Viewing entries tagged
dance

Review: Invisible Things

Comment

Review: Invisible Things

The Powerhouse Stores Studio is a wonderful, pared-back, high-ceilinged space—perfect for a show that places the creator/performer (Alex Mizzen) in the centre of a 3m x 3m smoke-filled cube. On 13th May, the audience filtered into the dimly-lit room, drawn toward and walking round the cube, peering in at the artist, anticipating what they might experience. Over the next 40 minutes, we watched Alex as she peeled back the layers (literally and metaphorically), allowing us to share some of the rage and frustration associated with finding her own creative voice. As the journey unfolded, so the artist demonstrated her skills in gymnastics, circus, and dance—with some impressive en pointe skipping, handstand cane balancing, and aerial. 

Picture : Alex Mizzen in the 3m x 3m cube, watched by members of the 132th May 2018 audience ( Invisible Things ). Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Picture: Alex Mizzen in the 3m x 3m cube, watched by members of the 132th May 2018 audience (Invisible Things). Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

As an artist working in the very physical arena of gymnastics, circus, aerial, dance, and balance, any serious injury must be a time for reflection, and concern. Invisible Things draws on the dialogue between the performer and her journals—described as “an unedited exposé of my internal world”—which led to a “realisation of a collection of patterns or mindsets […] noticings.” As the show unfolds, we see some of the writings on the walls, but find it difficult to read their meanings. The artist speaks through her body and movements, but without using her voice. At the end we feel we have learned more from the compelling interaction  between the performer and soundtrack, and from her destruction or ultimate breaking free from the box.

Alex has brought together a great team together for this production (Anna Whitaker [soundtrack], Michael Maggs, [Collaborating Artist], Helen Clifford [Rigging], and Kristian Santic [Dramaturg]). Unfair perhaps to select out one element of this but, for me, the soundtrack was absolutely perfect. I felt that the sound artist and performer created a compelling dialogue, perfectly anticipating each other’s mood and moves. A production that would work well in a modern art gallery, as well as in contemporary circus. If you are looking for a show that draws your full attention, then why not visit the Powerhouse Stores Studio while you can.

Picture : Alex Mizzen ( Invisible Things ). Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Picture: Alex Mizzen (Invisible Things). Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Verdict: Prepare to be challenged. Performance art/contemporary dance meets modern angst—with some excellent balance and aerial work and a fantastic soundtrack.

Audience tip: Seating is available, but you may prefer to walk around the outside of the cube during the performance. 15+ (some nudity). 40 minutes.

Catherine Lawrence

The reviewer attended the Sunday 13th May performance. Only four more performances (19th, 20th, 26th & 27th May). Tickets are available at the Anywhere Festival website. $25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Review: Superstars ‘15 Years Celebration’

Comment

Review: Superstars ‘15 Years Celebration’

If you live in or near Carina Heights or Coorparo you will know all about Superstars. You will be already be chorusing ‘where everyone shines.’ But if you haven’t heard about this wonderful dance and performance school then I’d suggest you might want to look out for it. Particularly if you know anyone of school age. Over the last 15 years, Superstars has grown to become a popular local performing school with over 600 students. Attending the end-year concert at the Chandler Theatre (Sleeman Sports Complex) it was not a surprise to discover that Superstars was this year recognised as the best local school aged activity provider (What’s On 4 Kids Awards).

Picture: Great to see so many boys onstage. Picture credit: Geoff lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Picture: Great to see so many boys onstage. Picture credit: Geoff lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

During the afternoon, the School had over 500 of its 650 students on the stage for the 15 years celebration, treating the audience of proud parents and impressed friends and supporters to a professional program of song and dance. The teachers and support staff kept everything moving, and the time just flew by. By the end of the afternoon the audience had been treated to a smorgasbord of song, ballet, tap, Irish dance, contemporary dance, break-dancing, musical theatre, hip hop….

The opening number (with 60 students of all ages) set the tone. Beautiful costumes (great to spot the hard work of Jaymee Richards in the Superstars team), and choreography that was tailored to the skills of the individual performers. I am sure that everyone smiled at the charming ‘When I grow up,’ and there wasn’t a dry eye by the time all 500 students (including 82 boys) were called back on stage for the pre-interval awards.

Picture : Those tap-dancing teachers.... Picture Credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Picture: Those tap-dancing teachers.... Picture Credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

The show was all about the students, but I have to say that I spent some time mesmerised by the focused and enthusiastic performances of their teachers. And I am not just talking about their tap-dancing (when a student seated behind me proudly pointed out, in a suitable stage whisper, ‘that’s my teacher’). Well done to Gabriella Flowers, Bronte Devine, and the rest of the teachers who coached the students throughout the afternoon (and during the year). You clearly bring out the best in your students.

Throughout the show it was clear to see that the Superstars performers were having fun, concentrating hard (so lovely to watch the interactions with their teachers), and doing their absolute best. It is difficult to pick out any single highlight. I loved the break-dancing (those poses), was impressed by the ballet, was entertained by the tap-dancing, and smiled broadly through the contemporary dance.

Picture : I just loved those poses.... Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

Picture: I just loved those poses.... Picture credit: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography

The marching/ cheerleading performance to Different Drum was beautifully done, and such a great choice of music, with the line “All you need to try to be is who you're made to be.” Rachael Tiernan has created a School that encourages students to have fun, and brought together a team of teachers who each encourage the celebration of individual potential. Which meant that it wasn’t just the performers who had fun: there were some exceptionally proud and very happy parents, grandparents and friends who had a wonderful time.   

The Chandler Theatre was the perfect venue for this show. I think if Superstars had found somewhere bigger, they would still have filled it.  Look out for more about their annual program—which includes holiday classes—by visiting their Facebook page or website. Makes you wish you were school-age again!

 

Catherine Lawrence

The reviewer attended Superstars 15 Year Celebration at the Chandler Theatre, Chandler, on Sunday 19th November 2017, 2:00pm.

 

Comment