Archive for January, 2013

An Evening with Lightfoot Leon

Oh my goodness.

Just thought I’d pop into Dendy cinemas to catch the performance film of Netherlands Dance Theatre’s triple bill An Evening with Lightfoot Leon featuring three works by the famous choreographic duo: Sh-Boom!, Shoot The Moon and Same Difference. I’m glad I did.

It was wonderful to catch these beautiful dance works, great dancing and fun, clever, quirky choreography performed by some of the world’s best dancers. A fantastic treat.

Inside

It was my great pleasure to attend the beautiful Famous Spiegeltent at the Sydney festival to see ‘Inside’ a new two-man show starring Frank Woodley and Simons Yates.

This show was a deceptively complex and sensitively written tragi-comedy about two Russian brothers living a brutal existence of confinement. At times hilarious and instantly heart-warming and sweet, the two performers were perfectly absurd and somehow completely familiar too.

Special mention must go to designer Anna Cordingley for her very clever set and monochromatic colour palette, and to Niklas Pasjanti for his sensational lighting design. A joy to watch. A wonderful, life-affirming little piece of theatre.

2013

Happy New Year!

After a lovely time with my family in my hometown of Dubbo, I’m jumping straight back into it, teaching masterclasses in Contemporary Technique and Improvisation at a Summer School here in New South Wales.

Swan Lake

Stephen Baynes’ new production of Swan Lake for The Australian Ballet is about to close their season, so I quickly snap the last ticket on sale and head to the Sydney Opera House to check it out.

As luck would have it, I’m sitting next to Artistic Director of AB, David McAllister, and we have a quick chat about Pinocchio before the house lights dim.

Baynes’ has done a remarkable job of making this version seem very traditional. Keeping the era, the music and the constant presence of ballet-mime at the forefront. The new choreography is charming, but with little reason behind why this ‘new’ version has been created, if only to resemble the original.
The confusion is made greater when Act Two is kept completely true to the original, with no new choreography. A strange choice.

All this aside, the company is looking beautiful, and the elegant swan corps stole the show with their fluid mesmerising arms movements. It was truly a delightful show, but I think choreographically, it seemed a waste of an opportunity.

Choreographic Development – Shaun Parker

I’ve just finished a wonderful week with 16 other male dancers, researching ideas for a new show for Shaun Parker & Company in Sydney.

For five days we explored the XY chromosome, what it means and how it could be brought to the stage. A very exciting project that will hopefully continue to be developed over the next few years. I’m very honoured to be invited to be a part of these very intriguing first stages. Keep your eyes out!

Little Orphan TrAshley

OK. So pantomimes are really not my thing…but comedy is.

Off to Sydney Opera House (2nd time in two evenings!) this time though, for something very very different. Trever Ashley has made quite a name for himself making adults-only pantos for his drag queen characters, alongside his career as a legitimate musical theatre performer.

Little Orphan TrAshley (or TrAnnie, depending on who you ask) is based on the musical Annie. Its about a girl named Fanny, who escapes the horrible Miss Trannigan (a hilarious Rhonda Burchmore) into the arms of a creepy millionaire Daddy Warhorse who offers to pay for her gender reassignment operation. Aw.

While the audience were laughing, I was analysing. Just another step in my ‘what makes people laugh’ quest!