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Image: Stephen A' Court Cityscape caught up with RNZB’s Lucy Green ahead of her reprisal of the iconic role of Giselle – her favourite of all classical ballet roles. How do you prepare for a role like Giselle? The role of Giselle is one I’ve danced many times before. When I first performed it, to find an accurate way of dancing the role that felt true to myself, I spent a lot of time pondering the story, watching other dancers’ interpretations and thinking through how I’d like to portray the character and story. Now that I know the ballet inside out I really enjoy being a bit more spontaneous on stage. It’s a role that’s very easy to get lost in and once you’re in that place each scene and moment feels incredibly natural and real. Physically, however, no matter how many times you’ve performed the role, the preparation is...
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  Image: Rahi Rezvani. With variety being the spice of life, there was never a dull moment during the opening night of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's blistering triple bill Speed of Light at the Isaac Theatre Royal. Sure the mercury was sitting high last night, but that was nothing compared to the inferno of en-pointe perfection radiating off the stage as their triumphant trifecta of contemporary ballet classics Selon désir, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Cacti (pictured) unfurled. Comprising three 30-minute sets and two intervals, Speed of Light delighted with its frenetic, fast-paced action, set to an astounding soundtrack. Minimalist staging in the first two performances, save for some genius lighting, ensured the focus was kept clearly on the ferocious talent on stage, while a few key pieces (white faced boxes, cacti, one cat and more of that genius lighting) in the finale brought performance art to dizzying new heights.Riffing on...
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Get your fix of tasselled temptresses, vaudevillian antics and risqué circus-based stunts at the annual celebration of retro glam that is the New Zealand Burlesque Festival. With th show featuring the cream of the spangly crop, you'll watch in slack-jawed, bedazzled amazement as Christchurch entertainment legend Mullet Man introduces an all-star line-up of Kiwi and international performers that includes Ginger Valentine, Missy Lisa, Angi B. Lovely, Bazuka Joe, local Burlesque Queen Ruby Ruin and multi-award-winning New Zealand starlet MisRed Delicious at Twiggers, Addington Raceway on 17 October. New Zealand Burlesque Festival Tour 17 Octoberwww.nzburlesquefestival.co.nz...
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  Brimming with old world circus skills and avant-garde burlesque, Le Noir – the Dark Side of Cirque blends fast-paced, humorous displays of balance, contortion, stamina, aerial artistry and death-defiance ("The Colombian Wheel of Death", anyone?) in its intimate show. Cityscape caught up with emcee extraordinaire and lovable clown Salvador Salangsang for the lowdown on what to expect when Christchurch embraces its dark side. Tell us about your emcee character.  He’s someone I made up a long time ago and developed over the years through trial and error. The character is pretty much based on my own personality – being that when I’m on and off stage, I like to have the same amount of fun whether it be with the audience, cast members or friends and family. Being the emcee, I get to take everybody through the journey but also piece together the pieces of the puzzle that make...
Cityscape News & Reviews
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If you think the body is a remarkable instrument – you ain’t seen nothing yet’. Christchurch Arts Festivals’ breath-taking entry A Simple Space is exactly what it says on the box – black floor matting, a few lights and up close and personal with some serious acrobatics by way of the tremendous talents of the aptly-named seven-piece Australian circus troupe Gravity & Other Myths.There’s no special effects, elaborate costumes, gimmicks or circus-type frills and, occasionally, no shirts in this pared-back and relentless 60 minutes of gravity-defying human towers, dread-inducing tumbles and falls, ridiculous feats of strength and balance, strip-speed-skipping and taking ‘I could do that standing on my head’ to a whole other level!The deft, dexterous performers totally own the stage, and at times there’s so much going on as bodies are substituted for jungle gyms, skipping ropes, musical instruments and Frogger-style landing pads that it’s hard to keep up...
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You’ll never look at your garden the same after witnessing the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s glorious adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The epic battle between the Fairy King Oberon (MacLean Hopper) and Queen Titania (Tonia Looker) plays out on the stunningly beautiful, magic fairy-dust sprinkled Isaac Theatre Royal stage; now a luminous, ethereal, shimmering elven landscape, courtesy of the talented Tracy Grant Lord (who also rocked some serious fairy cred with the costumes, which left many of the younger female audience pining after the butterfly-wing-delicate ensembles) kept suitably mystical by Kendall Smith’s lighting. Liam Scarlett’s seamless choreography with a youthful bent beautifully combines moments of wit with melodrama, while showcasing the stunning techniques of the talented cast en-pointe as they flit, sweep and float across the stage. Standouts include Kohei Iwamoto’s career-defining lightning in a jar performance of Puck –  as if the character had come to life...
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The Royal New Zealand Ballet seems to have a major hit on its hands after the sell-out world premiere of The Vodafone Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Wellington on the 20th of August – good news for Christchurch audiences with the production heading to the Isaac Theatre Royal from 27-29 August, to be accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The brand new ballet by 29 year old British choreographer Liam Scarlett, one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world today, seems to have won over critics and audience members alike. “The magic and delight never let up. This is an absolutely splendid production of which choreographer, Liam Scarlett and the Royal New Zealand Ballet can be justifiably proud” says dance critic Ann Hunt from the Dominion Post. “One can see why he (Scarlett) is the current wunderkind of British ballet.” Jennifer Shennan noted that “The dance rises...
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Image: Ross Brown Having recently dazzled us with their production of Don Quixote, the Royal New Zealand Ballet make their way back to the city in short order for a short season (4 performances May 28–30) of Salute,  a very special piece created in collaboration with New Zealand composers and choreographers Dwayne Bloomfield, Gareth Farr, Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons and the New Zealand Army Band to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings during WWI. The performance includes two world premieres, and the New Zealand Army Band will accompany the ballet live. More details are available at www.rnzb.org.nz, or jump straight into tickets for this very special showcase at Ticketek.  ...
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The Sesame Street gang are heading our way for Elmo's World Tour. On The Road Events and Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, have announced the first ever New Zealand tour of Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour. Get excited, kids – toddlers and pre-schoolers will be able to see their favourite Sesame Street friends appear live on stage in this hit musical show.In the show, the Sesame Street gang, including fan favourite characters Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Grover, Zoe, Cookie Monster and (of course) Elmo, use the letters of the alphabet to navigate a voyage through imagination that sees them visiting China, Zambia, France, India and Australia. That's a lot of stamps in Elmo's furry red passport. Elmo and his friends have fun learning how people sing, dance and say hello all over the world. However, things don’t go to plan when Cookie Monster eats the letter...
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The Royal New Zealand Ballet goes tilting at windmills in March with the world’s favourite shaggy dog story, Don Quixote. Opening their 2015 season ‘somewhere in La Mancha’, the RNZB will perform the timeless (1605!) tale of adventure, chivalry, love and rambling that has inspired one of the greatest works in classical ballet. The RNZB’s  own production of the work is described as a fiery, flirtatious delight that combines virtuoso choreography with comic flair that is sure to appeal to all ages. The story moves along at a rapid clip as it follows dreamer Don Quixote, together with his long-suffering nephew Sancho Panza, as they nobly aid and abet lovers Kitri and Basilio in their struggles with the devious Gamache and his cohort of street dancers, Kitri’s pretentious father, and (of course) an actual shaggy dog. The spectacular dancing (choreography by Kiwi Adrian Burnett) is complemented by vivid storybook style...