REVIEW: The Firebird with Paquita (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

July 31, 2021
[Old Forms; New Visions] The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s double bill of The Firebird with Paquita presents two traditional, narrative classical ballets in boldly contrasting ways. Opening the programme, Paquita remains faithful to the Imperial Ballet style in approach and realisation. First staged in Russia in 1847, the work is retained in the repertoire of ballet companies worldwide, including Aotearoa, […]

TOURING REVIEW: Giselle (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

May 15, 2021
[Escapist Magnificence] Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s production of Giselle premiered in 2012, and has become a signature work for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, supported by the beautiful 2013 feature film Giselle directed by New Zealander Toa Fraser. The production is richly realised, refined with impeccable taste, and embodies the centuries-old magic of classical ballet in absolute escapist magnificence. […]

REVIEW: Meremere (Tour-Makers)

April 13, 2021
[This Beautiful Thing] Kicking off in Auckland and touring New Zealand for the third time since its inception in 2016, Meremere is an autobiographical multimedia dance work showcasing the inspirational life journey of Rodney Bell. Directed by Malia Johnston and created and performed as a solo by Bell himself, the audience follow his journey from leaving Aotearoa after the death […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: Strasbourg 1518 (Borderline Arts Ensemble)

March 25, 2021
[Mystery and Frenzy] Partners in life and in work, creatives Lucy Marinkovich and Lucien Johnson as Borderline Arts Ensemble present Strasbourg 1518, their largest major full-length work to date. A tumultuous example of life-imitating-art or vice versa, Strasbourg 1518 is a production that opened in Wellington in March 2020 as Covid-19 infiltrated our shores, closing early due to a pandemic-related […]

REVIEW: Strasbourg 1518 (Auckland Arts Festival)

March 21, 2021
[Dance to Live] Combining dance, theatre and storytelling, Strasbourg 1518 is an exhilarating contemporary performance that explores ideas of revolution and the arts within both a historical and contemporary framework. Directed and choreographed by Lucy Marinkovich, with Lucien Johnson as writer and composer, Strasbourg 1518 is based around the dancing plague of 1518 – begun by a lone woman, up […]

REVIEW: Undercurrent (Footnote New Zealand Dance)

November 15, 2020
[Fog Clearing] 2020 marks Footnote New Zealand Dance’s 35th anniversary; a remarkable achievement for the small Wellington contemporary dance company. As this tumultuous year draws to a close, Footnote has enjoyed the ability to perform and tour its final season of the year, Undercurrent, throughout Aotearoa. The company can also celebrate their move out of the small Cuba Street Tarrant […]

REVIEW: The Sleeping Beauty (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

November 2, 2020
[An Awakening] The privilege of attending a large-scale live performance of both music and dance in 2020 is not lost on me, nor, I suspect, on the majority of the audience on the opening night of The Sleeping Beauty in Wellington. Royal New Zealand Ballet, while in a better position to weather this storm than most artists in Aotearoa, has […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: Trois Grandes Fugues (NZ Festival)

March 13, 2020
[Beethoven Goes On] Lyon Opera Ballet’s Trois Grandes Fugues is curated not without an element of risk; a collection of three choreographies set to the same composition – Beethoven’s Die Grosse Fugue Op.133 – performed one after the other in a single programme. Written in 1824/5 by the almost-deaf Beethoven, Die Grosse Fugue Op.133 is described by critics as his […]

WELLINGTON REVIEW: MÁM (NZ Festival)

March 7, 2020
[Sensory Blurring] Teać Damsa (House of Dance) was founded in 2016 by choreographer Michael Keegan-Douglas “…as a means to forge deeper connections with the traditions, language and the music of Ireland”. In 2019 the New Zealand Festival of the Arts facilitated a six-week residency in Wellington for Keegan-Douglas, which included studio space and a marae noho at Tapu Te Ranga. […]

TOURING: Hansel & Gretel (Royal New Zealand Ballet)

November 7, 2019
That Freshly Baked Taste Staging a brand new, full-length ballet is a milestone for any company and a relatively rare occasion for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. This world premiere of Hansel & Gretel is a significantly larger undertaking, therefore, than reproducing a classic, or reimagining a ballet with an existing score and cast of characters. Every aspect of this […]
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