Dona Nobis Pacem. The film

John Neumeier choreographer. Hamburg Balletreviewed by Jennifer Shennan John Neumeier has been the artistic director and choreographer of Hamburg Ballet since 1973. His prolific output of numerous full-length ballets over those decades is legendary, and what’s more, all the works have stayed current in the company’s repertoire and are given regular return seasons. That is a phenomenal achievement in world ballet terms. I was more than fortunate, when on a Goethe Institut study tour to Germany

Dance Week 2024. Ausdance ACT

Ausdance ACT prides itself on having Australia’s most extensive program for Dance Week, and the ACT branch of Ausdance has, in fact, been building up its approach for over 30 years (if I remember correctly). This year’s program, which runs from 29 April to 5 May, illustrates the quite extraordinary diversity of dance that characterises Canberra these days. The program

Carmen. The Australian Ballet

17 April 2024 (matinee). Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House Changes to artistic directorship in any dance company invariably bring changes to repertoire and this current production of Carmen is quite unlike the Carmen many older dance-goers may remember—Roland Petit’s Carmen first performed by the Australian Ballet in 1973. The current production, created in 2015 by Swedish choreographer Johan Inger,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Queensland Ballet (2024)

12 April 2024. Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane This is not the first time I have seen and reviewed Liam Scarlett’s magnificent version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And there have also been reviews on this website from Jennifer Shennan given that the work was originally a joint production between Queensland Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet. Its

Dance diary. March 2024

Coming in April from the Australian Ballet is a production of Carmen by Swedish choreographer Johan Inger. Recent discussions about the background to the work, which was first created in Madrid in 2015, always mention the appearance of a child as a character in the work. One British reviewer has written that the child ‘represents the wider fall out of

Russell Kerr Lecture, 2024

The paper below was meant to be given as a talk as part of the 2024 Russell Kerr Lecture series, which took place in Wellington on 25 February 2024. I had a misadventure with the plane that took me to Wellington (which ended up in Auckland) and in the end did not get to Wellington to deliver the talk in

Woman Life Freedom. Crows Feet Dance Collective

24 March 2024. Hannah Playhouse, Wellingtonreviewed by Jennifer Shennan This dance work is choreographed by Jan Bolwell and performed by 35  members of Crows Feet Dance Collective, an ensemble of mature dancers, marking 25 years since the formation of the group in 1999. ‘Anyone can join Crows Feet—you just have to be a woman over 35. There are no auditions’ reads the program note. It’s a courageous undertaking to put trained

Awkward. Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub

27 March 2024. The B, Queanbeyan Arts Centre Below is a slightly expanded version of my review of Awkward published online by Canberra City News on 28 March 2024. In just one performance in The B, a former Bicentennial Hall renovated to become a theatre space, the Newcastle-based Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub presented Awkward, a work with a focus on ‘The

Paradise Rumour. Black Grace

22 March 2024. St James Theatre, Wellingtonreviewed by Jennifer Shennan Paradise Rumour, commissioned by Sharjah Festival in UAE (now that’s different), has toured in USA, and also performed in Auckland and Christchurch. This single performance in Wellington marks the end of its current season though further performances in Australia and the Pacific—Noumea? Suva? Honolulu? would make a lot of sense. The Black Grace team is on top of their game—producing a printed program which

Belle—A Performance of Air. Movement of the Human

14 March 2024. St James Theatre, Wellington reviewed by Jennifer Shennan Belle—A Performance of Air is a theatrical event of monumental proportions.  The stage is mostly a launching pad for take-off from gravity, with high-flying spinning aerialists and moving sculptures that evoke time past and time future in a range of astonishing ways. There’s a striking opening image—backlit figures wired into a ground control centre, they’re there then