Photo: Wayne Quilliam

NAISDA Dance & Carriageworks proudly present: RESTORATION

Join the critically acclaimed NAISDA Dance College as they reconnect stories inherited through bloodline and shared through breath, restoring the ancient knowledge grounds for a new generation.

Witness the cultural dances of Moa Island alongside the work of celebrated Australian and international choreographers.

Directed by Helpmann Award Winning choreographer Frances Rings & featuring choreography by:

Sani Townson
Taiaroa Royal (NZ)
NAISDA Developing Artists

Based in Kariong, NAISDA Dance College is the training ground for the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers.

DATES : November 22-25

For more about RESTORATION, visit

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Celebrating Dame Beryl’s 90th birthday , this fascinating book was recently released by Oberon Books. It blends the story of twentieth century English ballet told from the point of view of one of its leaders and person memoir. Dame Beryl uses her extensive diaries as a base and also acknowledges the assistance of archivist Jane Pritchard .

Dame Beryl’s life is defined by her love of dance. Both as a ballerina and an Artistic Director she helped make British ballet the world renowned force it is today. Knowing and working with virtually everyone in the dance world, she reveals fascinating insights into the people, characters, and institutions that made up world dance in the 20th century.

Dame Beryl records vividly her relationship with Dame Ninette de Valois, (Madam’s mood changes and temper), and what it was like to work with Wilfred Stiff, John Gilpin and others.

We learn how she managed to navigate the tricky change from ballerina to administrator and leader of a major ballet company. Continue reading DAME BERYL GREY : FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE


WeAreSOUND is an upcoming dance event which is the brainchild of Callum Mooney.

The performers will create visual representations of the stuff that goes around our brains as we encounter the machinations of public transport. I would imagine there will be a plenty of room to move with this concept!

The work fuses Physical Theatre, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Comedy.

PLAYING FOR THREE NIGHTS ONLY between November 17 and 19 @ the Annandale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston Street, Annandale.


For more about WeAreSound Dance Theatre, visit
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Hypnotic and mesmerising, Sydney Dance Company performers in ‘2 One Another’.

Featured image- Janessa Duffy in Sydney Dance Company’s ‘2 One Another’.

This is a brief return season of the multi award winning 2 ONE ANOTHER, choreographed by Rafael Bonachela and performed by Sydney Dance Company, first seen in 2012. It has since toured both nationally and internationally. The work has been very slightly tweaked and changed since its 2012 premiere.

2 ONE ANOTHER is a complex analysis of human interaction, examining the myriad actions and reactions, relationships and intimate and public gestures, connections and disconnections that make up the daily life of a human being. The wonderful dancers are superb both in the precisely controlled ensemble work and the flowing quartets, trios and pas de deux that flow from this.

There are at times very complicated almost geometric or architectural patterns and blocks of movement. Tiny everyday movements are taken and developed.

Bonachela’s choreography, with his preference for the symmetrical and linear, is fluid, very athletic and demanding with long, stretched lines and some striking, unusual lifts. It includes edgy walks, explosive, feline leaps and rolling floorwork. Continue reading RAFAEL BONACHELA’S ‘2 ONE ANOTHER’ RETURNS TO THE ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham

2 ONE ANOTHER is a beautiful dance work created by Sydney Dance Company’s acclaimed choreographer, Rafael Bonachela. This is  a revisiting of his piece which premiered five years ago in Sydney. During the current season the work’s 100th performance will be staged.

Since 2012, 2 ONE ANOTHER has toured both nationally and internationally taking in countries such as New Zealand, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Russia, and Germany. After this current Sydney season, Sydney Dance Company will take the production to China.

The show begins with sixteen athletic dancers divided into three groups, which then unfolds into more dynamic series of solos, duets, trios and combination groupings. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS ‘2 ONE ANOTHER’ @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE


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


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.

30th September 2017 @ 107 Redfern Street, Redfern.

For more about Bad Influence @ 107 ft. Leotrix, visit
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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 :-

For more about Unreal, visit
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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


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

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
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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.


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
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“ 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


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.






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


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


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


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.



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.



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.


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, 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



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).


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



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


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