M A G A Z I N E
WIN tickets Cirque Du Soleil impresses Brisbane audiences
Understanding the mental side of dance
Hilton Denis uncovered .. Audition for the cruiseliners Everybody Dance Now axed
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M E N TA L I T Y
The hidden side of being a dancer is often â€˜tabooâ€™ for dance teachers and parents simply because they do not have the tools or education to identify, modify and encourage positive behavioural changes in their dancers. We speak with Paulette Reid about Dance Mentality and unlock the subject. SWIPE UP
Article by: Jennifer Wasilewski
M E N TA L I T Y
What is Dance Mentality? How to identify whether there is an issue or not? How to put strategies in place to deal with these issues? Best practises for teachers and parents.
The annual Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 11 July at St Mary’s Church, Battersea on the banks of the river Thames.
Photos: Tempest Photography
RAD Awards Day: an International Celebration for Student Graduation The graduation was an international celebration with over 179 students and guests travelling from 32 countries to collect their certificates, from as far and wide as Australia, Brasil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Mexico and USA. The students, who were graduating from one of the seven Faculty of Education dance teacher training programmes, will now go on to start their professional careers as dance teachers all over the world.
a scholarship to the Vic Wells Ballet School under Dame Ninette de Valois and went on to enjoy a 25 year career with The Royal Ballet, during which time she created roles in ballets by Frederick Ashton, Ninette de Valois, John Cranko and Kenneth McMillan. The distinguished artist and teacher, celebrates her 90th birthday this year and offered some inspirational words of wisdom and invaluable advice to the newly qualified dance teachers:
“How different are things now [since she was teaching] – you have so many courses for both RAD Chief Executive, Luke Rittner, began the teachers and dancers. I do hope that you will have proceedings by introducing the award categories, which were presented by Director of Education, Dr as much enjoyment as I had as both dancer and teacher: Let me give you a little advice, given to Anne Hogan and Chairman, Kerry Rubie. me by Dame Ninette De Valois, who said, ‘As you The guest speaker was Julia Farron, OBE, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance. An iconic dancer finish a class, leave them laughing!’ She did it, I tried and teacher, Julia was the youngest student to gain it, and it worked!”
EXAM PREPARATIONS We are all currently doing what we do best – preparing students for examinations, attending State Scholarships, competitions, master classes and fund raising concerts. It’s wonderful that many of you are giving your students the opportunity to experience performance opportunities be it on stage or in the classroom. Growth in the number of exams is on a steady incline, which is both exciting and a little daunting. It has been a bonus that due to earlier forward planning we now have sufficient numbers of Examiners to take on the extra workload. We also have more trainees working through their training so we are well placed for continued future growth. The Exam Planner Program is proving a big hit with teachers who have recently purchased this resource. They are saying they wished they hadn’t waited so long to purchase it and the program has saved them so much time – great to hear!
Please encourage your students and parents to join as Student Friends of ATOD or Friends of ATOD. Membership is only $40 & $60 respectively and the long term benefits are far reaching. Not only do they receive a fabulous Energetiks dance bag and other goodies they receive this quarterly newsletter and will be well considered if one day they apply for a bursary to support full time training (provided all criteria is met). TAP TO VISIT ATOD WEBSITE
champions Champion racing drivers have only the best machines, champion athletes only have the best shoes and equipment, champion fishermen have only the best tackle. So, at Glenn Wood Tap we encourage all the studios and students that participate in this syllabus to cross over to the best shoes. The ideal tap shoe is made of quality leather that has a double sole, large toe and heel plates with countersunk holes for the screws to go in and rubber on the sole section that is not covered by the toe plate. The plates need to rattle when shaken. Installing the tap plates correctly is an art in itself and only very few people know how to do it properly.
Or you can purchase the Slick black Oxford tap shoe. This shoe comes ready set up â€“ double sole, large toe and heel plates installed correctly and a very comfortable leather shoe. During the year I have been awarding these shoes to deserving tappers. 10 pairs already have been given out in Australia and New Zealand. Should you require further information then contact me on email@example.com
glenn wood tap
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Subscription year 1/9/12 to 31/8/13. The Annual Subscription for 2012/2013 falls due on 1st September 2012. This year subs have increased to $99.00 ($9.00 GST) but we are offering an ‘EARLY BIRD’ Special of $88 if received at Head Office by 30th September 2012.
Hilton Denis has been performing since a young age and is a versatile and respected dancer. He studied many styles of dance at Brent Street Studios and through the Talent Development High School including Jazz, Tap, funk, classical, hip hop, acrobatics, singing and acting.
series of So You Think You Can Dance as was a memorable and popular competitor in the Top 20. Other television Credits include Farscape and performance on Australia’s Next Top Model, MTV Video Music Awards and The Helpman Awards.
Hilton appeared on the premiere
Out there Tour and Yeosu Expo.
Hilton has worked with many of Hilton’s professional career began Australia’s leading Choreography early and appeared on television with stage in All saints the tele-movie, The credits including Le grand Cirque, Potato Factory and in the musical Dolly Teen Choice Awards, show boat and Oliver. Dream Ball, Billabong- Girls Get
As a regular Dancer With Natalie Bassingthwaighte he has appeared for her in the Alive music video as well as various live performances. Hilton is Also a keen choreographer and is working to produce his own innovative stage shows in his unique style. He also appearing in the Australian tour of West Side Story in 2010 and also currently dancing for timomatic.
Image: Elise-May by Chris Hertzfeld - Camlight Productions
expressions dance company
When it comes to deciding whether or not to pursue a career in dance there are a lot of considerations. For many, the idea of not continuing dance beyond the immediate conceivable future is a daunting thought. The experience of learning dance as a child and through our teenage years results in dance becoming more than a fun past-time, it quickly becomes a passion and hugely rewarding activity â€“ something that defines us. Naturally, to imagine a life without dance then becomes a very strange prospect. So after years of dance training and as graduation from high school looms closer, many are faced with the decision of choosing a career. For many this can signify a turning point into another profession. For others a path towards a life as a professional dancer may unfold. So what is the next step? How does one make the jump from a dance enthusiast to dance professional? The first step is further training. It may be hard for some to contemplate the idea of more training, especially if they have already completed many years of dance tuition from a young age, usually from a private dance studio or dance centre. What a tertiary degree or nationally accredited course however can provide is a more focused, refined, full-time study program tailored towards the specific needs of your particular dance genre or area of interest. The intensity of these programs is equivalent to the hours of training and performance that one would experience as a professional dancer. A program of this kind can usually take anywhere from twelve months to three years to complete and can be seen as a kind of â€˜finishing off â€™ that prepares the dancer for employment. Like many
other professions, a degree or certificate is desirable for most employers within the dance industry. Queensland University of Technology, Victorian College of Arts and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts are among some of the most notable tertiary dance programs in Australia. There are also countless nationally accredited dance courses across the country, which offer specialised tuition. Researching courses thoroughly and finding the right course for you is really important, so get online early, and start collecting as much information as you can about each course in order to make an informed decision about where to study. Entry is usually by audition, so be sure to check out the audition dates and set aside plenty of time to prepare. There is a lot of variation within the world of dance, and so it will be important to choose a specific genre to which you are well suited. Following your passion is important, as you will always feel most rewarded by a career that you are most interested, engaged and passionate about. It could also be wise to consider your strengths and weaknesses in order find a balance between finding something to which you are naturally inclined, but that you also feel challenged and stimulated. Other influencing factors that may play their part in choosing a specific career path within dance could be; personality, training or experience (with that style of dance), body height, size and shape, resilience (both mentally and physically) and your personal attitude. It is a very personal choice and these influences can change over time, so its good to be open to the shifts that occur as we engage with new styles and are exposed to new experiences over the course of our training.
There are certainly some sobering realities that one should be aware of when entering the dance industry. Firstly, despite conditions having improved vastly over the last decade, it is important to know that dancers and performers earn very little money in comparison to other industries. As with many of the entertainment industry professions, it is often hard to find full-time work as it is a highly competitive industry and not particularly well funded. If pursuing an independent or freelance career as a dancer, organising a consistent flow of employment can also be challenging. As we know, training is ongoing throughout a dancer’s career and it can be difficult and expensive to keep the body at an optimum level of training in between performance periods. Dancers need to be diligent in avoiding injuries by employing preventative measures and treatment for minor imbalances or injuries before they become problematic. The stress that is placed on the body can be quite extreme and as a result the dance career is usually a short-lived one, with most dancers retiring from performance in their mid-to late thirties, or transitioning into a less physical role such as teaching or choreography. If you are not sure about pursuing a career in dance, there are many other professions in which dancers creativity, self-discipline and intuitive understanding of the body are an advantage. People with dance knowledge often make excellent therapists or human movement professionals because of their physical and functional understanding of the body and are also well suited to other creative fields such as design, graphic design, film and television and other performing arts because of their spatial, visual and kinaesthetic knowledge. Many dancers go on to find a second career after dance in an allied or similar area of interest, however some choose to re-train in something completely different. If a career in dance is not your cup of tea, then expanding your interests into other areas may help you to diversify and find your own niche career path. The good thing is, even if you have studied dance since before you can remember, those skills that you have learned will never go to waste. They are valuable, life-long skills that can be applied to whatever career you choose. Even though one may not pursue dance as their ‘bread-and-butter’ source of income, it doesn’t mean that it cannot play a role in your life. There is a saying; “Once a dancer, forever a dancer” and this is certainly true as it is hard to escape completely whether it is a part-time pursuit, an after-hours past time or just a fun thing to do socially with friends. Whether dance is going to be your job, or whether it is something you will always enjoy as a physical outlet, it is a challenging and rewarding pursuit. If you are equipped with knowledge when it comes to making your decision about your career, then it should make the transition easier. As one who has chosen a career in dance I can say that despite it’s highs and lows it is a most rewarding, exciting and challenging career. I find myself forgetting that it is a job and that is the true mark of something that you enjoy. It is different everyone. Half the challenge is finding that special something that makes you happy day after day
It one of the last things any dancer wants to be told. It’s the last thing you want to be doing when you get home from class, from work or from school. It’s the first thing that any teacher would want their student to be doing outside of class… The little things! It’s these fundamentals, the monotonous and sometimes mundane, exercises and refinements that make the difference week to week on a dancers improvement. They are not always fun and take individual responsibility but will make the difference long term. The small fundamental steps and movements that we do in the early grades of tap or beginner lessons, are part of the movements of the more complex steps later on, and so being able to control them, maintain them and refine them continually and consistently is important. In tap dancing there are many fundamentals or ‘little things’ that make all the difference, from my experiences in teaching and learning. I find that the passionate dancers who really want something find doing them a lot easier, and those who may not like a particular style will not put as much effort into that style outside of class, and focus on another more. We are all time poor and our energy levels aren’t infinite, but we find time for the things we love most and if that’s tap, then here’s some things to help make those improvements outside of class!
First of all, lets clear the air. The classes you take are not enough. They are the ‘learning’ and your own time is your ‘practice’… This is where (in tap) the feet, ankles and legs learn new ways of moving, get stronger in particular areas, and repetition occurs. Just like studying for an exam, things are remembered when they are repeated. Your feet will develop their own memory. What feels weird in class will become more normal outside of class. The one phrase all teachers hate to hear is ‘I can’t do it’… My response is always… Do you come to class to learn how to do things you can’t or to repeat the things you already can? And it usually is met with silence or an attempted smart reply! But I always encourage students that they are in class to make mistakes and stuff up, not do everything perfect and to have fun with their learning! So what can we do in our own ‘practice’ time to help?
1. The warm-up! The first 10 minutes of a tap lesson is not just to warm up your feet, ankles and legs. Those little exercises are the individual bones of the whole tap skeleton. As students we don’t think so much about how
a step or movement is put together, but if we did any sort of theory in exams growing up we know that things an be broken down into the smallest movements. These small movements done on their own over and over are things we can do all the time, in and out of class, with or without tap shoes on any surface we can find. The most common excuse I get for not practicing is that ‘I don’t have a wooden floor’ or ‘My parents wont let me tap in the house’… What we are practicing is not necessarily the sound, but the way the foot moves and making it get used to the small refined movements it takes to make tap clear, fast, rhythmical and polished. Find some carpet in your socks before bed and do these exercises for 10 minutes a night… while you’re on facebook or watching TV tap your feet, stretch your ankles out and make those small tendons and muscles get used to a new movement you may be struggling with in class. Ask your teacher to break the step down, or simplify it if you need so you can practice the simplified version at home. When you can put your tap shoes on and have a go, or get to class early or stay late to have a few extra tries. If you can take private lessons every once in a while… 1 on 1 help is gold!
2. What are these exercises? Nerve beats, single heel hits, single ball hits, changing heel and ball hits, wins prep exercises, shuffles, crossed shuffles, patter rolls, cramp rolls.
Most of these steps are all learnt in very • Changing the rhythm shows we can control our feet, ankles and knees… early grades. Watch the video to see what they all are, just in case you may know them as something else. As you will see • Changing the amount of time we repeat a step for shows we can maintain a step and that our muscles its not only repeating them but doing and tendons are becoming more familiar with the rhythm patterns with them to show conmovement… trol, or doing them for as long as possible to show strength and stamina and build upon both, or even to increase speed by • Changing the speed shows that our feet are becoming more refined and technically sound (remember decreasing the amount of movement but to always teach/learn the right technique before keeping the volume of a step consistent. trying things faster) You may as a teacher want to create small combinations on alternate feet that use The basics we learnt as kids in tap, or if we start when we these small fundamental movements and are older, the basics we have just started to learn, are the give them as practice to your students or things that remain as foundations to every step we do from just make up some of your own as a stu- that point on. Those small movements make up the movedent. Play around with rhythm, length of ments within the much more complex steps we do in harder time and speed making sure you reward grades of tap or more advances classes and workshops. If your efforts! As a teacher its important to we spend time on these foundations, then picking up the notice improvements in students so they more complex steps and combinations will be a much less continue to work at things we ask them daunting and frustrating ordeal! Keep tapping and working hard at what you love! It will be worth it in the end! to.
The Importance of Barre Work BY TEAGAN LOWE
We begin each and every day with it, but do we really understand how important Barre work in every morningâ€™s ballet class is to both our bodies & minds? Barre work is beyond important; itâ€™s essential! It is a crucial part of our training & allows us, as dancers, to lay the foundations required to build, maintain & develop a strong technique. The strength you gain through Barre work is imperative for the longevity of your career. Each individual Barre exercise has a very specific purpose for being in the repertoire & will help you in developing your technique. If we look at it on the whole, Barre work provides us with the ability to strengthen our feet, increase our extensions, find our centre of balance, improve our flexibility, work on strengthening turn-out & critically look at our placement, not only of the feet, but also our arms & posture. TAP FOR TEAGAN LOWES BIOGRAPHY
The Importance of Barre Work CONT’D The inclusion of both slow & quick exercises through the duration of Barre allows us to warm up & strengthen muscles in a variety of ways. The slow exercises, ie, pliés, fondues, adage, etc. stretch, strengthen and warm up the muscles. Where as the faster exercises, ie, glissades, frappes, activate & trigger the muscle fibers that allows you to strengthen the muscles & maintain your technique at any speed. Fundamentally Barre work is there to prepare you for centre work (and then also for the duration of your rehearsals / shows). Your dancing throughout the day; all your pirouettes, jétes, fouettés, commence at the Barre, with the repetition & perfection of each exercise. The simplicity of the Barre work allows you to focus on the rudiments of ballet without having to concentrate too much on the sequence, as is required in centre practice & choreography. Take pliés for instance, they look like simple bends of the knee (and the word directly translates as “to bend”), however they are the preparation for
all your controlled jumps, pirouettes & landings. The rest of your Barre work initiates every single step you perform in the centre in which your leg moves away from the body & every step in which the leg then returns to the body (for example glissades or assembles). After commencing barre with pliés, we then move into tendus & dégagés. Meaning “to stretch”, a tondu is performed by stretching the leg with a pointed toe on the ground either to the front (en face), side (å la seconde), or back (deriérre) of the body. A dégagé is very similar to a tondu, with the exception of the toe leaving the ground or as its literal translation “to disengage”. Both tondus & dégagés can be done slowly or quickly & are primarily used to warm up the feet (focusing on intrinsic muscles), rotator muscles, calves, & adductors. These exercises are there to prepare a dancer’s body for more intricate footwork later in the class or in choreography & can translate through to all centre practice. Once the feet & lower legs have been sufficiently warmedup, we then move onto Rond de jambe a terre, which utilises the tendu movement to start & finish this motion
(and usually also the dégagé and plié throughout the exercise). This movement has a number of variations that can be done in separate exercises or in combination depending on the level of the class. For example, moving the leg from the front, to the side and then to the back is an en dehors, or outward, movement; moving the leg from the back, to the side and then to the front is an en dedans, or inward, movement. Whilst the focus is still heavily on working the lower legs and feet, rond de jambe also allows us to also work on rotation, flexibility and co-ordination, which we then take with us for the rest of the dancing day. To be correctly set up & warm for our more nimble movements & jumps through ballet class we use the next exercise of Frappés to thoroughly prepare us. A frappé, which means to strike, is there for our feet & ankles to activate. With the movement starting with the foot flexed and resting lightly against the supporting ankle it then strikes the floor (with the ball of the foot) and extends into our previous dégagé position. Slowing down the breath and body is important for our Adage exercises, as each movement is there to emphasise grace throughout each phrase of balance, control & strength. Adage is used to sustain positions for several counts of the music, thereby allowing the dancer to become incredibly aware of performing on one leg (with correct weight placement & posture). Coordinating the arms, head and legs are important to achieve a connected, graceful feeling to Adage. Pliés, rond de jambe en l’air (round of the leg in the air), développé & various standard positions of the body are all used throughout adage exercises, which is why we need to focus on each one individually to build upon the previous. Barre work usually finishes with our grand battements, meaning “big beat”. This exercise is there to improve flexibility, strength and as our preparation for large jumps. Grande Battements are similar to dégagé, but with the leg being tossed high into the air with a large, swinging movement. Most importantly in Grand Battements is the element of control, which will be needed for all Grande Allegro, especially our Grande Jetes. It is important to use barre work is a time to be inwardly focused & self-aware. Once you have fully prepared both your body & mind, you can then progress into your centre practice, rehearsals & performances. You will be then fully primed to perform & project, knowing you’ve done all the background preparation necessary thanks to your humble, yet invaluable basics at the Barre.
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Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Joanna Blair and I am a makeup artist; I have been working in the industry for the past 12 years in many different arenas - including theatre, film, fashion, weddings and paramedical makeup. Each edition of Dancehub Magazine I will cover in detail all things makeup as it relates to you as a dancer, both male and female. As there are various genres of dance, I will endeavour to cover as many aspects as I can to assist you in making the most of yourself as a performer using the medium of makeup. Since this is my first article, I’m going to start off discussing makeup from the ground up, covering the fundamentals of makeup application with each edition, progressing in a logical sequence that is easy to follow and straight forward for you to execute yourself. Dance makeup is not the same as your normal makeup that you would wear when you’re going out. The mistake some performers make is to simply do a heavier or thicker version of their “going out” makeup. When you are performing, there are three main elements that you have to contend with from a makeup perspective; these are intense lighting, the distance from the performer to the audience (or judges), and sweat. The effect of the first two components is to generally flatten your facial features and give you a monotone appearance in terms of contour of your face and colour. Sweat of course has a strong bearing on how your makeup holds up throughout your dance routine.
This is where good makeup application can make all the difference. Makeup is a wonderful tool as it can give shape and contour to your face, make eyes appear larger and more defined and allow the audience to really see your expressions, adding to the overall enhancement and appreciation of your performance. Today I’m going to talk about one of the important elements to achieving great makeup for your performance, and that is foundation – including type and texture of this product, correct colour, what product to use to withstand sweat, how to apply it quickly and in a way that leaves you with a flawless complexion and that looks great to your audience. I will also discuss foundation as it relates to women as well as men.
Dear Colin, I am 12 years old and have been dancing since I was 3. It was only recently I realised how to use my scapula. Will it take many years to get them really strong and obvious? I am hoping my arms wonâ€™t get me marked down for my exams. Kezia Dear Kezia,
Colin Peasley is a founding member of The Australian Ballet. He retired as a Principal Artist from the company to concentrate on establishing an Education Program for The Australian Ballet, which he managed until 2010. He continues to perform character roles with the company as well as maintaining a busy schedule as coach, teacher and adjudicator.
PORT DE BRAS
At age 12 your body is still growing so I urge you to allow it to strengthen naturally. During normal classwork, under the watchful eye of your teacher, you will gradually gain stability and control over your back. If you are worried about your port de bras, I suggest you concentrate on your body alignment. Start with your feet by checking that your weight is evenly distributed on both sides of the foot and all ten toes are on the floor. Your legs should be turned out at the hip with the knees straight and centred over your toes. Your shoulders should be wide and flat with your shoulder blades gently pulled down to support your arms. Your chest is lifted without your ribs protruding. And finally your neck is long and relaxed whilst making sure your chin neither juts forward nor tucks under. This stance will make all classical ballet movement both efficient and graceful. Just what you need to pass your exams with flying colours! Colin
DANCER: JESS PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID BARNES
Lucinda Dunn Principal Artist - The Australian Ballet Photo: Jim McFarlane
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Everybody Dance Now AXED Despite efforts to rehabilitate the ailing show, hosted by Sarah Murdoch, the program will be replaced with a repeat of The Simpsons, two episodes of Modern Family and British chat show Graham Norton Express. Ten’s CEO James Warburton said: “As part of the renewal of Network Ten’s creative content, we are trying new formats and creating more programming options. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Everybody Dance Now format right. “Kelly, Jason and Sarah are fantastic presenters. Their professionalism and commitment to Everybody Dance Now was remarkable, and the many talented dancers on the show were amazing. Although we worked with FremantleMedia to reset the program, clearly it has not struck a chord with viewers.’’ The decision was forced after Dance’s terminal ratings decline - launching poorly to a national audience of 598,000 viewers, which fell by half to 304,000 the next episode.
Singers Jason Derulo and Kelly Rowland were hosts on Everybody Dance Now. icture: Adam Ward - The Daily Telegraph
DANCER: TEAGAN LO WE PHOTOGRAPHER: MI CHEL
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NSW SCHOOLS SPECTACULAR SCHOOLS SHOWCASE
Location: Sydney Dance Company Pier 4/5 Hickson Rd. Walsh Bay , NSW Show(s): General Audition Talent Sought: Dancers, Singers
Notes: Dancers - Sign in 9:15am Audition 9:45am Singers - Sign in 1:15pm Audition 1:45pm
Location: Dance World Studios 295 Bank Street, South Melbourne , VIC Show(s): General Audition Talent Sought: Dancers, Singers Notes: October 17th Agent Singer Call - Appointments Only 9:00am-12:00pm (Contact your agent) **Agents/Managers submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Open Singer Call - Sign in 11:30am Audition 12:00pm October 18th Dancers - Sign in 9:00am Audition 9:30am
Location: Queensland Ballet Studio, Thomas Dixon Centre CNR of Drake St. and Montague Rd, West End , QLD Show(s): General Audition Talent Sought: Dancers, Singers Notes: Dancers - Sign in 9:15am Audition 9:45am Singers - Sign in 1:30pm Audition 2:00pm
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Every now and then a piece of art grabs your attention and you become fixated at it’s beauty! Last night, in a packed Playhouse Theatre at QPAC in downtown Brisbane, Expressions Dance Company, led by talented Artistic Director Natalie Weir, uncovered her signature piece ‘where the heart is’. This 1 hour story revolved around the interplay of characters within a typical Australian family. The piece highlights the ‘highs and lows’ experienced in daily family life and the bonds we make as humans and family members. We watched the ‘young man’, played by “David Williams” enter the stage to uncover the memories of his past family life. As he peels away the layers of his old family home distant memories come to life. His brother, played by “Jack Zeising” worked effortlessly and in sync with David. For that brief moment on stage they felt like real brothers. Their on-stage parents were played by “Daryl Brandwood” and “Riannon McLean“. Daryl and Riannon’s portrayal of struggling parents stirred emotions in me that felt very real. The radiant “Elise May” played the Grandma and her zest for life was highlighted by her frail, yet emotive performance on stage. Young “Samantha Mitchell” played the love interest for the ‘young man’. For me, she brought happiness to the life of the ‘young man’. The staging, lighting and music score set the tone for a truly memorable evening. I must congratulate singer “Pearly Black“. Her vocal performance added emotion to the performance. She was accompanied on stage with talented violinist “Christa Powell” and pianist “Marc Hammond“. The use of live music combined with a powerful vocal range was a highlight for me.
How do I sum up such a performance .. There is no doubt in my mind that Natalie Weir, the EDC dancers and production team have brought something ‘fresh‘ to the stage. I was immersed in the storyline, embraced by the vocals and moved by the beautiful dancers. For that brief hour I felt part of their family unit. In my mind, the production was more than successful, it was memorable!
When I was asked to do a review on Cirque Du Soleil’s newest production “OvO” I was both excited and nervous at the same time. Cirque has been reviewed by many people in the past both nationally and internationally. Before I attended I wondered, how could my review be any different? I’ve always wanted to see a Cirque production but the timing was never right. This time around it was perfect, there were no other distractions. To ensure the review was different I decided to take my artistic family along which comprises a 19 year old son, 16 year old son and 12 year old daughter. We all love the arts in one form or another and their viewpoint would act as the basis of my review. There have been many superlatives to describe Cirque and none seem descriptive enough in my opinion. Cirque have a reputation for finding, nurturing and showcasing unique world-class talent with performers brought together from across the globe. The Cirque experience starts well before the show with polite ushers and door people greeting you and attending to your every need. We did not feel like just another citizen, instead we felt that we were welcomed into the circus family for those brief few hours. Once seated, the artists paraded around the audience and lit up their faces with antics only Cirque could create. Their wonderful costumes and audience interaction was a delight to watch. “OvO”, which is Portuguese for egg is the theme for this Cirque production. The egg symbolizes ‘life‘ for the insects that abound their precious space on earth. The ‘foreigner‘ as he is politely called brings the egg into the colony and each insect family performs their special act as a tribute to the egg. The production is 2 hours, 20 minutes long with a 20 minute break in between. Seating is set around the stage with a 270 degree viewing platform. The setup and breakdown of staging is fluid and the lighting is spectacular. The artists delivered a typical Cirque performance! I watched my children’s faces as they gasped in awe of the ability of each of the performers. From hand-
balancing to trapeze artists and foot jugglers to acrobatics there was something for everyone to wonder at. My personal favorite were the Chinese Foot Jugglers who’s timing was simply perfect. Their ability to work as one was mesmerizing! The shows moves seamlessly from one act to another with each act bringing new talents to the fore. The costuming was simply outrageous and a testament to the countless hours to manufacture such costumes. Each grasshopper outfit takes over 75 hours to manufacture. You could easily write a review for each act, but in summation all I really have to say is .. “If you are looking for the essence of happiness, Cirque Du Soleil is the answer!”
Notting Hill Carnival: Europe’s biggest street party delights families. Children and their families have been delighted by exotic dancers, flamboyant floats and the sound of steel drums on the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Sunny weather greeted acrobats, giant puppets and painted performers on the three-and-a-half-mile route through west London featuring 40 static sound systems for what is Europe’s largest street festival and a celebration of Caribbean culture. Police joined face-painted children and their families in dancing on the sidelines as floats from schools, community groups and sports clubs drove by on the family day of the two-day carnival, now in its 48th year. Nicole Smith, 37, from Aveley in Essex, said it was the first time she had come to the carnival with her husband Nicolas and their daughters Martine, 12, and Lois, eight. ‘We’ve never been before and with so much happening in London at the moment we thought this would be a great year to come with the family,’ she said. ‘It’s fantastic, there’s such a friendly atmosphere and the girls are really enjoying the music and the dancing - we can’t wait to enjoy the food next.’ Zoe Mahoney, 37, from Northampton, also brought her two children Masie, nine, and Fin, seven, to the carnival for the first time. ‘The costumes, music and festivities create a unique swathe of colour and culture on the streets of west London.
Judith Mackrell on a turning point for women in dance A £600,000 grant for new work at Sadler’s Wells is good news for dance. Even better news is that the first tranche of money will go to a female choreographer – the Newcastlebased Liv Lorent, who will develop a ballet based on Rapunzel with poet Carol Ann Duffy. Just three years ago, the Wells came under fire for the fact that nearly all its elite circle of associate artists were men. That same year, Dance UK and Dance Umbrella hosted a public discussion titled simply: “Where are the women?” Anxious, angry discussions were sparked as to why an art form that used to boast a profusion of female talent had ended up with most of its high-profile choreographers being male: the likes of Akram Khan, Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon. Many explanations were mooted. Female choreographers have cited family as the reason why they’ve opted either to leave the profession or work on a small scale. Others suggest that a male ego helps. Things have begun to change. Partly, a crop of new work has appeared with xx chromosomes firmly embedded in it; partly, programmers have sharpened their focus. In recent months, I’ve interviewed Gauri Sharma Tripathi about her choreography for the Bollywood musical Wah! Wah! Girls; Shobana Jeyasingh about the relationship between dance and architecture; Elizabeth Streb about transforming London into a launchpad for her ensemble.
Photo: Tristram Kenton/Tristram Kenton for the Guardian
Less well-known in the UK are Marguerite Donlon, currently rehearsing work for Rambert, and the Canadian Crystal Pite, whose densely imagistic choreography will soon be making its second appearance at Sadler’s Wells. Mention must also go to pioneering street choreographer Kate Prince, whose belter of a show Some Like it Hip Hop is revived this autumn. Although it’s good to see Birmingham Royal Ballet performing a work by the New Yorkbased Jessica Lang, female choreographers are still shamefully under-represented in classical dance: at Covent Garden, it’s been 13 years since a woman choreographer last created a work for the main stage. But Kristen McNally, a Royal Ballet dancer and emerging choreographer, now seems to be in the Royal’s sights. Women in dance have been most powerful during periods of transition – early modern dance, early 20th-century ballet, the new dance waves of 1960s New York and 1980s London. Perhaps in the 21st century we can hope for more visible – and lasting – success.
Spontaneous subway dance party The greatest love of all may be the fondness Americans share for peak-era Whitney Houston. Want proof ? Check out the following video — courtesy of Gothamist — which shows what happens when a pair of buskers start performing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on a Brooklyn subway platform:
There aren’t many songs that could move grumpy New Yorkers to join together for an impromptu dance party, especially on a sweltering subway platform in the depths of summer — but don’t you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don’t you wanna dance, after watching this?
‘The Ugly Duckling’ glow-in-the-dark ballet rehearses for CAC show Dancer and director Ian Carney proudly pointed out that he and the cast of “The Ugly Duckling,” a glow-in-the-dark ballet for kids, set for the Contemporary Arts Center in September, build all of the light-up mechanical costumes themselves. Durability is the key said Carney, who was born in New Orleans. The puppet-like costumes have to endure the rigors of high-energy dance performances plus survive globe trotting tours that took Carney and company’s last show “Darwin the Dinosaur” from Copenhagen to Bogotá to Moscow.
At the Mid-City Theater last week, dancers Elizabeth Daniels, Brian Falgoust, Stephen Charles Nicholson and Johnathon Whalen strapped on the complicated electrical suits that transform them into lighted cartoon characters for a rehearsal of scenes from the upcoming show. The elaborate costumes are meant to be seen in total darkness. But they were fascinating to inspect in the light of the rehearsal space, where the skeletons of wire, levers and switches exuded a robotic science fiction vibe. “It’s a very physical show for the dancers,” Carney said. “They’re lugging around a lot of weight. For instance, with the cat (costume) you’re probably looking at 25 pounds.”
ugly duckling.JPGDoug MacCash / The Times-PicayuneCast members of ‘The The high-tech costumes are fascinating, but, as Carney Ugly Duckling,’ a glow-in-the-dark ballet made clear, it’s up to the dancers to achieve an emotional for kids, set for the Contemporary Arts bond with the audience. Center in September: (from left to right) Brian Falgoust, Michael Quintana, Ian Carney, Stephen Charles Nicholson, Elizabeth Daniels, and Johnathon Whalen. “Darwin the Dinosaur” was performed at the CAC last August, earning a spot on my list of top ten art events of 2011. Read the, uh, glowing review here.
THE Australian Ballet is celebrating its 50th anniversary and so is its longest-serving member, Colin Peasley, who has announced that this year he will make his last appearance with the company in Swan Lake - the first work the Australian Ballet performed when it was launched in 1962. Peasley, 77, a founding member of the company, is a veteran of 6406 shows. He came to ballet relatively late, after a stint in the army, and time as a dancer and choreographer for theatre and TV.
Australian Ballet shares 50th year with its oldest dancer’s swansong
With the Australian Ballet he soon established himself as a gifted character dancer. He created the role of Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, he was Gamache in Rudolf Nureyev’s 1973 film version of Don Quixote, Widow Simone in La Fille Mal Gardee, Madge the Witch in La Sylphide, Dr Coppelius in Coppelia, and the Red King in Checkmate. His final performance will be in Sydney in December. But he will also be the star of a special event, On Stage With Colin Peasley, to be co-hosted by the company’s artistic director, David McAllister. As well as showcasing Peasley’s gifts as a raconteur with an encyclopedic memory, the event will include rare archival footage of Peasley and performances by the company. McAllister paid tribute yesterday not only to Peasley’s performing talent, but also to his role as an educator, with an ‘’unwavering desire to pass on his knowledge and experience of classical ballet to younger dancers and the general public’’. As well as a principal artist with the company, Peasley has been its ballet master, an artist in residence and founder of the company’s education program. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1996, and was inducted into the Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame in 2005.
Colin Peasley (left) rehearsing in 1964. Photo: Supplied
Australian Ballet stars on the money
Claudia Radojevic, daughter of ballerina Lucinda Dunn, with a large version of the commemorative coin. Picture: Tess Follett Herald Sun
BALLET stars are used to pin-up status. Now they’ve gone one step further and been immortalised in silver. An image of two Australian Ballet dancers has been turned into a 50c coin to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.
Australian Mint designer Aaron Baggio, will be available for collecting. One will sell for $9 and the other for about “It’s recognition of the $80. importance of an artform that Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid has a long, proud history in said commemorative coins Australia,” he said. “We hope played an important role in lots of children who dance preserving Australia’s cultural each week will be excited to history. collect their very own piece of the ballet.” Artistic director David McAllister said it was a thrill for the company to be celebrated in such a way.
The commemorative coin features much-loved principal artists Olivia Bell and Adam Bull in classical dress and pose from 2008’s Grand Pas Two versions of the highly Classique. detailed coin, created by Royal
a note about
Water is one of our most important nutrients. It is easy to forget that our bodies are made up of almost 70% water. Whilst we talk frequently about eating adequate protein and carbohydrate we often neglect to talk about water. Dancers put a lot of physical demands on their bodies and need to ensure they are adequately hydrated. We constantly lose water from our body through urine, sweat and the air we exhale. If you drink because you are thirsty, that is your body already telling you it is beginning to dehydrate. Don’t forget that caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, alcohol and cola drinks act like diuretics and can be a further cause of dehydration.
by justine urbahn
The average person needs 2 litres of fluid every day. As a dancer your requirements may be higher if you have a busy schedule of performances or classes. Some dancers can lose a kilogram of weight during a performance. This is a kilogram of fluid and means you should replace it with a litre of fluid.
How to Hydrate…
TAP TO EMAIL JUSTINE
• Sip water throughout the day. This will prevent you from feeling thirsty • Avoiding gulping huge amounts of water this will leave you feeling bloated • If you are a dance teacher encourage your students to stop and have some water • Measure out your fluid requirements for a few days and see how close you get to drinking it • Buy yourself a good quality re useable drink bottle and always keep it filled with water • Keep a cold drink bottle in your fridge. • For every caffeinated drink have a glass of water • Get into the habit of having a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon when you get out of bed • Try some of these flavoured water recipes
DANCER: LUKE GEORGE IMAGE: BELINDA STRODDER
Published on Sep 9, 2012
Dancehub Magazine September / October 2012 issue has a feature article written by Paulette Reid on Dance Mentality, a biography on Hilton De...