Tag Archives: Melbourne Arts

Coppelia in St Kilda

Coppelia may be as ‘pretty as a picture’ but she has no soul, to live she will need to suck the life out of Franz. Swanilda is his true love, but her passion startles the young man who would prefer his ideal. Fortunately she is persistent.

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It’s a dance off. Swanilda can out dance her peers and Franz is more talented than his, it’s a ‘match made in Heaven’ but fate has a turn. Before the two amazing movers are joined, (which could lead to a standing ovation) evil raises his ugly head in the guise of a mad magician.

It’s a three-part play, with a haunting centre. Some toys can be very intimidating, some boys can be very threatening and some girls can be very curious. It makes great drama, within a comic text. It was the ballet that saved itself.

‘ the plot reads like a modern horror movie, Saint-Leon’s production was a clever commentary on the dangers of infatuation. When the ballet finally opened in Paris in May 1870 it seemed. with its freshness and vitality, as if the art had been reborn in France.Judith Steeh

It was the ballet revival that kept the flame alight in Europe, until the Ballet Russes set it ablaze. Essentially it was designed to excel the ballerina for the delight of its male patrons (like Degas) but was modernised by Ogilvie. The male parts that were performed by ballerinas, were handed over to men and choreographed into the leaps and athleticism, that it is today. It is beautiful ballet with amazing dancing.

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Dimity Azoury as Swanilda & Jarryd Madden as Franz at Saturday Matinee

‘We are delighted to bring back this production, which has long been considered a jewel of The Australian Ballet’s repertoire,’ David McAllister ,Artistic Director

The Palais adds ambience of this period piece, it was first performed on its stage in 1962. The charm of another era resonates through the Saturday matinée, the wood paneling, marble columns, leather seats and ‘cash only’ bars and kiosks. It’s beautiful to walk out its doors and believe the world has not changed on the St Kilda Esplanade.

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Take the journey into enchantment.

 

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Sept 23- Oct 1

Contrasts

Rapid urban development cast’s new shadows on the streets of old St Kilda, yet shreds of its artistic culture remain.

106 Barkley Street has been Tamar Dolev’s studio for 8 years, she uses ‘found’ objects to create. Each surface and shape is carefully considered before being morphed into the voice of the quietly spoken Artist.

The works are bursting with wild vitality, shes uses colour like an electric force, there is a vibrant sense of movement and emotion similar to that of Aboriginal Artist HU Wedge.

 

Dolev also enjoys the effects of shadows.

“Whatever wall it goes on, the piece changes. if it’s a blue or black wall, it adds and evolves by the shadows it makes.”

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Self Portrait 2015

Self Portrait 2015 is full of holes, it is a chameleon blending into its environment. It is partly her and partly the surroundings, that dictate its nature.

 

 

‘Billy’s Adventure’ 2015, is a long narrow work that invites the eye to travel through the composition as a narrative. The concept of an art piece outside the ‘eye of a camera’ explores our natural visage, a technique familiar to Chinese scrolls.

Dolev’s journeys are captured in her haunting silent photography of the place outside.

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Both of her parents are Architects and her fascination with buildings seeps into her art. She is currently pre-occupied with her sculptures of dwellings made from bay-side spillage.

 

Artists Studio Gallery / 106 Barkly St, St Kilda; next to Mirka Mora lane.

Opening Event Aug 6 3-5pm

 Aug 13, 14 and 20th

 

Psychosis, the lonely poet

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Sarah Kane wrote the play 4:48 Psychosis as she plummeted deeper into her despair. This is her final curtain fall, the finale of her creative life. Ironically she digs her lonely days of dirt with words that are crafted with epic beauty.

‘Love keeps me a slave in a cage of tears’

Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar or Shakespeare’s Othello are fitting comparisons to a raw but majestic construction of words. Kane is a natural poet capable of building a visual palace out off the darkest recesses of her mind.  Director Kendall-Jane Rundle chose a naked space to adorn the language.

Kane is terrified of banality.

‘Don’t shut off my mind’

‘Theres not a drug on Earth that can make this life meaningful’

The drug that Kane aches for is Hope.

‘I am charging toward my death.’

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Despite the dark subject matter, it is a strong script, tailored direction and an absorbing performance.

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Kendall-Jane Rundle

The Director and principle Actor Kendall-Jane Rundle responded to the tiredness of Kane by using furniture that was muted rather than white to create the worn-out feel that the writer expresses. She toned down the delivery to create a realistic feel to the drama. On Thursday night an audience that suffered the affliction viewed the performance and claimed that it was an accurate portrayal of the condition.

Jeff Wortman played the Doctor and love interest of Kane’s character. In the performance his professional position kept him aloof from the desperation of his patient, she tries to pull him in and he tries to pull away. As an actor it was just as difficult to ‘turn off’ to the confronting content.

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Jeff Wortman

Without wanting to take her pain

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Shane Grant

Shane Grant created the lighting for the episodic depiction of Kane; rather than being a light that shines from above his lights chase her through the darkness and allows the audience to fold into the deeper layers of the script.

Overall it was perfectly complete.

“At the end she was calm” Rundle

 

 

Review & Photography by A Forward

History in Fabric

200 years of Fashion at NGV Australia is a fashion warp of cultural remembering. It is commonly acknowledged that written history is told through the eyes of the ‘white man’, Aboriginal history through Art and Womens history through fashion.

The Suitors

This bride isn't shrinking away from a bold statement, there will be 2 suits in this marriage.
This bride isn’t shrinking away from a bold statement, there will be 2 suits in this marriage.

‘…the Colonial taste (which might differ from Melbourne suburb to suburb) was capricious, so different as to be sometimes absurd.’  Margaret Maynard

Revolution

‘Australian fashion from the early twentieth-century broadly emulated international trends and ideas of glamour inherited from Paris and Hollywood, but by the 1960’s, Australian designers were beginning to have there own impact on the world stage with work that no longer followed..’   Nadia Buick

Its political; burn the bra,womens lib,sexual liberation due to the pill & frighten your parents all at once.
Its political; burn the bra,womens lib,sexual liberation due to the pill & frighten your parents all at once.

 

 

Prue Actons ‘Youthquake’ reveals a sheer jumpsuit that sold for $60. David Jones marketed it to mainstream as sexy but for the Flower Power generation; ‘it was a symbol of passive resistance .. anti- war  protests..its changed attitudes and allegiances’   NGV

Meet Mr. John

All this suit needs is a perm,thick moustache, reflecting glasses. Its more trip than hip.
All this suit needs is a perm,thick moustache, reflecting glasses. Its more trip than hip.

House of Merivale and Mr. John Sydney, introduce the corduroy belted suit for men in 1973.

‘The 1970’s trend towards unisex attire, which saw traditionally ascribed masculine and feminine codes of dress become more androgynous.’    NGV

As the 70’s seep into the 80’s, The Chai Jumpsuit 1978, reveals fashionscapacity as a medium for artistic expression’   Danielle Whitfield.

Doing time with the Pistols
Doing time with the Pistols

the PUNK period, was no longer passive resistance, it was anarchy. The Melbourne music culture embraced punk, Sex Pistol films were played at Uni. events and the alternative scene was self supporting.

‘As the band reappeared for an encore, Sid showed the audience an obscene gesture and Steve yelled, “You must be mad to want more of us’             Dangerous Minds, Gallagher.

Less is Best for NOW

Inspired by Mondrain and conceptual minimalism and Kraftwerk.
Inspired by Mondrain , conceptual minimalism and Kraftwerk.

Tina Salivas studied fashion at Adelaide’s Marston College her 2007 creation draws inspiration from European Artists.

‘the cloth contributes to the overall design of the garment..to fully realise their artistic visions …they must not only develop form, but the textile as well.’    Paola Di Trocchio

 

 

 

extracts from 200 years of Fashion NGV publication.

Top Photo: Kate Durham ‘Sentimenta romantica de l’amour et glamour: Wedding ensemble 1982’ If this was the veil, imagine the reception.

review and photographs by A Forward

Ballet Dreaming

Alexei Ratmansky’s

Cinderella

When clothes do matter! Cinderella is the ‘It girl’ of the season. Even without a mother, there is the godmother to provide a night out on the town. The wicked sisters may lack the talent, taste and kindness of their rival sister but their comic timing is perfect.

Halaina Hills & Ingrid Gow. Photography by Jeff Busby
Halaina Hills & Ingrid Gow. Photography by Jeff Busby

The costumes are a remarkable stroke of insight. They communicate a large hunk of the tale. Ballet has no voice; the palette is made up of dance, drama, costume, score and set. The show is catchy with a surrealistic bite, re-told with a modern edge.

No one has moves like the Prince (Ty King Wall). The magnetic duo are drawn together when Cinderella (Lana Jones) ‘steals the show’ and sets the tone at the ball. The twisted sisters are deliciously offbeat.

There is nothing like a dance story told by a dance company, frock them up and send them to a Ball. This is why you should go! The dancing and Alexei Ratmansky’s choreography  is a visual delight.

Cinderella is an interesting fairytale to re-visit; it carries life lessons in a purse of simple context. Jealousy is unable to suppress the hopeful soul. When humans fail, the stars align to aid her journey and her destiny.

The Dream

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As the full moon hangs heavy over Melbourne skies, another moon and another season, the ‘Midsummer Night’, takes flight in the deep chambers of the Art Centre, on the opening night of The Dream.

Enter into the enchanted forest where mischief casts spells on the unaware and leads them into late night folly, only to awake with a hangover of regret. Does it sound familiar? Of course it does. One can always rely on Shakespeare to understand the human heart.

“How can these things come to pass? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!”

One does not need to read the play, to love The Dream. The magical blend of music and ballet lead the audience through the drama. The audience chuckled spontaneously through the performance, it’s bewitching and it’s funny. They cheered and applauded.

The visual beauty of the set and performance is unworldly; it’s easy for us to be tripped into its spell. The music and the dance are fused into one. The poetry of our slumber awakens to newer world, an alternative, and a deviation from the probable path into a fantastic alternative that leads us safely back, to our destination.

Ballet of this calibre is a sublime experience.

Puck, (Chengwu Guo) the mischievous fairy, is a tad liberal with his love potions, which leads to squabbles and confrontations. His dance is super-imposed with thrill and adventure whereas the ‘labourers’ trod a heavy step. It’s the unique combination of dance that binds multiple styles and creates a visual texture to the play that is echoed by the score. Kevin Jackson is mesmerising as Oberon.

Chief Conductor Nicolette Fraillon leads the orchestra gently into the play with the strings and piano opening the drama, she builds the momentum with the wind instruments that tantalise the audience into a heightened state of expectation.

David Walkers set is magnificent, enriched by the lighting techniques of John B Read. It’s a sensory feast. The evening begins with the abstract dance of Symphonic Variations and Monotones 11, which showcases the talent of Frederick Ashton and the skill and grace of the dancers. This clears the pallet to make way for the rich, full-bodied production of the Dream.

Perfection!

The Exonerated appeal

 HURRICANE’S LEGACYIMG_2700

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell.
That’s the story of the Hurricane,
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done.
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world. (Bob Dylan)

The Exonerated portrays a world of brutality coinciding with human triumph and transcendence.

The Sol III Company is a theatrical company founded due to its affiliation with Rubin Hurricane Carter and his work with wrongfully convicted prisoners and prisoner rehabilitation initiatives. The company uses the medium to raise awareness and much needed funds for programs in prisons in the U.S.A and Australia, and also aids with the legal costs of exoneration of the wrongfully convicted – most notably David McCallum III (pictured) who was exonerated after wrongfully incarcerated for 29 years.

“In 2013, I made my global journey to meet with Rubin & my beloved friend, David McCallum, at Otisville Correctional Facility in New York,” said Sol III Company Founder & Artistic Director, Andrei Schiller-Chan. “After many years of exchanging letters with David and emails with Rubin’s team, I was about to meet a man who changed my life, despite the fact he was living behind concrete and barbed wire.

The play focuses on the triumph of the human spirit trapped wrongfully within the prison industrial complex.

Andrei Schiller-Chan brings a transcendental philosophy to the theatre, seeking to create a world of empathy for another’s suffering and generate positive change and communication to right wrongs. His close friendship with David McCallum serves as the inspiration for this production.