Showing posts with label dance in Sydney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dance in Sydney. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Shadowland - Review

Shadowland is touring Australia, it is an international theatre sensation from America, presented by Pilobolus. Pilobolus was founded in 1971 and since then has toured 64 countries with their 115 pieces of repertory.  Shadowland is a stunning work that combines, dance, music, puppetry and illusion.

It is a story of a young girl who longs for independence but at the moment she is only free in her dreams. When she falls asleep her dreams take her to a strange land the other side of her bedroom wall. A land of shadows and strange creatures. Just like when you are dreaming sometimes it is good and sometimes not so good.  Some of the scenes are comical with crazy chefs that try to cook her,  she falls in love,  she is turned into a dog, and another she is teased and taunted to name just a few.

The music is composed by David Poe and it is amazing. It is quite varied and seems to be a mixture of Pink Floyd, Gong, The Beetles and probably many more.  It is available on itunes if you want to have a listen.  If you are not impressed by the music well you can't help to be impressed by the dancing and choreography.  The dancing is so fluid and the dancers are so light on their feet you can barely hear them and they are so majestic you would think that Lauren Yalango who plays the lead role is a light as a feather. The way she moves and is moved by others is astonishing, particularly at the beginning of Shadowlands as they rock her.  The pieces uses very few props with the actors making the furniture, animals, vehicles, plants etc.
The way the shadows are constructed and even the dog. I have tried to do this and it is not easy and after a few minutes (though it might have only been seconds) my arm ached! Shadowland must be a strain on the some dancers as a few had their knees strapped.  It would have taken a lot of rehearsals and commitment to get the precision between all the shadows and their interaction.  There is no digital trickery in this work is it all bodies and light.

I have never seen a work like Shadowlands before, if you don't normally like dance pieces, this is not the norm and really brings so much more to the stage.

Shadowlands plays for 90 minutes with no interval, it is playing now at the State Theatre until 20 June before moving on to Canberra, Perth and then Adelaide.

For more information visit their website -

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Radio interviews with Tess De Quincey and Kristina Karasulas

Kristina Karasulas talks to Philippa Bird on the Hubbub show, Triple H 100.1fm about this year's Peak Ridge Festival and how and why they are planning to cater for more families at the Festival.  If you are thinking of going with your children then you might like to listen to this. Click here

Tess De Quincey is a choreographer and dancer who has worked extensively in Australia and Europe as a solo performer, teacher and director. Tess is about to perform Framed at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta, with Victoria Hunt, it is extraordinary new instalment in the acclaimed "Embrace" series. Listen and find out more.

(If the links are no longer active please email for a copy) 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Of Earth & Sky

One word that springs to mind throughout Bangarra’s Of Earth & Sky is haunting. Known for their earthy, visually stunning pieces, this double bill is no exception and leaves the audience spellbound.

Commissioned by artistic director Stephen Page, Of Earth & Sky stays true to Bangarra’s internationally recognized messages and themes whilst providing an avenue for new Indigenous choreographers to begin shaping the future of an iconic Australian dance theatre group.

The first act, Riley, by the youngest choreographic contributor for Bangarra, seasoned company dancer Daniel Riley McKinley draws inspiration from acclaimed Aboriginal filmmaker and photographer Michael Riley’s cloud series. Images form the dominant focus of the set, accompanied by an experimental soundscape that launches the haunting feeling that continues throughout all of the works. Despite being young, McKinley’s work is anything but immature and elements of the affinity McKinley shares with Riley is obvious, particularly in the closing moments of Feather which takes on a literary as well as symbolic meaning.

Artefact, the second act of Bangarra’s double bill varies greatly to the first performances but is no less captivating nor moving. Choreographed by long-time Bangarra performer Frances Rings, the opening Museum is a visually arresting piece using an almost other worldly looking cloak that expels plumes of dust and covers the dancers, McKinley and Travis De Vries and evokes and even eerier sense of being a spectator of another other time and place. Rings’ pieces focus on the value and importance that objects have for Indigenous people and Grinding Stone in particular - a piece performed by the male ensemble - furthers this with ghostly connotations of their past.

Of Earth & Sky is visually compelling throughout, with each element of performance working seamlessly to reaffirm by Bangarra is still a force to be reckoned with on the national and international dance scenes.

Whilst minimal, Jacob Nash’s set design further tells the stories unfolding on stage, and when paired with David Page’s musical creativity, heightens the haunting experience that is Of Earth & Sky.

Of Earth & Sky

Glen Street Theatre

28 March to 1 April

Friday, 30 March 2012

Supermodern - Dance of Distraction

SUPERMODERN - DANCE OF DISTRACTION – now showing at Riverside Theatre Parramatta from 28th-31st March 2012

On a bare stage in plain clothing, four dancers hypnotically extend and contort their bodies with precision and poise to a backdrop of pulsating music and a fantastic lighting display.

They appear faceless and drowned out by their own movements as well as the trance-like musical accompaniment which surrounds them. Don’t you recognise them? They are us.

SuperModern – Dance of Distraction is the brainchild of experienced teacher, director and choreographer Anton, who together with Form Dance Projects has expertly arranged a performance that embodies life in our current, highly technological society, where people and words whiz by so furiously the lines between what is natural and what is human have become blurred.

The seed of Anton’s concept was planted when he found himself in a chaotic lifestyle, dependent on phones and emails and timetables. He recognised that the rapid change of society has pulled us in a thousand different directions.

The performance starts with an ascending, monotonic chant of “while this is going on, something else is going on”, prompting you to picture your own life and question if it bears resemblance to what is on display. The dancers rarely focus on each other and while they separate and each deal with the external struggles of what is being thrust at them, they are also working and moving as one in an attempt to the absurdity of being surrounded by so much technology.

Three notable aspects of the highly skilled performance highlighted the use of mobile phones, tablets and what I interpreted as Facebook. Combining break dancing, funk and contemporary dance we are forced to consider that our dependence on these gadgets and concepts are building barriers rather than opening doors.

The use of props in this performance is outstanding, especially when making a mockery of a person using a tablet and posting photos online. The props brought humour to the performance and when coupled with sounds and speech from call centres and computers the audience were laughing at the truth behind how silly we must look, sound and feel.

The original music score was composed by Jai Pyne, Nick Wales and Timothy Constable and reminded me of the eclectic bands and DJs featured on TripleJ. If there is an album to this performance I would definitely buy it. Both the music and lighting accentuated the performance and was in perfect keeping with Anton’s concept of “pondering the pace and speed in which we communicate and multi-task while living in close quarters”.

As this piece is only showing for another three days I strongly urge you to see it. If not to support the arts culture than to challenge yourself, your ideals and question how you are living in this modern world.

We may have endless access and opportunities to maintain our incredibly busy lifestyles, but what are we really giving up? Are we becoming the machines we so heavily rely on? Is this what it now means to be human?

Reviewed by Lana Hilton
Pictures by Maylei Hunt

Thursday, 15 March 2012

2 One Another

Sydney Dance Company are performing 2 One Another at the Sydney Theatre. This work is world premier choreographed by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela.
I have to admit when I was young I didn't enjoy this type of dance, it is very modern with no story. But now I can appreciate this type of work, its intricate form developing in front of you. The dancers performed together with great precision.  The worked flowed as Bonachela used certain moves to link the different sections together making it a cohesive, spellbinding piece of work.
The music is quite varied, started with very machine like electronic music turning to a choral more classical style.  Nick Wales did an amazing job arranging the music for this work. Bonachela asked poet and writer Samuel Webster to watch the dancers and write about what he saw. He then used these phrases as a basis for creating the movements.
What amazed me about this work was the amount of movement it contained, it was continuous and often at times you didn't know where to look there was so much happening. It was great watching it from the circle as some of it reminded me of synchronized swimming. Being high up however, you didn't get the full effect of the amazing light projections at the back of the stage. If you did watch it you couldn't watch the dancers are the same time.  The work emphasized interaction between people, in groups and pairs as they moved, interacted and supported each other. Dance solos highlight the solitude of human existence.
It was everything it promised to be, if you want to see it, it plays until 31 March.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Interview with Amy Hollingsworth

Amy Hollingsworth is the Dance Director of the Sydney Dance Company. She has had an amazing dance career. One 2 Another is about to open at the Sydney Theatre, find out more from Amy when she was interviewed on Triple H 100.1 fm on The Hubbub.

(please note the link will become inactive in about 3 months time, call 02 99403649 if you would like to listen)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sydney Dance Company announces new dancers

Sydney Dance Company welcomes four new dancers to the company in January 2012 - Tom Bradley, Alana Sargent, Jesse Scales and Chris Aubrey - each of whom represents the best in the next generation of contemporary dancers.

Tom Bradley, who hails from country NSW, has been awarded the second annual Sydney Dance Company Foxtel Scholarship*, which offers him a three-month internship with the company, including a spot in the first season, 2 One Another**. Tom won Best Emerging Male Performer and was nominated for Most Inspiring Performance and Best Choreography by an Emerging Artist at the 2010 New Zealand Festival of Dance. He is also the recipient of two previous scholarships to the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School and the New Zealand School of Dance.