This was amazing , totally sensational . Rave rave
here's what I said for the ( new look ) Sydney Arts Guide
Hotly anticipated and at the start of a national tour, this very short visit by Australian Dance Theatre from Adelaide with ‘G’ would have to be one of Sydney‘s dance calendar highlights for 2013.
This is Stewart’s second ‘deconstruction’ of a major classical ballet piece – the first was his terrific ‘Birdbrain’ based on ‘Swan Lake’. While based on the same work, it is about as different from the traditional ‘Giselle’ (a la the magnificent Paris Opera Ballet’s version seen here in January for example) that you can get. It is a driving, relentless full throttle contemporary deconstruction of ‘Giselle ‘ with amazing dancing. Technically it superb, performed with extraordinary energy ,speed, commitment and control . In Stewart’s choreography , while using classical technique as a base, there are elements of tai chi, fencing and breakdancing ( among other things ) included .Stewart demands that the dancers be incredibly athletic, almost boneless and prepared to throw themselves around the stage in explosive yet soft jumps and rolls. There is an incredible intensity and energy throughout.
Various snippets of the now ‘traditional ‘ Corralli/Perrott/Petipa choreography are referred to (eg Myrthe’s bouree , the Act1 pas de deux ), twisted and reworked. It all begins with a beautifully balletic turned out walk that, repeated and repeated, becomes almost conveyer-belt like . There are some sharp explosive small solos , contrasted with full ensemble work at some points. At one stage there is an angular writhing sculptural mass. Sometimes there are unexpected straight arms in low arabesque or angular arms , twitches and rolls and almost Bournonville like fast ,fleet footwork. There was a splendid moment when Samantha Hines ( I think ) became for a moment the idea of a Romantic fragile wraith like a leaf on a tree yet also dangerous and deadly. At various points all the cast become Giselle , or Albrecht , or Hilarion or the vampire like Willis rather than one person specifically only playing one particular character.A sinuous,lyrical yet robotic topless pas de deux at a different point of the show must also be mentioned.
The dominant colour of this work is green (of the forest ?. Simply of the LED screen? )There is no real set as such apart from the large LED screen at the back shining with pixels that for most of the work has words or letters running across it , telling the story and analysing the characters of Giselle and looking at the position of women in society at the time. Costumes range from tracksuits to Gothicky like short semi-transparent tutus over leotards or a motley mix of these.With a nod to the original Adam score at the start and end of the show,Luke Smiles ‘ soundtrack beeps, hums ,throbs and crashes relentlessly .
Powerful ,hypnotic stuff this overwhelming astonishing work left the audience exhausted and breathless with excitement . The running time was one hour straight through.
Australian Dance Theatre’s G played the Sydney Theatre between the 16th and 18th May and then tours nationally.
Conductor Tom Woods
After a brief introduction by Tim Long, head of performing arts at Willoughby Council, first came a jaunty, sprightly Mozart overture, crisply played and with breathless use of repetition. Much fun.
The main theme of both of the major works in this concert was prolonged introspection, with the highlight being the eagerly anticipated Beethoven Piano Concerto no 5 Op.73 E Flat Major (‘The Emperor’) written in 1809. For this performance, the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra was joined by special guest pianist, Piers Lane.
Maestro Lane, looking very distinguished in a tuxedo, played on a polished, reflective, black Steinway. At times his playing was fiery and passionate and he played with a quivering intensity. At other times his playing was fragile and delicate. Rippling and shimmering, the notes cascaded like liquid jewels. His exquisite playing was matched and supported by that of the orchestra, in this sometimes sharp and explosive, sometimes lush, rich, lyrical and soaring work. The audience went mad at the end with screams of ‘Bravo!’ and Lane was coerced into a short, sparkling encore full of musical in-jokes that had those in the know in fits of laughter.
After interval came Schubert’s Symphony no 9 D.944 C Major (‘The Great’) written 1825-26. The heavy length of this work was treated as natural; in it, one could hear the influence of Beethoven’s majestic 9th Symphony influence on Schubert. With a distinct emphasis on the strings, we were treated to a marvellous performance of this piece. The orchestra, as led by Woods, was in great form, with fine ensemble playing and a buoyant sound, sometimes scurrying and storm-tossed, at other times lushly Romantic. Particularly in the third movement there was tumultuous, controlled yet exuberant playing. Throughout the work, under Wood’s excellent baton, the various contrasting moods were carefully delineated. The concluding fourth movement was very Allegro Vivace indeed!
A magnificent concert to be richly treasured. Book now for the rest of the series!
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Willoughby Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Tom Woods
Concertmaster: Caron Chan
Mozart – ‘Der Shauspieldirektor ‘ K486 (‘The Impressario’) Overture
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 op 73 E Flat Major (‘The Emperor’)
With special guest pianist Piers Lane
Schubert – Symphony No. 9 D 944 C Major (‘The Great ‘)
The Concourse, Chatswood
27 – 28 April