Talking to Melanie Lane

My first encounter with the choreography of Melanie Lane was in 2019 when her work WOOF was part of a Sydney Dance Company triple bill called Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane. WOOF, which two years earlier had been a hit in Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed program, was for me the outstanding work on the 2019 triple bill. I had also seen Lane perform,

Kunstkamer. The Australian Ballet

7 May 2022 (matinee). Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House David Hallberg has given his directorship of the Australian Ballet a name, a conceptual idea, for us to ponder—’A New Era’. The company’s latest production, Kunstkamer, brings reality to Hallberg’s concept. Kunstkamer is a complete change for the Australian Ballet. It is a magnificent, brilliantly conceived, exceptionally performed work giving

Dance diary. April 2022

Australian Dance Week 2022 Ausdance ACT has welcomed the beginning of Dance Week with an opening event held at Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra, on International Dance Day, 29 April. Following this celebratory opening, the ACT organisation has programmed a varied selection of events over the week until 8 May. The program reflects the current focus in the ACT on community

Dance for Ukraine

Dance for Ukraine, a humanitarian appeal to raise money for Ukraine and its people, was put together and directed by Alina Cojocaru (Romania) and Ivan Putrov (Ukraine). It was staged on 19 March 2022 at the London Coliseum and was streamed on Marquee TV making it accessible for those of us who live outside London. It was a great opportunity

December. Jake Silvestro

2 April 2022. The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre The work of Jake Silvestro defies categorisation. He is at once a dancer, a circus performer, a physical theatre artist, and a visual artist. All these qualities appear quite clearly in his solo show, December. As we enter the theatre for December, our eyes are drawn to a dimly-lit stage covered by

Russell Kerr (1930–2022) Scripting the Dreams

This is an expanded version of an obituary written by Jennifer Shennan and published in The Dominion Post online on 2 April 2022. Russell Kerr, leading light of ballet in New Zealand, has died in Christchurch aged 92. The legendary dancer, teacher, choreographer and producer influenced generations of New Zealand dancers. Kerr’s hallmark talent was to absorb music so as

Dance diary. March 2022

Anna Karenina. The Australian Ballet During March I watched a streamed showing of Anna Karenina from the Australian Ballet. Choreographed by Ukrainian-born choreographer (currently resident in the United States) Yuri Possokhov, this production of Anna Karenina premiered in 2021 in Adelaide with just a few performances, but its presentation in other States had to be cancelled, and cancelled, until March

Writing Dancing

The art of writing about dance has been on my mind for a while just recently—more so than usual that is. Several recent occurrences have sparked off my current bout of thinking. First, a colleague in New Zealand sent me an email in which she asked if I had read Zadie Smith’s article Dance lessons for writers, first published in

And the dance goes on …

This is a slightly edited version of the text and PowerPoint images for a keynote paper I gave at the 2022 BOLD Festival in Canberra on 3 March 2022 Looking at the opening slide for my talk this morning you may be wondering why, for a keynote talk at a dance-oriented festival, I have chosen an image from a theatre

International Women’s Day with Somebody’s Aunt

Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day. This morning I received an email containing a YouTube link to a 3 minute dance creation, ‘Aunts on Scooters by Somebody’s Aunt’, celebrating older women on the move. Somebody’s Aunt has been part of the Canberra dance scene for 17 years and has presented all kinds of work in unconventional spaces while using