Monday, 17 June 2013

Review: The Australian Ballet

Vanguard - The Australian Ballet, 17/6/13

Vanguard is a timeline of "ballet game changers," showcasing works by three internationally celebrated choreographers.

George Balanchine's Four Temperaments displays the most impressive ballet technique, without a tutu in sight.  Choreographed in 1946, it can't be described as anything but ballet; but minor changes in movement such as the odd bent supporting leg and pedestrian arm sequences, plus the lack of storytelling led the way for ballet choreographers to move away from content and meaning.  The uniformed costuming also made a statement, as the principals wore the same plain leotard and tights as the ensemble, enhancing the lines in the movement.

In Bella Figura, the dancers have ditched their pointe shoes and tights, and some have lost the rest of their clothes as well. Abstract and beautiful, with interesting and original stage production, it is hard to believe this piece is almost twenty years old. I pre empted that Kylian's piece would be my favourite of the triple bill, and undoubtedly it was.  The clever lighting design, and theatrical elements such as the dancers interacting with the set, created a magical atmosphere which the sharp yet graceful choreography intensified.  Kylian's work is always inspiring, and leaves you wishing the performance never ended.

Wayne McGregor's Dyad 1929 is the most recent work in the timeline.  Choreographed in 2009, it is completely removed and defiant from ballet's rooted emotion.  There is so much happening on the stage, with the crazy lighting and set design creating a bright feast for the eyes.  The ears are not forgotten, as the random sounds of Reich's Double Sextet compliment the unusual and striking movement.  The piece builds to a loud crescendo, finishing with the dancers fiercely executing McGregor's hallucinatory style.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Travel blog: The Fear

5/6/13 - Melbourne

So, the Fear has started. I woke up from a nightmare this morning, set in the near future, when I had returned home.  It was only the second day since I had been back and I was already screaming in the mirror with boredom and frustration.
There's no escaping it; the clock is ticking and in a few months I am due to go home. If it was up to me, I would be staying on the road a lot longer. Even if I had to leave Australia there are many more places out there to see before moving back and settling down.
Don't get me wrong I will love to go home and see all of my family and friends who I have missed terribly, and even new additions I haven't met yet. But that novelty will soon wear off, and then what have I got? Well, nothing. I'm heading back to no job, no home and the complete unknown with no plan whatsoever. Those prospects don't excite me too much. Starting from scratch, having to find a "career"... that's not exactly easy in the UK right now.

As always, the book I'm reading is reflecting my thoughts perfectly. And yet again, set in the much written about town of Pondicherry...

'I am not sure what it will be like, going home and picking up and starting again. In a way it feels braver than anything else I have done, and certainly it is more frightening than coming to India ever was.'
- Emily Barr, The Life you Want