REVIEW: The Piano: The Ballet (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2018
[Colonised Form] Choreographic and design duo Jirí and Otto Bubeníček originally staged The Piano: The Ballet in Germany, 2014, as part of a triple bill. In its latest incarnation for the Royal New Zealand Ballet it has been reworked into a full-length narrative ballet, closely following Jane Campion’s award-winning film. The set design is a real strength for this production, […]

REVIEW: OrphEus – a dance opera (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2018
[Look Back in Splendour] OrphEus – a dance opera (Orpheus, Eurydice and Us) is a large and ambitious project for The New Zealand Dance Company, conceived, created and directed by Michael Parmenter. The extensive programme notes and the work itself both indicate the academic depth of research and inspiration that have culminated in this large-scale production. Parmenter draws together past, […]

REVIEW: Missing Lids (The Basement)

March 8, 2018
[Tupperware Talent] Missing Lids is one of Holly Newsome’s first full length works; an entertaining trio of dancers in yellow morph suits captivating their audience within the confines of the Basement’s Studio space. Since graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance, Newsome has created work (under her company name Discotheque) for Footnote New Zealand Dance and the Wellington Fringe […]

REVIEW: Akram Khan’s Giselle (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 2, 2018
[A Masterpiece] The build-up to Akram Khan’s Giselle opening in Auckland has been significant: a visit ten years in planning by Auckland Arts Festival Director Jonathan Bielski; nearly one hundred cast and crew on English National Ballet’s first visit to New Zealand; a significant reinterpretation of a well-loved romantic ballet by a bold, modern choreographer; the debut international performance occurring […]

REVIEW: Contrast (Footnote New Zealand Dance)

November 3, 2017
[Right Direction] Contrast presents works from two choreographers of significant national and international standing: Switzerland-based choreographer, dancer and teacher Emma Murray, and Creative New Zealand’s Choreographic Fellow 2017-2019 Sarah Foster-Sproull. Potentially, the season was named before the works were created – they share similar general concepts but strongly contrasting realisation. In Murray’s work Participation, four dancers enter into a trance-like, […]

REVIEW: Rēka (AUĒ Dance Collective)

October 27, 2017
[Totems and Taboos] Rēka grew from the short work AUĒ that won the Risk Taker Award at Short + Sweet Dance 2017. The original was reviewed as being restricted by the ten-minute time limit, and suggesting a longer work to come. True to the original, Rēka aims to be controversial and elicit a response from its audience; programme notes describe […]

REVIEW: Old Tricks New Dogs (Black Sheep Productions)

August 9, 2017
[Wonder Dogs] Old Tricks New Dogs successfully and fully explores its theme of dogginess through movement, sound, props, personalities and proximities. This non-narrative dance-theatre work follows a thread rather than a storyline, but nevertheless feels complete. The performance begins while the audience is still milling around at the bar; a hi-vis performer with a whistle shepherds us upstairs and into […]

REVIEW: Three by Ekman (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

May 25, 2017
[Three’s a Charm] Three by Ekman is bold programming from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and an indication of the importance of bringing international works of significance to our national ballet company. A prolific powerhouse in the dance world, Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman’s work is both popular and accessible. First up, Tuplet; a work for six dancers introducing the audience […]

REVIEW: Carmen with L’Arlésienne (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

March 31, 2017
[Power of Petit] Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia has a personal reason for bringing Roland Petit’s work to New Zealand – he danced two key roles early in his own career under the ‘Maestro’. Petit’s work is a treat for Kiwi audiences, and a first for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Roland Petit (1924-2011) was a masterful […]