REVIEW: Grand Finale (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 23, 2019
[Another Closing, Another Opening] The Auckland Arts Festival has a lean offering of dance this year, so it’s fair to say that bringing the London-based Hofesh Shechter Company to the festival is a significant event on the industry’s 2019 calendar. The programming of this work, Grand Finale, feels rich with significance as Aotearoa pulses with the fallout of the Christchurch […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: Choreographic Series (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

March 2, 2019
[Moving On] Choreographic Series Choreography: Sarah Foster-Sproull, Shaun James Kelly, James O’Hara, Moss Patterson Lighting Design: Andrew Lees The Opera House, Wellington Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2019 season is the first programmed by current Artistic Director Patricia Barker. As such, it is an opportunity for audiences to get a sense of the focus and direction she intends for our national company. […]

REVIEW: The Nutcracker (RNZB)

November 2, 2018
[More Seasoning] The quintessential Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, is so beloved by companies and audiences that it is an annual event in some parts of the world. Since the Royal New Zealand Ballet has not staged The Nutcracker since former Artistic Director Gary Harris’ 2010 production, New Zealand audiences are overdue for this festive delight. In an odd twist of […]

REVIEW: Strength & Grace (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

August 21, 2018
[Suffrage Embodied] Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Patricia Barker commissioned four new ballets in recognition of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, coinciding with the company’s 65th year. Strength & Grace brings together one local and three international choreographers, comprising a balance of contemporary and classical vocabularies who view the season’s provocation through different lenses. Unusually, […]

REVIEW: Welcome to the Murder House (Indian Ink)

May 28, 2018
Brigitte Knight gives her verdict from the Wellington premiere of Indian Ink Theatre Company’s latest work. [Cell Block Vaudeville] Jacob Rajan returns to the stage for the world premiere of Welcome to the Murder House, a satirical black comedy spun from threads of historical fiction. Co-created with Justin Lewis, the work was commissioned by the South Coast Repertory Theatre based […]

REVIEW: Stomp (Lunchbox Theatrical Productions)

May 12, 2018
[Noise Makers] Stomp has been around, in various iterations, since the beginning of the 1990’s. Originating in the UK, the production has grown to include a NYC residence and various touring casts. The original formula remains successful and intact: a celebration of rhythm, energy and joy. The concept is simple and highly effective, and when Stomp first hit stages twenty-five years […]

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 […]
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