Hello all, I love this time of year. The lead up to Christmas is very special add to that the impressive list of graduation and end of year performances, makes it my favourite time of year.
First for the season was ED5international, which has a reputation for putting on a fast paced highly entertaining show. 2018 graduates did not disappoint with highlight performances from Michael Boyle in Festivo choreographed by Nathan Sheens. Boyle proves himself across all genres as well as being quite the comedian, Georgia Croft in On The Town choreographed by Leslie Bell displayed beautiful technique accompanied by a performance suited to the genre she was depicting. The dynamic trio that performed Leslie Bell’s Good Morning – Joshua Taylor, Madelyne Arthur and Jamie Resin, delighted the audience with impeccable timing. My stand-out favourite routine was by Keith Hawley, Walk Right Now – so friggin clever, funny and extremely tight lines and syncronicity.
Next up for me was a trip to Melbourne for Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance grad aptly named, History Repeating. An explosive intro showcased the individuality of each of the performers in This is Me from Greatest Showman. Standout performers for me were from Georgia Atherton in Helium choreographed by Diana Hicks. Atherton displayed technique, gorgeous elevation and passion. Jade Dalton in Walking In Space choreographed by Jason Coleman delighted the audience with a performance well beyond her years and Darcy Goodall in Amadeus choreographed by Jason Coleman and Kyla Batholomeuz was extremely charismatic and backed it up with real talent.
I was also fortunate to capture Kelly Aykers Full-Time graduates in rehearsal for their big night. Another impressive line up of choreography expertly delivered by a group of dynamic well trained graduates. Stand outs for me were Maddi Riley for her precise technique and dynamic energy, Shona Guiry for her delicate performance quality, divine leaps and turns and Madeleine Briese who was a powerhouse across all the genres with her strength and performance.
I was also able to capture TNSPA.Professional inaugural graduation, A Hero’s Journey which showcased the talents of 10 elite graduates in an incredible display of Laura Webb, Kris Lewis, Jason Lewis and Jason Winters artistic vision. The video compilations of the dancers was the absolute stand out for me, such well shot, executed and performed showreels depicting the dancers at their absolute best. The live show was a well thought-out and a highly charged explosion of talent. Freya Smith is so talented and epitomises what so many dancers strive to achieve – strength, flexibility and power. Daniel Wijngaarden is a natural performer with a skill set that will have him going from job to job with ease. In-between I was able to catch one of my favourite youth companies – Dance Dr performing The Chain. I loved this for the integrity towards the young female cast, the choreography, costumes and emotional expectations matched the age and skill level of each artist. The works were well rehearsed with some delightful use of space and dynamics. Fabulous use of uneven number of dancers and I think it is obvious which dancer absolutely captured me because she is also featured in our fashion pages wearing the latest dancewear as well as featured in Dance Dr spread – Shae Acevski you are fabulous. Back down in Melbourne and in time for something very different to all of the above I had the opportunity to take my family to The Nutcracker presented by The Australian Conservatoire of Ballet, which was absolutely lovely. A highly professional, expertly cast and beautifully costumed production. The choreography was superb moving the dancers into some of the prettiest tableaus I have seen. Lovely use of diagonals using the full depth and width of the stage mindful of the space that each dancer requires to perform. I love this consideration and it really impacts the overall feel of the work as a whole. Catherine Richardson who played Clara was absolutely delightful, delivering the gentle, innocence that we have come to expect from this role. Scott Mullen who played Herr Drosselmeyer performed his role expertly and maintained character throughout. And what a delight to witness the elegant and dynamic performance of Dmitry Vyskubenko (Prince) and the incredible strength of Takahiro Tamagawa (Soldier). You can view my favourite pics of these artists in our Jan/Feb issue on sale now except for The Nutcracker and TNSPA.Professional which will appear in our Mar/Apr issue. Before I sign off I ask you to read pages 76-79 with simple exercises you can do everyday over the holidays to keep your body active, strong and supple for your return to dance. We also have a new Boys only column which I am sure both teachers of male students and the boys themselves will appreciate. There is a host of other fantastic info and so many photos you will have no trouble decorating those walls with motivational 2019 images. Till next issue, be kind to one another and yourself. There is only one you!