Sunday, September 20, 2015
I crave fresh flowers in my house. I start to get an itch, and I must go scratch by buying a bunch. Yesterday's was fulfilled by these gorgeous anenomes - in shades of pink, red and cream. They are almost making up for the fact that I've developed an annoying head-cold - just before flying to Melbourne on Wednesday.
But I'm not going to let a snotty nose and sore throat spoil my hols. I'll be delving into every laneway, checking out the David Bowie exhibition, lolling about on rooftop bars, spending time with family and old friends.
Let's not forget shopping.
Any Melbourne tips for me?
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
You know I love nothing more than supporting local talent right? Well, I don't wish to play favourites - but I think Tantrum Theatre could be pretty much my favourite of the talents. I've seen a range of their performances and the thing that shines out is the utter joy that the artists experience during the productions.
That joy's contagious.
So tonight I went along with my friend J to see the opening night of No One Cares About Your Cat. I was very kindly gifted tix, which I feel ever-so-guilty about as I love supporting these acts by helping to swell their coffers, but I am very grateful.
I knew the production would speak to me, someone who's pretty-much connected to social media 100% of the time. Hell, I met my bestest Newy friends A, C and J through twitter!
I am also fond of a cute cat pic or vid, so this opening montage delighted me no end.
The play was cleverly lit, often by the light of the mobile phones - smart stuff. I adored the interactive stuff - like the vlogger whose work was skilfully incorporated into the play with interaction between the audience before and during the play.
Here he is!
The play was an insightful commentary on the ways in which social media helps us direct our lives. Good? Bad? Well, it's never indifferent.
Also, as I said to my friend J, we must have a new generation who'll never take a bad photo as the selfie-gen are always clued up to their best angles and expressions.
The themes of cats were woven throughout, including with this rather glorious 'cats cradle' scene with glow-in-the-dark-yarn. I couldn't help smiling in delight throughout.
Not only did this make me smile, it made me think - a lot. I thought about loneliness, connectedness and friendship. I thought about how social media helps me share so much - including reviews of plays such as this!
I love seeing something that brings a smile to my face. This brought more - this brought me real joy. This collaborative piece was the work of so many talented artists, and it flew by ever-so-quickly. As we left the theatre I bumped into my friend Barney, who is Tantrum's founding father "I didn't want it to end!" he said. And I just had to agree.
Now get along quick and see this. It's on at the Civic Playhouse until Saturday 19th September. Find out more, and get tix here.
Thank you everyone involved in this - love your work. I really, really do.
Sunday, September 06, 2015
image: catapult dance
I think I've found a new favourite thing. One thing Newcastle does very well is artistic innovation. This Is Not Art festival started here in 1998 and is a showcase for alternative festivals around the country, if not the world. I always block out the October long weekend and knock myself out seeing the fabulousness that's on display.
And now we have the Newcastle Writer's Festival, bam, another weekend of awesome to immerse myself in. We do art, drama, music and culture beautifully, but, in my opinion, there's been an area where we've been a little understated.
So THANK YOU Cadi McCarthy for moving to Newcastle and bringing innovation and inspiration with you. I was first introduced to Cadi's work when my heart took up residence in my mouth at the extraordinary choreography she created with local dancers during Stories In My Steps. I'd never experienced much modern dance before, and the intimate setting in 48 Watt made it even more stunning. Now Cadi's brought something special to Newcastle West with Catapult Dance.
Last night's Propel performance was a confronting piece of avant garde collaboration unlike anything I'd ever seen. Award-winning dancer Kristina Chan worked with filmmaker Neil Mansfield to craft a senses-shattering piece about Newcastle's uneasy relationship with coal - extra timely with the divestment issue focussed on us thanks to Newcastle Council's progressive stance on ethical investment. It was loud, it was weird, it was breathtaking.
I've never seen such a fluid body as Kristina's, this was dance as I've never seen it before - and it's bound to stay with me for a very long time. It was extraordinary.
The question and answer session was generous, and revealed much about the artists, and the diverse audience they'd attracted.
We then went out the back for a performance by University of Newcastle Fine Art students. I was already excited as I'd spotted Alex, the vocalist who entranced me a few weeks ago at Visual Music at Newcastle Conservatorium. Accompanied only by a talented lad on an acoustic guitar she delighted the crowd with glorious vocals and a range that must be almost illegal.
Unbelievably, we were then treated to another dance. Inspired by Edie Segwick. This was incredible. It's a collaboration between Cadi, dancer Reagan Ashley Williams, Jessica Coughlin and Zackari Watt. It's a repeat outing, and deserved a replay.
Oh it was wonderful. From glorious projections, to the way Reagan Ashely uses her body, to the music, to the choreography. Sublime.
All this for only $10 - then we had a drink and the chance to chat with others in the audience, and the artists. I feel embarrassed that I paid so little and received so much.
Bring on the next collaboration.
People of Newcastle, we need to support these artists. If you love seeing this city come alive, follow them on social media, attend their performances and spread the word.