Some notes on the choreographers and their connection with the School would have been a welcome addition to the programme, especially with the contemporary works. Although the final pas de deux is often described as simple, it is exquisitely so; articulate, rich, emotive. Throughout this time Trinder has encouraged creative diversity and has established a school that provides equal support through its teaching, to ballet and contemporary dance. This grew more secure during the performance, and drew well-deserved recognition from the audience. This slightly gothic, macabre, surrealist work uses the dancers to create animated walls, moving as though they are breathing. The costumes, made up of white lengths of rope, were somewhat of a distraction but nevertheless created an excellent visual. After such a great first section, one never thought it could get any better. They showed a good understanding of the Romantic epaulement and airy style, particularly Zhan, who performed the Bournonville allegro with buoyancy and charm.
There are plenty of opportunities for the dancers to develop character and connect with the audience in Saltarello, and the audience enjoy the bravado and generally crisp performance of the work. It is truly impressive how this school, even more “down under” than “Down Under”, develops connections with the international scene, thereby exposing students to current exciting international repertoire. A choreography for nine women, Huri Koaro possesses an authoritative command of cultural and contemporary vocabularies structured with thoughtful formations and repetition of motifs. There is a pleasing rapport between the pair. They seized the stage and held it fast. Some notes on the choreographers and their connection with the School would have been a welcome addition to the programme, especially with the contemporary works. It was a performance that would hold its own on a professional company program.
There are plenty of opportunities for the dancers to develop character and connect with the audience in Saltarello, and the audience enjoy the bravado and generally crisp performance of the work. It also boasted an unusually large number of male students. Dancers fell in an out of militant sequences and then seeped back in, trying to seek individualism only to slide back into conformity. Jewell provides beautiful characterisation and attack, and while Humphries is completely present in the space and deeply inside the choreography, he projects nothing out.
Duwner has a pleasing unforced gaiety and tosses off the speedy technical demands very well. After The Rain is a remarkable achievement and secures the duo as dancers to watch in the Graduation Season and beyond. This grew more secure during the performance, and drew well-deserved recognition from the audience. This is complimented by a rich variety of choreographic offerings within each programme, ensuring the audience are thoroughly entertained during both performances.
For more production details, click on the title above.
Throughout this time Trinder has encouraged creative diversity and has established a school that provides equal support through its teaching, to ballet and contemporary dance. This slightly gothic, macabre, surrealist work uses the dancers to create animated walls, moving as though they are breathing.
An iconic choreography such is this can be a gift for graduating dancers, but only if they rise to the occasion. The Corps de Ballet dance well in unison, but still have some way to go to master the overall style. The dancers locked into the movement and one another effortlessly, like a metachronal rhythm.
Overall it is a well-developed and successfully discomforting work, with the dancers dropping character in perfect unison, and exiting in neutral. The connection between moko and costume is innovative, and aside from some minor timing issues with a pas de quatre, Huri Koaro is work with clarity and a strong sense of identity.
And Rench is simply outstanding. Using one another’s energy and movement discipline, the performers displayed a beautiful chemistry on stage and brought engaging character to the work.
NZSD Graduation Season (Tradition) – A varied and entertaining showcase
The final work for the evening was Saltarelloby Christopher Hampson, artistic director of the Scottish Ballet, staged by Turid Revheim. The third year New Zealand School of Dance NZSD Contemporary students celebrated their graduation and three years of hard work with Innovationa diverse jzsd of six contemporary dance works.
This cheeky all-male trio incorporates break dancing as well as traditional Samoan and was simply a joy to watch. Wicked Fish was an intense and demanding journey but a choreographically pleasing one all the same. The young dancers rose to the acrobatic challenges well, sezson Isaak McLean showing good strength and steady partnering and Sook Meng Lim showing excellent flexibility.
Riley-Jane Dickie and Isaak McLean successfully manage these demands, offering a projected expressive quality and emotional interaction that stands out amongst their peers. To a relentlessly climactic score by Xenakis, the mass of dancers spin and eddy and cluster and fragment, spiralling like a constellation of stars, a cosmos in the act of forming and dying — or a shoal of fish on grauation currents, as the title implies.
They seized the stage and held it fast. Some notes on the choreographers and their connection with the School would have been a welcome addition to the programme, especially with the contemporary works. This fresh, original work captures the form of the Manaia the seahorsebelieved to guard other-worldly realms, powerful creatures with a hand in birth, life and death. Performances showcase the graduating third year students, but also include select first and second year dancers.
Jaidyn Cumming in the role of The Sylph delivers a polished and assured performance, with elegant romantic lines and expressive attention to detail. This beautiful work embraces life and all that love has to offer, including its fragility. The work explores the ghosts of memory, dormant yet inescapable, and is perfectly costumed in colour-themed street clothes. Disappointingly, some of the men are unable to maintain unison, even when they have a sightline to another dancer.
NZSD Graduation Season – Tradition, DANZ
The work fuses hiphop and contemporary techniques, predictable in its reliance on isolations contrasted with improvisation-style fluid solos. Graduation Season 23 November Two programmes are presented this year — Tradition ballet and Innovation contemporary — running on alternate evenings. The ensemble of 12 gave a splendid showing of a complex work that must demand great accuracy and speed.
Zhan captures the Bournonville style very well, with excellent balon and batterie deftly executed. Both are beautifully produced and extremely varied. While McLean imbues his partnering with a strength and gentleness that is quite unusual in one so young.
New Zealand School of Dance: Graduation Season
The movement vocabulary has been clearly developed on the dancers, externalising internal states from naturalism to crisp stylisation. This Graduation Season has been carefully curated to reflect this and a more fitting tribute would be hard to imagine.
Arvo Part composed the sublime music, Spiegel im Spiegel. The simple, sparingly-used unison requires more detail and finesse, and its attempts to break the fourth wall need greater commitment and clarity. E Tolu has some humourous moments, but overall, the performance quality lacks projection and feels inwards-looking.