Tag Archives: Melbourne press

Ramsay Art Prize finalists

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SA BIKE TOURS

 

FullSizeRender-60Art is language and in many countries pictures are a part of dialogue. The inviting interiors of Cue, De Souza, Hughes and Selleck examine the priorities of pretext and invite interactive, participation. The exhibition moves away from traditional painting and allows a multi-media vioce.

Let’s meet the ART

GEORGINA CUE

The Living room, sets an exotic stage for a classical diva in what appears like an ancient setting. The bold artwork seems to have a Cubist influence with an early Century  twist. Both powerful and beautiful, the photographic work ,an inkjet on rag-paper, is a central work in the exhibition.

REBECCA SELLECK

Lapin Plague, 2016

This is an engaging installation, on many levels, firstly it invites you into it. It is a homely domestic scene with what appears to be, occupied by small rabbits. On closer examination the (heated) rabbit skins have no heads, therefore they are not alive. ‘Outside of the cage’, it would appear that the rabbits and humans are enjoying a shared space and when you touch the skins they are robust and warm, but they are not.

KEG DE SOUZA

We built this city

This impressive structure is made from salvaged tents and plaid laundry bags. Within the interior is a communal area with milk crates to sit on and books on the history of the Tent Embassy in Canberra. Coming off the main ‘room’ are an array of small tent rooms. It is the perfect Festival space, providing your guests have house manners, better than a Tipi because there are rooms, however a tad flammable.

The concept of tribe and tent and engaging in the environment as opposed to destroying it, is an old age concept, in Western Culture according to the old testament, the Christian/ Jewish God lived in a tent.

The added beauty whist in the tent is listening to the haunting sound of traditional Fado singers, from the outside film by Jacobus Capon that examines memories of a home gone. The Australian factor is that we came as refugees, yet our memories resonate. Are we adapting or are we all in a state of diaspora.

 JACOBUS CAPONE

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Forgiving night for day.

Multiple films projected  onto the Art Gallery wall are of lone characters watching the dawn above the rooftops of Lisbon, Portugal. Capone examines the state of nostalgia. It is an absorbing work, visually engaging as the sound-scape floods the skies above the sleeping town.

NATALYA HUGHES

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All of Your Women and Some of Mine, 2016

An interior space with a strong Mattise influence, using decorative abstract contrasts in colour and pattern, appearing like a digital construct..

TONY ALBERT

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Exotica (Mid Century Modern)

Albert’s political comment on the state of our country as an ashtray, is in dire contrast of the pristine land that was taken from its previous owners.

‘Albert has developed a universal language that seeks to rewrite historical mistruths and injustice.’

SARAH CONTOS

FullSizeRender-66The Long Kiss Goodbye

‘The winning work of art is titled Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye and brings together personal remnants of Contos’ practice from the last four years’. Contos was awarded $100,000 for this mixed medium collaged ‘quilt’.

 

April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

escapegoat.com.au

Includes kangaroos, koalas, bike hire, pick ups from Adelaide and a stack more.

 

 

The Other Art Fair

Get on your bike and head off to the other art fair.

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Before entering the building, graffiti artists have already marked the journey.

 

 

It’s a fabulous space, housing a catacomb of galleries and a cafe

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JC

Upon immediate entry we are reassured that the art is going to be world class with the work of JC.

 

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Jo White

The nostalgic work of Jo White is a delight.

 

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Cynthia Ellis

and Cynthia Ellis lays it on thick.

 

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Leah Emery at work

Leah Emery applies the cross-stitch of random pornographic spam as the new temptation

 

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Time Jones, Kittens 

and Tim Jones brings it home.

 

Christina Popovici explains Action Art

This is just a slim slice of The Other Art Fair at Kensington. I could have stayed all day. Go and be stimulated. Adorn with Australian Art.

The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art   May 4-7

 

Annie Goldson, ‘Everywhere and Anywhere’

Acclaimed New Zealand Documentary Director, Annie Goldson was in Melbourne to launch her new (secret project) film. Goldson has a strong formidable countenance and she needs it, many of her subjects are capable of murder or the victims of the culpable hand. She needs to know when to back off.

ACMI hosted the Australian International Documentary Conference, which brought in talent from all over the globe. Goldson was doing a spot of shopping when we caught up.

“Its nice to have some time off and be wandering around Melbourne” Goldson

Goldson began her career as a Journalist and has ‘inched her way’ into filmmaking. She tackles the hard facts behind the news stream and goes into the bog, looking for the truth. As a political observer she finds her stories ‘everywhere’, she is curious and like Alice in a complex Wonderland, has to adapt quickly. We may wonder why the terrorists are so irate, she takes her team and her camera and asks them. She is a historians torch into the unknown.

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He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan explores New Zealand’s involvement in the Afghanistan war that lasted longer than WW1 and WW2 combined. ‘Did we stay to long?’ the film asks. Can lessons be learned to prevent such long-term engagements for the sake of alliance.

Brother Number One was a challenging work as it was necessary to create a present from the past events of the Cambodian Genocide under Pol Pot. New Zealander Ron Hamill, the films source, explains how his carefree adventurous brother Kerry ,sailed into a nightmare.

“An innocent man brought to his knees and killed in the prime of his life” Ron Hamill

Goldson records Hamill’s emotional pain as he addresses the torture and death of his sibling at the War Crimes Tribunal.

The mass Genocide that murdered 2,000,000  ( a 1/4 of the population) was led by a ‘charismatic and smiling’ leader Pol Pot who was indifferent to the torture of babies. In 1975. he led the Kamor Rouge into Nu Pen and in 72 hours he had cleared the city of its inhabitants and sent them to work in labour camps, to grow rice that he would export as the population died of hunger, overwork or beating.

“Documentaries are always a challenge.” Goldson

Her films are intense political dramas that set the stage and cast its light into the ‘heart of darkness.’ Her other well-known films that she Directed are; Punitive Damage and An Island Calling 

by April Forward

All photo’s courtesy of Annie Goldson film extracts.

The play that created a storm

‘It’s foul weather in us all, good soul’

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Melbourne Sky

Ironically, it is a storm that opens the tale of The Tempest, but here on the banks of the Maribyrnong River it is a brewing storm that ends it. Melbourne’s fickle weather has once again cast its cold spell on an outdoor event. It has ‘undid’, subverted and prevented the ambition of this ‘goodly’ play. The stunning performance that was on Friday and Saturday was ‘naught’ on Sunday.

What could have been is; Prospero, performed by Brendon Ewing, dark with revenge and drawing his past into the currents of his macabre island home, seeking familiar company with unkindly aims, that give way to kindness sway. This tale untold, due to weather, it had to fold, so the cast did the next best thing, they sang.

 

Sly Rat Theatre Co.’s artistic directors Alan Chambers and Andy Harmsen have created a unique vision for The Tempest, inspired by science-fiction classics. The Pipework’s Natural Museum is a beautiful outdoor space, rich in atmosphere and a perfect setting for a summer picnic, weather permitting.

 

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“It’s a Rock and Roll version of Shakespeare, it’s very loud and very big” Director Andy Harmsen

Within the warm hub of the group, a buzz with laughter, singing and the smell of burnt sausage, it is easy to forget that the cancellation of a show could be disappointing, they are taking it so well. It’s a chance to catch up with some of the actors and chat about their role’s, the few that aren’t belting out a tune.

First up is Todd Levi

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“We like to push the boundaries but still tell a great story.. it’s Shakespeare, how he would like it done today…Its bawdy, its real and it is entertainment first and foremost. Prospero has been marooned on a magical island, betrayed by his sister and he’s been there for 12 years. He spies the evildoers sailing by and raises a tempest, a storm that shipwrecks them on the island where he prepares to take his revenge. It’s the search for redemption the final words of the play are; ‘As you from crimes would pardon’d be, let you indulgence set me free’

What made you choose this venue? MP

 “It’s a magical place, it’s a place where the community comes and we played here last year to over 2000 people … most of them had not seen live theatre before, let alone Shakespeare, and playing to an audience like that and seeing them fall in love with it”

Did you factor in the weather? MP

“You don’t expect to have nine shows of good weather every-time, hopefully this is our one and only cancellation.”

Next up is Tara Hauton 

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“Steph and I play the clowns, technically it’s the Court Jester but Andy and Alan have re-invented it to be two women who have been to the races all day long and have arrived at the play. We exist outside the world of the play and that’s where the comedy of the role happens…we are very drunk.

and Ty Holdsworth

 

It’s a play about weather, most Melbournians can relate to that.

 

Fri,Sat & Sunday nights at 6.30 until March 5

Pipework’s Natural Museum Park on the banks of the Maribrynong River

 

 

by April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

We cross over Smith Street to the end of the Line

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

One doesn’t need an excuse to head to Fitzroy. Melbourne’s old bohemia and the new swank of money have morphed the district into the cutting edge of style and art. Even Charcoal Lane has had a makeover and looks like a cool Club.

I’m heading up Smith Street to the Gertrude Street Projection Festival. The cafes, restaurants, barbers and bars are a light show, each establishment competing to win ‘the most ambient award’. It’s a feast of visual splendour and I haven’t yet arrived at ‘Gertrude’.

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Gertrude Hotel

 

The Builders Arms hotel, on the corner, is awash with Kate Geck’s gay colours and crisp designs of her composition Apeiron, exploring decay’s victory over the force of materialism.It’s the gateway into the creative heartland, flanked over the road is the Gertrude Hotel also vividly lit, with the design Imaginary Atlas by Sean Capone. Within the festival there are a diverse display of styles; the bright, subtle,intriguing and the sublime.

 

Luzon Adams sensual work Reverie, was utterly captivating, in a liquid dance by underwater videographer Peter Bucknell, she explores the mystery and epic power of the red-haired character. For the viewer it appears as though a woman is emerging, like new life out of the building exterior.

The most charming display was the neon light on the Housing Commission building that read ‘HOME’. In its simplicity it encourages a non threatening view of the estate and reminds us of the sacred spaces where we all live. Its is no longer a block.

 

Banner Photo: Gloss by Petrina Hicks

Title from the Lyric’s of Charcoal Lane by Archie Roach

Photographs and article by A Forward

https://www.instagram.com/melbourne_press/

A Suspicious Mind

Class Act theatre updates an ancient play, The Winters Tale, by dressing the actors within a modern context. The audience are informed of the rank and occupation of the players through chiffon gowns,well cut suits and the Louis Vuitton luggage of the privileged class. The Mariner and shepherds are more roughly attired.

Katherine Innes role as Hermoine morphs her lines into this century with an Aussie twang and everyday gestures, which translates the material with natural ease. The strong cast dig into the tragedy, of a leader who has fallen victim to his own mind. The repercussions of his suspicions, spiels  the leading class into the task of damage control.It takes fate to heal the wounds and bring back order.

MP spoke to The Designer, Jaz Wickson and The Director , Stephen Lee before the show.

Jaz Wickson     

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Jaz Wickson Designer

“The show has wonderful feminist undertones. The three main women are Paulina (Angelique Malcom) the wise woman; Hermione (Katharinne Innes) who is the mother figure and goes through a terrible time,losing her daughter, her son,and then her own life; and there is Perdita (Ivy Latimer). There are many men but the women are stars.”

“With this production we’ve tried to keep it timeless. Think fairytale today, an Australian Fairytale. We have a very Australian Bohemia when we go there, with all of the accents.Design wise,its very ‘man from snowy river’ and the Court are dressed like they’re at a wedding, as this doesn’t change much.

With the set; Northcote Town Hall is an interesting space, its not a black box theatre, it has a hardwood floor so we integrated it.  We used chiffon drapes, that the actors walk in and out of, we’re not hiding the space but rather enhancing it.For the centre piece, it’s a tree, with changes of season.”

How did you get involved with the program? MP

“I’ve been a designer for a few years now, I work with Class Act theatre, they have just moved their base from Perth to Melbourne, I do the costumes and set.”

Is it a traditional Shakespeare script?

“Yes, Our Director Steven Lee has directed over 30 Shakespeare plays.”

Stephen Lee

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Stephen Lee Director

“This is probably my 35th Shakespeare play”

Where does that passion come from? MP

“When I was 18, I saw my first Shakespeare play and I was so captivated, it was nothing like I had done at school.”

What play was that? MP

“That was King Lear, it was with Donald Sinden, an actor people don’t know anymore. It was such a magical experience and I was transported. That was 40 odd years ago. I’ve probably directed a couple of hundred productions.”

What’s the shape of theatre in Australia? MP

“Theatre around the world is thin, it’s been overtaken by so many other forms of entertainment. Cinema is still hanging in there but television, video and the internet ….”

Why should people go to theatre? MP

“All these other forms of entertainment may be fine, but there is no immediacy like a direct performance for you. …That night is performed just for you and it will never be the same on any other night.

It’s a special one-off thing just for that audience. It’s incredible, you’re  joining with the actors , sharing in a unique experience.”

Tell me about Winters Tale. MP

” It’s about two Kings and one King starts to suspect the other  of having an affair with his wife. It’s totally ungrounded as they have grown up together, since they were kids. Suddenly he believes he is being cheated on.

He tries to bring down the other King, that fails, then he tries to put his wife on trial for adultery… It gets blacker and blacker and blacker and in the second half, the time and place switches into a mood of redemption and reconciliation. It becomes funny, heart-warming and it has one of the most moving endings, of any Shakespeare play.”

How does this relate to modern times? MP

” We wear different clothes and talk slightly differently but we are still driven by the same things and ideas, feeling jealous or insecure, not trusting other people is the same now as it was four Centuries ago.”

 

 

Until June 11

at Northcote Town Hall (a Licensed Venue)

 

 

Photography & review by A Forward

A Night with the Magician

The Mystica

David Stewart is the gentle observer looking into the mystic, the place outside of us. It’s a blend of science and intuition. He tunes into the mind waves of the audience and has a high success rate of accuracy.

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The highlight of the show was when he asked three people to sit down if his was able to decipher the words they held and projected with their minds. They all sat down.

Before the show at the Butterfly Club, Melbourne Press talked to Stewart next to an ornamental bar in a corridor. As we chatted a line started to form and people were handing over tickets. As a joke we collected the tickets, and then handed them back. It was an uncanny display of perception.

It was the death of a family member that sparked his interest in the unknown. Many can move on, but others linger and wonder. Stewart attends many festivals, once for some alone time,  he ventured up a hill and was confronted with the spirit of the person he was missing. This reassured him that his life was on the right path.

“Do you trust me?” he asks an audience member.

Why should we trust you? MP
‘Knowing what makes other people tick, you probably shouldn’t… But hopefully my honesty is trustworthy’. Stewart.

Trust is not easily won but when authenticity is involved, the guard does drop. Stewart is on tour from England, he is interested in the ground work of Ancient Mediums and adds Psychology and Hypnosis into the mix.

“Dreams are extremely significant it’s where we spend eight hours of our waking life, we’re still conscious in our dream state and they tell us valuable lessons, where we are supposed to go in the future and even predict our future and give us guidance….Its more than writing them down, it’s taking an active role, being part of themStewart

Stewart emphasises the need to be an active participant in your creation of life. Each of us is given a blank canvas and its up to us what we create. It begins in our subconscious, it requires all our roaring energy (don’t subdued it with alcohol or drugs), think it, believe it, push your energy forward and ‘hickory dock’ “POW! Here comes your manifestation, your future!

What are your dreams? MP
‘I want to see the world; creating, making, everywhere I go’ Stewart

Life is an important place to explore; get on with it.

 

Trains, Planes & Automobiles, getting to the Grand Final

‘Welcome to Melbourne’

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The West have had a ‘hell of a time’ getting here.

Airfares have skyrocketed to the point that it is cheaper to go to Europe from Perth, than to Melbourne.Word on the street is that one of the airlines held back ticket sales for 2 weeks untill the final outcome was decided and then, the price hike. What to do?

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There is talk that many booked to go to New Zealand, because it was cheaper, got off at Melbourne and did not return to the flight.

Some flew via Bali and Singapore,they had a mini break and then arrived in Melbourne. It was cheaper than flying direct.

There are those that flew via Adelaide and Sydney, but the airlines caught on. Prices went up.

The rest drove. The Nullarbor Plain, not an interesting landscape, for 2 days it is as flat as a dead liner (and still another day to go).

Its a long way to come, to watch the West Coast Eagles lose bitterly to Hawthorns, Hawks.

Shoot from the Hip

‘The concept was so fascinating and unexpected.’

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Set up like an ‘old school’ radio show, Shoot from the Hip is an original work with actors playing multiple characters and reading directly from scripts. It was like sitting in a radio station and watching the show as it goes to air. It even included a band and advertisements from sponsors, sung like jingles.

‘The voice is an actor’s greatest tool and these three definitely used theirs to the best of their ability! Very impressive to witness!’

The actors did a fabulous job, playing multiple characters and using a range of voices. These weren’t subtle alterations, there were sex changes, smooth accents and rich tonal textures. The talent and work required to manipulate the voice in such a way is highly impressive.

‘They reached a large and varied audience with great success’

An age range from 13 to 40+enjoyed the show, it was great to see teenagers laughing at sophisticated jokes .

‘It just goes to show how great the writing and performances were.’ 

Starring: Ivy Latimer, Charlie Sturgeon and Cassie Vagliviello
Written by Justin Cheek
Designed by Sarah Tulloch
Songs composed by Ashleigh Southam
Directed by Jeremy Rice

REVIEW BY Alannah Woods

A Snippet of the Fringe

Three Artists, three stages, 3 fabulous hours

‘Existentialism the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.’

THE PERFORMANCE

SAUCE

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Simon Godfrey’s Dadaistic comedy is a complex ,high energy, minimalist work, marked by the absurd.

“Let us take the rest of Ukraine”

There are over a dozen characters in Simon Godfrey’s ‘Sauce’, each distinctive and brilliantly performed, in his one-man show. He needs nothing more than his imagination to bewitch. Godfrey turns a condiment into a high stakes adventure. He is a force.

 GENDER SPANNER

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If you can fix a pipe are you an old man or a little girl? Jessica McKerlie ‘throws a spanner’ into gender prejudice. What defines our sexuality, is it our body or our mind? Can a woman who believes she is a man become a transsexual? McKerlie challenges the status quo of being, in a solo show. It’s an exploration into our humanity, told with tricks and slips.

“Don’t confuse my sex with my gender”

Her eyes flash into the souls of the audience as she keeps them tittering on the edge.

“Thank you for letting me label you.”

DEAR DIARY

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Andi Snelling got a standing applause for her solo performance, as a girl growing through the banal experiences that ‘rocked her world’. The witty script compounded a couple of decades with multi-media and song, whist exploring the philosophy of time and self. Snelling mocked the self-indulgence of the autobiography, that the audience related to, with bursts of laughter.

“Guess what? I found four dollars at Timezone!”

It was a beautifully crafted work, packed with clever charm and brilliant timing.

Tim Harbours ‘Filigree and Shadow’ is a Turbulent Shrill

Curtains parted for the opening of 20:21, Melbourne Press attended the dress rehearsal of Filigree and Shadow.

To triumph over fear, when mere mortals run and hide.

A wild festival of sound and performance, ignited by Tim Harbours vision and the troops intuitive expression, creates a dramatic dance, executed with precision whist appearing to be passionate and spontaneous.IMG_4516

The artists burst through the turbulent score with a shrill that showcases their skill. They are in their natural habitat and the forces that challenge them, invigorate them. Harbour’s choreography has lit a fire in the dancers and they are intoxicated in a cult of Art.

Kelvin Ho, the Set Architect, has created a theatre within a theatre.The clean minimal design effortlessly divides the space, allowing shafts of light and a wall for the shadows. It seems as though the audience is spying an event, like a natural phenomena ; birds in a hurricane, steering into its calm eye or dolphins in a storm that are performing tricks on crashing waves.

“I’ve gone to that vicious, angry,frustrated place – what better place to exorcise yourself” Harbour explains.

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There are no dull moments, it is absorbing and riveting, from beginning to end.

Filigree and Shadow are one of the three performances of 20:21 which also include Symphony In Three Movements (1946) by Choreographer George Balanchine and In The Upper Room (1986) by Twyla Tharp

Article by A Forward