Warming thoughts ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Warming thoughts

Brrrr. It's colder than a nun's nasty, so it is. The weather - and its attendent ills - mean Ms TN has been down for the count this week. She's two reviews behind, and is peevishly demanding tissues and cold and flu pills from the depths of her mink stole. But hark! Is that magic tinkle the sound of the embargo lifting on the Melbourne Festival program? Why, yes it is!


Read it and drool. We already know some of the glamour highlights - the Merce Cunningham Residency, for instance, which includes a major retrospective of works from the 1950s to now, including a look at many of his collaborations with artists like Jasper Johns or John Cage, and a consideration of his influence into the present. That program alone will keep you pretty busy. And yes, there's also Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Barrie Kosky, Laurie Anderson. Jon Rose...

But plenty catches my eye beyond the familiar names. Anyone lucky enough to see Jerome Bel last year will no doubt, like me, be circling the dates of his piece The Show Must Go On (which he referenced in last year's show). My other must-sees include the Teatre Lliure from Barcelona, bringing its European House (a prologue, it seems, to Hamlet); the Dutch company Dood Pard with its versions of Titus Andronicus and Medea, and Sankai Juku (pictured), a Japanese company that combines western and Butoh traditions of dance, with Kagemi: Beyond the Halls of Mirrors (apparently partly based on the Japanese art of flower arranging, Ikebana). And I haven't even mentioned the music and visual arts. Check it out for yourself; me, I'm reaching for the echinacea and getting into training now.

3 comments:

David Williams said...

v. exciting...

i for one will be on the phones tomorrow booking away! see you in melbourne! (and maybe i'll have a chance to eat at one of matthew's recomended restaurants this time...)

david

Matthew said...

Very exciting is right. I can't wait, though there's a lot I have to do between now and then to ensure that I can immerse myself to the extent that I'd like.

Jana said...

Sankai Juku performed at the Dance Week in Croatia a few years ago. I was there, and I missed them because the tickets sold out very quickly. Reportedly, the audience cried left, right and centre. And that's not something you get a lot of at dance shows. (I'll also add that Croats as a nation know next to nothing about dance, contemporary or otherwise. It was pure theatre magic.)

It looks like a very impressive program - although to my inexpert eye the dance program overshadows the theatre (which is nice, but unexpected). I saw Glow in 2006 and it also made us cry. So I think there'll be plenty of booking from my side, despite the absence of those well-made plays everyone always talks about...

(One nice thing about MIAF is that some performances go on for only two-three nights, but always during the week, so we, the anti-social workers, don't have to miss out because we work on Saturday nights...)