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, […]

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: Wired (Okareka Dance Company)

January 26, 2018
[Wired Inspired!] Contrary to what the imagery of the show’s publicity depicts, Wired contains no visible or physical wires. However, the intertwining of wires via the dancers’ relationships is very much inferred throughout the show, delivered with great aplomb. Choreographers Sarah Foster-Sproull, Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal have created a number of beautifully interwoven dance pieces that are a sight […]

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, […]
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