The Kiss Inside. Douglas Wright Dance Company

…ments seem like Douglas now taking leave from the legacy of his works. The Kiss Inside  contrasts sublime with grotesque. Courageous dancers deliver rock-sure performances without faltering. For the record, they are Craig Bary, Eddie Elliott, Luke Hanna, Sarah-Jayne Howard, Simone Lapka, Tara Jade Samaya. Set design by Michael Pearce, and Jeremy Fern’s lighting, create the perfectly judged  atmosphere that carries throughout. The Pina Bausch seaso…

Douglas Wright—the last dance. Tempo Dance Festival Online video viewing

…Part Two of the film, Douglas dances on stage, within the choreography The Kiss Inside. (Sky City, Auckland, 2015) Douglas Wright in his solo from The Kiss Inside, 2015. Photo: © Pippa Samaya A giant tree branch is suspended overhead. Trees exist both above and below ground. Douglas always was a dendrophile, so there are echoes for us of his first choreography for RNZBallet, decades ago, The Decay of Lying—and of the later works, A Far Cry and For…

Douglas Wright. Many Happy Returns

…’s exceptional work are below.) Sarah-Jayne Howard in two moments from The Kiss Inside, 2015. Photos: © Pippa Samaya Leanne Pooley’s documentary, Haunting Douglas, (the word is verb, noun and adjective) is a fine record of Douglas’ life and work to 2003, when it was released. It’s up to us to remember the works made after that date. Black Milk, fortunately for us, is documented by Douglas in his book Terra Incognito, and also in the superb collect…

Kiss the sky. New Zealand Dance Company

…House, Wellington Reviewed by Jennifer Shennan New Zealand Dance Company’s Kiss the Sky is a highly energised and energising program of three works that appealed to an enthusiastic audience. Production values are always strong with this company, and the six dancers are all smart, sharp, sophisticated and cleanly co-ordinated movers who share singular commitment. While the three separate works have visual and aesthetic contrasts, each uses a simila…

Douglas Wright (1956–2018)

…hifting (Hey Paris, Forever); political (Black Milk); spiritual (Rapt, The Kiss Inside). We sense that whatever happened to him surfaced somewhere in one of his choreographies, but were never just about himself. He staged themes that may have shocked, or saddened, but they rang with truth. Douglas released the artistry in many dancers and they know who they are. Lisa Densem (in the astonishing photo montage by Peter Molloy on the cover of the Pool…

Inside There Falls. Mira Calix and Sydney Dance Company

…dney). Sydney Festival 2015 My review of the Sydney Festival production of Inside There Falls, a collaboration between London-based artist and musician, Mira Calix, and Sydney Dance Company, has been posted on DanceTabs at this link. In addition to the photographs published with the article, most of which were kindly supplied by the Sydney Festival, below are some I took during my visit to the installation — and yes, for once photography was allow…

Farewell to a year of dance, 2023

…n October 14 to mark Douglas’ birthdate — and an archival screening of The Kiss Inside made compelling viewing. We plan to host a similar event every year on that date, and are grateful to Megan Adams who maintains the Douglas Wright archive with fastidious care. A capacity audience attended the Russell Kerr lecture, this time focussing on Patricia Rianne’s celebrated career, and viewing her 1986 ballet, Bliss, based on the Katherine Mansfield sho…

Anzac Day 2020. Aotearoa New Zealand

…dance-maker. An indelible image that remains with me is from Wright’s The Kiss Inside—a scene in which a gorilla-suited figure passes a tray of cut oranges around a group of boys (a team of rugby players, refreshments at half time?). Soon, just a little older, the same young men are in a faraway other place, a different game, writhing on the ground, in an agony of wounds, bleating like sheep. The gorilla passes a microphone among them to record t…

Horizon. Bangarra Dance Theatre

…costume designs by Clair Parker for Kulka and Jennifer Irwin for The Light Inside, were exceptional. At one stage Irwin’s costumes for Salt Water featured extended sleeves and similar additions to other parts of the costumes. These additions were manipulated by the dancers so that choreography and costume moved as extensions of each other. Emily Flannery, Maddison Paluch and Courtney Redford in a scene from Salt Water in The Light Inside. Bangarra…

In a flash. Australian Dance Party

…n Darling Hall and made their way, after peering through the glass panels, inside. Once inside, their dancing was slick and paid homage, music-wise at least, to Strictly Ballroom. Sometimes the early parts of the show had an air of being full-on, over the top Hollywood style. Lots of smiling, lots of make-up, lots of presenting oneself. Early number from In a flash. Australian Dance Party, 2018. Photo: Lorna Sim, edited by Anna Trundle But the gla…