REVIEW: Black Swan, White Swan (RNZB)

June 2, 2019
[Grand Rapids in NZ] Black Swan, White Swan was commissioned in 2012 by Artistic Director Patricia Barker for her previous company, Grand Rapids Ballet, Michigan. It is a modern, minimalist reimagining of the iconic classical ballet Swan Lake first performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, Russia in the 1870s. Slovakian choreographer Mário Radačovsky retains the characters, two act structure and score […]

REVIEW: Bach to Bowie 2019 (Complexions Contemporary Ballet)

May 11, 2019
[Let’s Dance] Created by Artistic Directors Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019. The company is clear about its vision for dance-making; “…reinventing dance through a ground-breaking mix of methods, styles and cultures…” and challenging traditions and conventions while maintaining technical excellence. Their first visit to New Zealand since 2010, CCB […]

REVIEW: Rosalina (Sau E Siva Creatives)

March 22, 2019
[Siva Storytelling] By popular demand, Rosalina (directed by Troy Tu’ua and the Sau E Siva Creatives) returns to the Māngere Arts Centre for it’s second sold out season (after its first iteration at the Māngere Arts Centre in 2018). The Sau E Siva Creatives is a recently formed Pacific Dance Theatre Company that was founded by a handful of graduates, […]

REVIEW: As it Stands (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 10, 2019
[When Man, Nature and Industry Collide] Inspired by the monumental and mammoth-sized steel sculptures of American artist Richard Serra, As It Stands is a contemporary dance work directed and choreographed by Arts Laureate Ross McCormack and his company Muscle Mouth.  Featuring eight very strong dancers — James Vu Anh Pham, Lauren Langlois, Luke Hanna, Emily Adams, Jeremy Beck, Tiana Lung, […]

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: Bad Mood (Basement Theatre)

November 8, 2018
[Collage of Womanhood] As artist in residence for the Basement this year, Bad Mood is Tallulah Holly-Massey’s third and final work following Mammoth and Tender is the Night.  I had watched Mammoth earlier during the year, and was excited to see how Holly-Massey’s final work would play out.  Performed by four distinguished dancers — Kelly Nash, Nancy Wijohn, Zahra Killeen-Chance […]

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: Soft n Hard (Tempo Dance Festival)

October 12, 2018
[Woman v Shrill Man] The story of a relationship between a man and woman, Soft n Hard is based on movement and song, but to call this Tempo work a dance show feels reductive. Created and performed by Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood (and directed by Isobel MacKinnon), Soft n Hard is about juxtaposition and conflict over assumptions and expectations around […]

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: 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, […]
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