Under Siege

Yang Liping Contemporary Dance. Brisbane Festival, September 27. Melbourne Festival until October 8. Yang Liping’s exquisite Under Siege is like the richest of sauces, distilled and reduced until only the essentials remain. The setting is China about 2000 years ago as one dynasty, the Han, bloodily replaces another. Yang’s episodic, impressionistic work strips away the immensely…

My year in dance

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Pina Bausch made my year. For his final Sydney Festival in January, artistic director Lieven Bertels programmed two bracing De Keersmaeker works, Fase and Vortex Temporum, and the huge thrill was seeing the choreographer herself in Fase (my review is here). Living dance history. Festival clout and money also made…

Rules of the Game: Jonah Bokaer at the Brisbane Festival

Brisbane Powerhouse, September 14. Labels are always tricky. Jonah Bokaer is essentially a dance-maker but his deep immersion in the visual arts pushes his work towards performance art. But let’s not worry about what to call it. In the trio of works he brought to the Brisbane Festival – his first visit to Australia –…

The year ahead

And coming up in 2014 … LAST year it was easy to point to the events in dance one thought would be unmissable (not so very many) and theatre (vast amounts). Mostly performances and productions delivered pretty much what one thought they would and moments of transcendence were few, but I guess they always are….

2013: a retrospective

Here’s my take on the year’s high points. As many have noted before me, “best” is a useless word when applied to the cornucopia available in the arts. Here are the people and productions that most inspired me. “A SHORT show is a good show,” we all carol (me and my fellow critics) as we…

The Rite of Spring/Petrushka

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, Brisbane Festival, September 26. MICHAEL Keegan-Dolan’s Rite of Spring does honour to the most unsettling dance score in history. The Fabulous Beast founder and choreographer doesn’t shrink from nature at its most primaI, red in tooth and claw, but understands that while a community can be full of darkness and harm,…

Rising

Aakash Odedra Company, Brisbane Festival, September 27. IN Rising, young British dancer Aakash Odedra presents four solos, one by himself (exquisite) and the others from Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. That towering trio of dance-makers says it all. The evening may be very brief – perhaps 45 minutes of dance in all…

Casus, Brisbane Festival

Knee Deep, Brisbane Powerhouse, September 24. THE four members of Casus, a small Brisbane contemporary circus troupe formed in 2011, have a slightly perverse way of claiming attention. They are, of course, ferociously talented. But so are very many others in this art form, which takes circus tricks and dresses them up with elements from…