Dance diary. February 2020

…2011. Oral histories Early in February I had the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Gautier, CEO and Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival Centre. The interview was part of the Australia-China Council Project currently being conducted by the National Library of Australia. Douglas Gautier spent a considerable amount of time in Hong Kong and had many connections with arts organisation in the region. The interview is not yet available online. My…

Ballet Rambert in Australasia 1947–1949

…see two of the dancers who made a particular impact in Australia, Belinda Wright and John Gilpin, both very young at this stage in their careers. In many respects the Rambert tour has been somewhat neglected compared with the attention that has been given to the Ballets Russes companies whose tours to Australia took place largely in the mid to late 1930s and in 1940. Today I only have 10 minutes to talk to you about the Rambert tour, which I delv…

Giselle. The Australian Ballet (2015 third viewing)

…thought unmistakably clear. As Wilfred, Albrecht’s right hand man, Andrew Wright also gave a strong performance. He was forever anxious as he tried again and again to persuade Albrecht not to pursue his deception of Giselle, and then was in the right place at the right time to usher him out of the village following Giselle’s death. The peasant pas de deux, a highlight of Act I, was danced by Miwako Kubota and Christopher Rodgers-Wilson. They made…

The Nutcracker. The Australian Ballet (2014)

…oan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House There is a lot to like in Peter Wright’s version of The Nutcracker, the Australian Ballet’s final show for 2015. But once again the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre showed its inadequacies as an opera/ballet venue. What a squash it was at times! I admired in particular the logic that Wright has introduced into the story, including the expanded role played by Drosselmeyer, admirably performed by Rudy H…

New Breed (2016). Sydney Dance Company

…razy dancing, especially from the tall and physically expressive Sam Young-Wright who, at one stage, stripped down to his underpants. There was also a lot of walking up, down, and around the performing space by dancers and some audiences members. But in the end, as entertaining as it all was, and that entertaining aspect extended to an electronic score played live by composer Marco Cher-Gibard, the idea was more interesting than the performance. C…

Frame of Mind. Sydney Dance Company

…s to Canberra in April–May and Melbourne in May. Chloe Leong and Sam Young-Wright in William Forsythe’s Quintett, Sydney Dance Company. Photo: © Peter Greig The Forsythe piece, danced to Gavin Bryars’ Jesus’ blood never failed me yet, reminded me of an event that occurred several years ago now, at a time when people used to go into shops to buy their music. My husband went into a then very well-known music store in Canberra (since closed down) to…

Paquita & La Sylphide. The Australian Ballet. 2020 Digital Season

…ov and Gaudiello. Bouquets to them both. Colin Peasley as Madge and Andrew Wright as Gurn also gave strong performances and I enjoyed as well being backstage at the Sydney Opera House while the overture to La Sylphide was playing. I can’t wait to look again. My reviews of previous performances are at these links: Melbourne; Sydney. I was also lucky enough to see the full-length Paquita as restaged by Pierre Lacotte for the Paris Opera Ballet but i…

And the dance goes on …

…agedy. But apparently it was not a smooth process. Notice too that the playwright’s name is given as Cyril Tourneur although, as I mentioned scholars now believe that the playwright was Thomas Middleton. Now, despite the ‘pile of dead bodies’ with which the play closes, and the apparent difficulties David Myles may have had with the choreography, the meeting of Murphy and Fredrikson was a momentous one. While both would pursue independent careers…

Bold Moves. Royal New Zealand Ballet

…e of other baroque dances, and thus represents a through-composed journey. Douglas Lilburn caught well the notion of journeying in his solo piano composition by that title (worth choreographing some time?), but Bach’s chaconne is so wedded now to the talisman choreography by Jose Limon (given stellar performances by Baryshnikov in this same venue back in 1990s) with the solo musician alongside him on the stage. The dance, staged by Louis Solino, w…