Dance

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The Nutcracker | The Imperial Russian Ballet

Based on ET A Hoffman’s classic fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the Imperial Russian Ballet Company brings Tchaikovsky’s enduring score to life this season with a shimmering interpretation of the Christmas story. Featuring the choreography of Vasili Vaionen with revisions by Taranda, this version presents all the familiar charm of a timeless story with some startlingly superb…

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VU | VOU Dance Fiji

When entering a sacred space, there is an underlying presence that challenges any visitor to engage with the unsaid and the unexplained. Invoking traditional ceremony and ritual, VOU Dance Fiji does exactly that. In their latest offering, the company attempt to carve out a dialogue between the past and the present, the ancestral beings and the people. This is VU.…

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FRESH | Tempo Dance Festival, NZ

This year’s FRESH dance showcase does not disappoint. The palette is broad and the risks and innovation taken by the five choreographers, Ardon England, Joash Fahitua, Xin Ji, Bhuvana Venkat, Lauren Byrne and Emma Martin, offer commendable efforts. Sculpted physicality, creative thinking and strong narratives are evident in varying degrees across all works. The evening begins with England’s ‘FIERCE’. A…

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The Absurdity of Humanity | NZ Dance Company

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) opened its premiere season with a double-bill programme consisting of two strikingly different works. The Absurdity of Humanity is a fitting title drawing upon the choreographic artistry of Australia and New Zealand’s finest practitioners and presents a sensitive exploration of not just our humanity, but also our mortality. The programme begins with Lina Limosani’s…

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HEALR | Rose Philpott & Jessie McCall

HEALR is an intriguing exploration of the concept of wellbeing in 2016. Created and performed by leading dance independents, Rose Philpott and Jessie McCall, it is a sculpted and thought-provoking commentary that interrogates the many facets of wellness – and the complexities that sit beneath the surface. The narrative is simple, and for the most part, beautifully transcribed through the movements…

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Transfer | Footnote Dance Company

In its 2016 season, Footnote New Zealand Dance draws upon the talents of overseas based artists to present an intriguing double bill. In a well curated 70-minute production, Transfer features the talents of Joshua Rutter (Berlin/New Zealand) and Jeremy Nelson (New York/New Zealand). Tomorrow After All is Rutter’s first commission for Footnote. It opens with a series of electronic rhythms, immediately changing the…

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Nederlands Dans Theatre

Three dancers stand before the Civic’s stage curtain, their backs to the audience. Dressed in corporate black, their forms are sleek and rigid, but as the minutes tick by there’s little else to observe. The man next to me mutters, “Why are we just sitting here? Nothing is happening.” But such is the world of Nederland Dans Theatre. Unexpected, deliberate,…

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Mana Wahine | Okareka Dance Company

Mana. Wahine.There is an energy embedded in these two words that defies the adequacy of the English language. There is an energy embedded in these two words that defies the adequacy of the English language. The tendency to translate, to equalize and offer words of sufficient satisfaction are tempting but it is rare that this ever fully possible. Mana Wahine…

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Move | Kinetic Wayfinding

Kinetic Wayfinding believe in telling stories that need to be heard. Of course, that’s not an unfamiliar commitment but the company’s family-orientated kaupapa mean they create works in different ways and through different processes. Equally importantly, they do it in ways that directly respond to addressing the needs of Pasifika youth. MOVE encapsulates this commitment perfectly. It’s a funky, upbeat,…

Ithaca

Ithaca | The Dust Palace

Homer never got to see Star Trek.   In fact, there’s an awful lot that the epic poet didn’t get to witness as the centuries rolled by, but I wonder what he would have thought of the futuristic-cirque-cabaret-Johnny Cash mash-up that opened last night at Q’s loft.   The Dust Palace’s Ithaca is a visual aesthetic feast and if for…

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