEDIE @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Oliver Dubois’ company of dancers received warm and enthusiastic applause at the end of last Saturday nights’ performance of TRAGEDIE. As I was making my way down the stairs after the performance, a woman remarked to me. ‘that was collosal’, and I agree.

A very brave troupe of dancers, eight women and nine men, went on a journey to embrace their full/entire humanity.

Stripped of clothes, of history, of social forces, of psychological theories and blandishments, they have to rediscover themselves and each other.

The dancers stride forcefully back and forth and side to side, at various times connecting, at other times disengaging with the back curtain  used as a main prop.

The performance started with a constant, haunting drum beat and then the music turned to edgy, contemporary music.

My highlight was when the dancers all came together and started chanting in unison with a fierce, almost primal energy.

This was a mesmerising performance. TRAGEDIE played for two performances on September 2 and 3 at the main theatre in Carriageworks. This was Dubois’ only stop in Australia, part of an ongoing world tour which premiered  at the Festival d’Avignon on 23 July 2012.