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…

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…

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…

Intersecting journeys. Two films by Sue Healey

…ow, including James Batchelor, Jack Ziesing, Chloe Chignell, and Sam Young-Wright. But it was really Meeting Place that I found especially fascinating. Apart from the dancing and exceptional filming and directing, looking at the four locations and the way they were integrated into the dancing, I could not help thinking what a beautiful country we live in here in Australia. Overall, however, what Intersecting Journeys made very clear was the signif…

Kristian Fredrikson. Designer. Book review

…m her brother—performed by the much admired (and then much missed ) Warren Douglas. This was the most convincing representation of haka on a ballet stage I have seen in six decades of watching a range of attempts.  What a sorry business that Tale was never restaged by RNZB, and it’s a safe if sad bet it is never likely to be—even though the original cast are around and could still be involved, and indeed the choreographer, one of New Zealand’s fin…

Dance diary. November 2016

…s. Another exceptional performance from Queensland Ballet. Ella. A film by Douglas Watkins Ella, which premiered earlier in 2016 at the Melbourne International Film Festival, traces the journey of Ella Havelka from a childhood spent dancing in Dubbo, New South Wales, to her current position as a corps be ballet member of the Australian Ballet. My strongest recollection of Havelka with the Australian Ballet is her dancing with Rohan Furnell as the…

Ausdance ACT’s new director. Dr Cathy Adamek

…to acting. Adamek eventually continued her training at NIDA and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London and, with the addition of a strong musical background since childhood, she has pursued a career across dance, physical theatre, choreography, film, and electronic music, and has acted as a voice-over in various situations. She completed her PhD in 2017 at the University of South Australia. Her thesis, entitled Adelaide Dance Music C…

It never rains, it pours

…redon’s Tell me a Tale, (during Harry Haythorne’s directorate) when Warren Douglas played the Maori brother, who warned the Pakeha settler coming ashore that his sister would not be available as a girlfriend, and confirmed that in haka. End of story. We could well see that work again—Jon Trimmer, Kerry-Anne Gilberd and Kim Broad who played the lead roles are all still around and could help Gray Veredon with re-staging. Design by Kristian Fredrikso…

Many Happy (re)Turns

…asions are few. We will celebrate’ (that’s a quote from composer, the late Douglas Lilburn). Perhaps they were also hoping that Anne’s renowned optimism, elegance and positivity would prove infectious, and that they might catch some of whatever she’s got. Anne recently performed the central role in Doris Humphrey’s movingly beautiful Air for the G-String, something she has done maybe a dozen times over the years, her serenity and presence more poi…

Harry Haythorne. A tribute from Jennifer Shennan

…haka within the ballet given extraordinarily powerful expression by Warren Douglas. No more telling moment has occurred in the company’s entire repertoire history, and it is a great loss that the work has not been retained. Warren was also spectacular as the hilarious Cook in the Veredon/Fredrikson Servant of Two Masters, with Jon Trimmer as Pantalone and Harry as Dr Lombardi, tottering about wearing a twelve foot long striped scarf that threatene…