Archive for October, 2012

Ocean

The work of Merce Cunningham is undoubtable one of the most recognisable choreographic styles of recent decades. Seeing Ocean, a beautiful 2008 performance of clean, crisp, and precise movement presented as a film at Melbourne’s Australian Centre for Moving Image was a real treat.

If only there were more people under 60 present to witness it. Hmmmm.

Weather

A little shift for the usual signature Lucy Gurein Inc works that regulars have come to know, but a stunning one nonetheless. Weather is the latest offering from, in my opinion, one of Australia’s most genius dance-makers.

Amongst a sea of plastic bags, six dancers not only imitate air, but create a surprisingly emotional response to the way we are affected by it. I cried. Now what does that tell you? (Probably less about the show, and more about me!)
The dancing is jaw-droppingly beautiful, the choreography is clever and the sound by Oren Ambarchi is wonderful. Lucy Guerin has done it again.

Desh

While Akram Khan‘s solo dance show Desh, was certainly a dance performance, for me, the award for ‘most memorable part of the show’ had nothing to do with the choreography, the performance, or the dancer. It was the design.

With set design by Oscar-winner Tim Yip, this show was a feast for the eyes, showing us how simple execution of large-scale set pieces can take your breath away. In particular, the use of hundreds of white fabric strips hanging from the room. Absolutely stunning.

An Act of Now

It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for a 15 year old company to present it’s first world premiere with it’s newest director. It’s a big deal when it’s only the second director in the company’s history. It’s a big deal when that director is not Australian. And it’s a big deal when 7 of the 8 dancers in the show have never performed with the company before…oh yeah, and the audience are all wearing headphones.

It was a real privilege to be present on Opening Night of Chunky Move‘s milestone (on many levels) new work, An Act Of Now. Choreographed by new director Anouk van Dijk, the show is presented in a glasshouse on the stage of the Myer Music Bowl, with the audience sitting on the stage.

The work is powerful, intense, claustrophobic and incredibly emotional. From the first moment when the audience is ushered down a hill with lights in their eyes, to the final image of the cast finally breaking out their glass cage and running freely over the green grass, this show was a memorable and sensational experience. Not even a show-stop and an injured dancer could stop the audience cheering wildly for this beautiful show. Very very special.

Making Warhorse

From what I hear, many people cry when they go to see Warhorse, the beautiful production from the National Theatre in London using those extraordinary puppets. Me? I cried watching the making-of documentary. Yep.
Want to get inspired? See. This. Film. It made me realise why I love theatre.

No Child

The highlight of the festival so far for me. No Child is written and performed by Nilaja Sun. It tells the fictional story (although based on her real life experiences) of Nilaja Sun’s journey of going into Malcom X High – a high school of some of the toughest kids in the Bronx. Getting them through the rehearsal period and performance of ‘Our Country’s Good’.

Playing a grand total of 16 characters, all with their own unique voice and physicality, and jumping between them as if edited like a film, this high energy performance is so brilliant that the second it finished the audience had no choice but to jump to their feet and cheer wildly. Now that’s theatre.

A Good Man

Headed over to ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image) to catch the screening documentary A Good Man, following African-American choreographer Bill T. Jones and the creation of his work commissioned for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial.

This powerful film not only follows the process of creating a brave and technically challenging show, but also Bill T. Jones’ struggle with the content as he researches Lincoln and uncovers some shocking truths about the history of his race.

I Don’t Believe In Outer Space

Performance Improvisation at it’s best. This work might be a little unexpected for some, simply because it’s not the kind of work William Forsythe is famous for, but make no mistake, it is just sensational.

Springing from two classic American icons: David Lynch and Gloria Gaynor, I Don’t Believe In Outer Space is a very cheeky look into the meaning of human existence. Laugh, cry, and if not, just be wowed by some of the world’s most talented movers.