Dance

AUSTRALIAN BALLET PRESENTS GISELLE @ THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The Australian Ballet is in glorious form with this revival of GISELLE. It is the much loved Maina Gielgud version, replacing the much anticipated The Happy Prince that has had to be postponed because of Graeme Murphy’s illness.

GISELLE originally premiered in 1841 and is considered one of the great Romantic ballets , telling the story of madness , deceit and betrayal , vengeful spirits and a love that conquers death.

In this beautifully designed version Peter Farmer’s set and costume designs are mostly in russet colours for Act 1 and then an eerie forest glade for Act 2.

The Orchestra under the inspired baton of Simon Thew was in splendid, luxurious form too playing Adam’s haunting score magnificently.

The large corps de ballet was in excellent form , the crisscrossing, interlinking patterns of the various village dances in Act 1 crisply, precisely performed .The peasant pas de deux ( Aya Watanabe and François-Eloi Lavignac) was a great show stopping interlude. In Act 2 the Willis were menacing and dangerous. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN BALLET PRESENTS GISELLE @ THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

HERE AFTER : A MASTERPIECE OF MODERN DANCE

HERE AFTER  is a finely woven tapestry of contemporary dance. It asks a lot of its ensemble of six dancers, who are on stage continuously for its hour length. Jennifer Horvath, Georgia Sekulla, Bree Timms, Abi Gasson and Karina Cruickshank were all accomplished and precise, with Maddie Tratt providing an additional and impressive solo.

The show however is a lot more than abstract patterns such as seems the case with much experimental dance. Various admirable elements – of lighting (Peter Rubie), sound, costume (Sally Andrews) and choreography – are tautly integrated around a cohesive sequence of life and death, bonded in an epic narrative of humanity responding to a life field beyond itself. The fluid variegated mix of innovative sometime original dance states range from the tribal and repetitive repetition of self-becoming or prostration of the start, to the ethereal operatic lyricism of the ending. The complex sound track by Paul Tinsley, consistently matched expressed emotions – even at maximum volume with human drama of “inner demons and angles” (program notes) it enhances, and does not substitute for, substance. Continue reading HERE AFTER : A MASTERPIECE OF MODERN DANCE

PASSING IT ON @ RIVERSIDE THEATRES PARRAMATTA

Full Circle. Pic by Dom O’Donnell

From 6th to 8th June, FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres will present Passing It On, a sensational double bill embodying movement shifts influenced by voices from the past to the present, looking back and forward.

Originally from Japan, Ryuichi Fujimura traces back his personal dance history in How I Practice My Religion, and unpacks what is archived in his dancing body. Evolving from his love for dance, this work is dedicated to his first three dance teachers: Margaret Lasica, Caroline English and Anastasi Siotas.

Fujimura said, “As dancers, we gain our knowledge through contact with teachers, choreographers and peers, and accumulate it in our bodies. In making this autobiographic solo, I wanted to share my journey and unravel what my body remembers”.

In Full Circle, Ghana-born dancer and choreographer Lucky Lartey draws upon his knowledge of traditional rhythms and dance, and his understanding of contemporary movement practices to explore the long standing relationship between hip hop culture and West African storytelling traditions.

Lartey said, “I wanted to create a work that highlights the tradition of storytelling in West Africa and how it was used to pass on and share knowledge; how this tradition was then adopted by hip hop culture as a tool for survival and a way of giving a voice to marginalised young people”.

Also showing on Saturday 8th June as part of Passing It On is Movement (R)evolution Africa, a film featuring nine African choreographers whose riveting stories challenge stereotypes of “traditional Africa” to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.

https://riversideparramatta.com.au/

Featured image- How I Practice My Religion – image by National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)

BURN THE FLOOR @ THE CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The world’s best professional Ballroom and Latin dance stars heat up the Concert Hall stage in an Australian exclusive, Burn The Floor: Gala hosted by Dancing With The Stars judge Tristan MacManus for two scorching performances on July 28.

Over the last 20 years, Burn The Floor has revolutionised modern dance. Rebellious, joyful and sensual, the ensemble of expert dancers from around the world will transport audiences through dance history, with exhilarating performances incorporating Salsa, Rumba, Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Swing and Quickstep.

In addition to the sensational Tristan MacManus, Burn The Floor: Gala features Olympia Valance(Neighbours) and her dance partner Jared Byrne; Samuel Johnson (star of Molly, the Molly Meldrum TV mini-series) and his dancer partner Jorja Freeman; and Italian dancers, Marco De Angelis andGustavo Viglio, all of whom star in the current season of Channel 10’s hit new show, Dancing With The Stars. The legendary troupe of Burn The Floor dancers will lift the tempo throughout.

The eclectic soundtrack for the Burn The Floor: Gala ranges from Led Zeppelin to Santana and James Brown; “Shallow” (from A Star is Born); Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music” and classics like “Hallelujah”, with live performances by the likes of multi-platinum powerhouse and special guest Vika BullContinue reading BURN THE FLOOR @ THE CONCERT HALL, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

AISTRALIAN BALLET : VERVE @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

A superb triple bill , first performed in Melbourne last year , that showcases the Australian Ballet at its best . The company’s three resident choreographers each present a striking work. All three have been or still are dancers with the company .

First we saw Stephen Bayne’s CONSTANT VARIANTS (2007) using Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. The polished, transparent score is integral to the work and features a ravishing cello solo by Caleb Wong .

Four couples are paired on stage before splitting and reforming in various combinations. All wear dark high cut leotards , the men in sheer dark tops the women in velvety burgundy bodices. Michael Pearce’s set design features oversized segments of picture frames as if at an art gallery, above a rather shadowy lit stage with lighting as devised by Jon Buswell.           Continue reading AISTRALIAN BALLET : VERVE @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

EILEEN: STORIES FROM THE PHILLIP STREET COURTYARD

 

At 104 Eileen Kramer has led an incredible life, some of which is vividly evoked in this book.

Born in Sydney in 1914, Kramer was an original member of Australia’s first modern dance company, the influential Bodenwieser Ballet, and has lived and danced everywhere from India to Paris, London and New York.

Eileen originally wanted to be an opera singer and studied at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney. She came to dance relatively late in life, joining the Bodenwieser Ballet company, Australia’s first professional modern dance company, in 1940.

Sue Healey has produced a short film entitled Eileen about Kramer and she is regarded as a National Treasure by the Arts Health Institute .

Kramer left Australia in the 1950s, performing around the world and meeting contemporary artists who have gone down in history as legends – for example Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. In fact,  Armstrong taught her the twist in Paris!

Having travelled around the world for 60 years. Eileen returned to Australia permanently in 2014 at the age of 99. She wanted to hear the sound of a kookaburra and smell the gum trees again.

This is a relatively small book lavishly illustrated with both black and white photos as well as bold, colourful drawings by Kramer.

The book is divided into thirty four chapters, with an introduction by Tracey Spring. Each chapter is about a specific memory of a person or particular event, mainly spanning the five years of her life as a young woman from 1936 to 1940 when she lived at or near Philip St

It is vividly written one feels as if Kramer is talking directly to the reader. The book is beautifully presented and includes a table of contents at the front, as well as a list of photo credits at the back. Sadly there is no index provided at the back.

The many people written about include Rosaleen Norton, who would go on to become the ‘Witch of Kings Cross’, the learned and rather enigmatic Joan, and the beautiful model, Ann. Life in the area is described , and how the cityscape has changed greatly.( Not to mention her battles with bedbugs).

There is also a marvellous word portrait of her landlady and others as well as the homeless men who inhabited the Domain ( the ‘Domain Dossers ‘ ).As well,  there is a segment on her mother working as a store detective at Farmers.

We learn about Kramer’s private life to a degree and her relationships with three men over time in particular – Dr Richard Want , Darley and painter Rah Fizelle.

Kramer became a professional artist’s model, sitting for Norman Lindsey and other modern painters of Sydney. (A glamorous black and white photo is included ).Eileen’s first boyfriend, Dr Want , was a Freudian psychoanalyst and they would spend their Sundays at the Art Gallery of NSW and Speakers Corner at the Domain.

Many dancers and theatre people from the 1930s and 1940s remember Sydney’s Phillip Street as a place where they lived, including ballerina Tamara Tchinarova Finch who lived in a Phillip Street apartment with her mother when they decided to stay in Australia in 1939 after the tour by the Covent Garden Russian Ballet.

Dance lovers will be tantalised by the mentions towards the end of the book about Kramer’s discovery of and work with Bodenweiser … but there is lots more to be said – perhaps expanded into a second book focusing on that major part of her life ? At 104 Kramer is perhaps the longest-working dancer and choreographer in Australia, if not the globe , still going strong and an enormous inspirational force.

https://www.melbournebooks.com.au/products/eileen

Published by Melbourne Books
www.melbournebooks.com.au
B format 139x210mm Hard cover with cloth quarter bind
206 pages colour illustrations throughout
RRP: AUD$39.95 ISBN: 9781925556391

 

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY SEASON 1 @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

Yes, the first person walked on the moon and came safely back home.

And yes, the Sydney Dance Company burst onto the scene and brought contemporary dance to a city that was in the throes of psychedelia, flower-power and the draft to send our boys to Vietnam to clean-up what we now call terrorists.

Appropriately, for its 50th birthday, the Sydney Dance Company commissioned choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell to take us to outer-space on a rocket-ship journey to that ethereal sphere where ether, the mythical element that lets earth, water, fire and air form the world, primes senses to set them free. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY SEASON 1 @ ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

MEDIA CALL : SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY SEASON 1, 2019

Sydney Dance Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In those fifty years Sydney Dance Company have utilised over 250 dancers, dozens of composers and designers, all guided by its Artistic Directors- Suzanne Musitz, Jaap Flier, Graeme Murphy and Tanya Liedtke. The current Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela  has held this position for the past ten years.

Under the leadership of these artists and creatives Sydney Dance Company has become one of the leading contemporary dance companies in the world. In June the Company will embark on an extensive European tour to Austria, Finland, Poland and Spain performing Rafael Bonachela’s critically acclaimed Ab which comes from the Latin word ab (inta) meaning within. Continue reading MEDIA CALL : SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY SEASON 1, 2019

BANGARRA DANCE THEATRE TO TOUR CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

In its 30th anniversary year, Bangarra Dance Theatre will travel to Canada and the United States to present the company’s 27th international tour.

Throughout October-November, Bangarra will deliver its first major national tour of Canada, presenting an ambitious five-city tour to Brantford, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as an inter-cultural residency at Six Nations of the Grand River; the country’s largest First Nations reserve. To complete the tour, the company will perform in Chicago for the first time at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, known for its world-class programming and work as a cultural anchor in the United States.

International touring is an essential part of Bangarra’s role as ambassadors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, underpinning the company’s commitment to sharing the strength and resilience of Australia’s First Peoples on the world stage.

TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY FOR BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL

Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel and Louise Withers Presents are delighted to announce that tickets for the Sydney season of Billy Elliot the Musical are now on sale at billyelliotthemusical.com.au

This 10th Anniversary Australian Tour will premiere at Sydney Lyric Theatre from October 10 followed by seasons in Melbourne at the Regent Theatre from February 2020, Crown Theatre Perth from June 2020, QPAC’s Lyric Theatre inBrisbane from July 2020 and the Festival Theatre at Adelaide Festival Centre from September 2020.

Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide.  Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, it is the recipient of 85 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards.

Starring as the tough but supportive ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson will be Kelley Abbey, one of Australia’s most accomplished performers, internationally renowned choreographer and award-winning creative director.Kelley began her career in the long running TV series E Street before starring on stage in productions including Sweet Charity, Grease the Arena Spectacular and Fame the Musical. Her incredible choreography earnt her a Helpmann Award forThe Boy from Oz Arena Spectacular as she has proved to be one our country’s most creative and innovative doyens of dance and live performance. It is only fitting that she now steps into the shoes of Mrs Wilkinson to guide Billy through his unique dance journey. Continue reading TICKETS GO ON SALE TODAY FOR BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY JOINS THE MARDI GRAS PARADE

Sydney Dance Company is thrilled to be participating in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade for the first time on Saturday 2nd March.

Sydney Dance Company’s float, Turning 50, in honour of the Company’s 50th anniversary in 2019, features a high energy, tightly rehearsed dance routine with 80 members of Sydney Dance Company’s community, led by Dance Class Manager Ramon Doringo.

Ramon will lead the synchronised marching troupe from the back of a golden Sydney Dance Company Studio float, complete with ballet bar, mirrors and performing drag divas.

Participants will wear gold costumes designed by Aleisa Jelbart that reference our golden 50th anniversary and will be an explosion of gold glitter pom poms and retro styled dance wear as the troupe perform down Oxford Street to the disco beats of DJ Sveta. Continue reading SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY JOINS THE MARDI GRAS PARADE