Wudjang—not the past. Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company

12 February 2022, Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney Ever since I began watching productions by Bangarra Dance Theatre (around three decades ago), the aspect of their shows that I have most admired has always been the way in which a story is told through movement. Of course I have loved the fabulous visual and musical aspects of the productions as well—costumes, sets,

Dance diary. January 2022

West Australian Ballet What a pleasure it is to be able to say that West Australian Ballet is turning 70 in 2022. It is the oldest ballet company in Australia and was founded in 1952 by the former Ballet Russes dancer Kira Abricossova Bousloff. The company gave its first performance in 1953 and turned professional when Rex Reid was appointed

Swan Lake. Two alternative views

What is it about Swan Lake? Looking back I have seen productions of this ballet across Australia and around the world. The Australian Ballet has had four different productions in its repertoire for a start—all quite different. Then I can’t leave out the production by the Borovansky Ballet in the 1950s and the two created in New Zealand that I

Louis Solino (1941–2022)

by Jennifer Shennan Louis Solino was for years a member of the celebrated José Limón Dance Company of New York. He later staged many works from that company’s talisman repertoire when a tutor at New Zealand School of Dance. Louis was partner of New Zealander Paul Jenden, both of them major contributors to Wellington’s theatre life. Early drawn to dance,

Dance diary. December 2021

Season’s greetings Thank you to all those who have accessed this website over 2021. Your loyalty is much appreciated and I look forward to your visits, and comments, in 2022. Happy New Year and here’s hoping there will be more live performances for us to see in 2022. Dance and disability Canberra has long had a strong and diverse dance

The best of 2021

I did not have the opportunity to see live dance outside Australia in 2021 although I came very close to getting to New Zealand to see Loughlan Prior’s Firebird for Royal New Zealand Ballet (everything was booked but had to be cancelled at the last minute)! But I did see a variety of performances from overseas companies in online screenings,

New Zealand Dance Highlights 2021

by Jennifer Shennan The year everywhere saw curtailment of a number of dance events but the resilience in dancers’ responses still gave us plenty of highlights to savour … Ballet Collective Aotearoa launched its long-awaited premiere season, Subtle Dances, in the Auckland and Dunedin Arts Festivals early in the year. Artistic direction of BCA by Turid Revfeim, to establish a

The Dancer. A biography for Philippa Cullen

Evelyn Juers, The Dancer. A biography for Philippa Cullen. (Sydney: Giramondo Publishing, 2021) ISBN: 9781925818727; 592 pp RRP $39.95 This book by Evelyn Juers is spectacularly different from any biography I have read before, especially from any dance biography I have yet encountered. It is in essence the story of Philippa Ann Cullen (born Melbourne, Australia 1950; died Kodaikanal, India,

Frances Rings. A new direction

The recent news from Bangarra Dance Theatre that Frances Rings will take on the artistic directorship of Bangarra from 2023, when Stephen Page retires from the role, has been received with positive comments across the dance community. The exceptional commitment that has characterised Page’s term as director has, rightly, also been spoken of in positive terms, but the appointment of

Jareen Wee in The Point

Dance diary. November 2021

Canberra Critics’ Circle. Awards for 2021 The 2021 Canberra Critics’ Circle awards ceremony took place on 30 November at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. The awards were presented to recipients by Patrick McIntyre, newly appointed CEO of the National Film and Sound Archive and, as is the custom, were presented across all major art forms including performing, visual and literary