Category Archives: theatre

Our choreographer wins praise for her latest work.

Danielle Micich’s new work for Buzz Dance Theatre attracted a great review. Thrill, a double bill, was praised in the West Australian for being a potent, accessible and sophisticated mix of artistry and athleticism. Danielle’s work, Plan B, is praised for many artistic reasons, and also because the incredible energy of the cast ensures they are exhilarating to watch. Read the review, see the show.

Phil Thomson – director and libbrettist for the opera writes

In a previous post, Danielle and I announced dance audtions for into the Shimmer Heat.

We are auditioning some very promising young dancers this week. The response to our So You Think You Can Dance in an Opera call-out has netted some very interesting, trained and talented dancers. Nina is the major role of the opera, with both narrative and impressionistic/emotional/cathartic dance. We need a creative athlete with great stamina, discipline and strength and able to plumb emotional depths. Courageous. Not scared of heights. Able to act. And transport us as only dancers do. This is a big ask, but I have a feeling that all the dancers we’ve shortlisted could do a great job. We have such talent in the west, from the west.

I am so looking forward to the audition. I’ll let you know how we go.

Danielle Micich

Danielle Micich

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Can life have a Plan B?

The choreographer for into the Shimmer Heat is Danielle Micich, an independent dancer, choreographer and videographer based in Perth. She was the Artistic Director of West Australia’s Youth Dance Company STEPS for four years.  Danielle has travelled to the USA and Singapore where she performed with international multi-art group SQUINT. She worked on large-scale projects as co-producer on Artrage‘s dance festival Crossfire & travelled to New Delhi, India to produce choreography for a large-scale dance drama with Dhwani Dance Company. In 2006 Danielle won the Ausdance Award for Dance Film Technology for The Drover’s Wives (PIAF). Earlier this year she set the first ever dance choreography for the Curriculum Council.

Her latest work is ‘Plan B’, now playing at the Dolphin Theatre at the University of Western Australia as part of Buzz Dance Theatre’s double-bill entitled ‘Thrill’.

This is a fantastic piece which combines ambitious and technically challenging dance with clever handling of simple props and set, stunning lighting effects and a brilliant musical score. The theatricality of the piece was outstanding and followed the optimistically begun adulthood of a young man through hope, despair and breakdown into a new maturity. The audience watched in stunned admiration, unable to take their eyes off the stage as elements of humour and powerful physicality mixed with tender and almost naturalistic movement building to an intense climax.

Danielle Micich

Danielle Micich

There is no doubt that Danielle can handle producing the choreography for into the Shimmer Heat at the Heath Ledger Theatre this October. If you get the chance to see Plan B, you can decide for yourself whether there is one in life or not.

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Puppets in Opera

‘Into the Shimmer Heat’ isn’t the first opera that features puppets and puppetry.

Puppets have been used in Opera since the first recorded instance in Venice in 1679.

More recently the film director Antony Minghella worked with the UK’s Blind Summit Theatre to include puppetry in Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ for the English National Opera

Improbable Theatre‘s Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott used puppetry with their production of Phllip Glass’s all-Sanskrit opera for the New York Met about Gandhi’s early life, Satyagraha. Crouch and McDermott, better known as the guys behind  Shockheaded Peter made some extraordinary images using puppetry

satyagraha by the New York Metropolitan Opera

Satygraha for the Metropolitan Opera

The production of ‘Into the Shimmer Heat’ carries on this great tradition by bringing two of the finest puppet artists in Perth, Jo Foley and Ian Tregonning to work together to create moments of extraordinary puppetry for this chamber opera.

A camel is created and animated out of the wreckage of a hot air balloon to carry the mute girl into the shimmering heat of the outback.

opera camel

There are scale changes to show distance and insignificance in the face of the enormous Australian landscape

small opera puppets

Of course with two highly talented puppeteers and theatre makers on the creative team, this production will be a visual feast as well as an aural experience.

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Heath Ledger Theatre opening, Perth

Heath Ledger's family

Heath Ledger's mother Sally, father Kim and sister Kate attend the opening of the new State Theatre Centre and Heath Ledger Theatre in Perth. Picture: Stewart Allen Source: PerthNow


The state theatre venue where ‘Into the Shimmer Heat’ will stage it’s premiere performances opened to great fanfare on January 28th 2011

Unveiling the world-class Northbridge complex yesterday, Premier Colin Barnett called it a remarkable event to rival the opening of His Majesty’s Theatre in 1904 and the Perth Concert Hall in 1973.
theatre seating
The family of the late Perth-born film star Heath Ledger were in the gold-toned, timber-lined theatre named in his honour for the opening.

Heath Ledger’s father Kim, sister Kate and mother Sally Bell said they were overwhelmed by the construction and design.

“I think Heath would have thought it was magnificent. I have said this before, and we all agree, that he must have been a bird on the shoulder of the architect,” Kim Ledger told reporters at the opening.

Kate Ledger added: “It’s reflective of the way he was as a person. The theatre is eerily reflective”.

Ms Bell said she was humbled by the honouring of Ledger’s memory and the day was a “very mixed emotional time for us, but ultimately we’re very, very proud”.

theatre foyer

For a full gallery of images of the theatre and event, visit Perth Now

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5 Must-See Shows in Perth in 2011

If you’re into locally created original theatre and live performance, and you live in or visit Perth, Western Australia, here are my top 5 must see shows this year…

FEBRUARY: Waltzing the WilarraThu 3 Feb – Sun 6 Mar 2011
Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company (Australia)
By David Milroy
A teaming of two of Australia’s leading Indigenous theatre makers, David Milroy (Windmill Baby) and Wesley Enoch (The Sapphires), Waltzing the Wilarra is an original music theatre work featuring an all-star Indigenous cast.
MARCH: Tim Minchin vs The West Australian Symphony Orchestra – Fr1 4 Mar 2011  (Sold Out) – Sat 5 Mar 2011
Comedy rock superstar, Tim Minchin, is back on the road with his biggest live show ever. This show includes brand new songs as well as those much loved Minchin classics, but this time, as you’ve never heard them before – with the 55 piece West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
JUNE: Rising Water25th Jun 2011 – 17th Jul 2011
Black  Swan State Theatre Company
By Tim Winton
Full of the compassion and larrikin humour that are the trademark of Winton’s work, chronicling the lives of outsiders and fringe-dwellers in his unmistakably Western Australian voice
Into the Shimmer Heat
OCTOBER: Into the Shimmer Heat – October 8 – 22, 2011
Nova Ensemble
written and directed by Phil Thomson
DECEMBER: EARTH – December 1-11 2011
Resulting from a year-long process with the finest performing talent under 25 years old in Western Australia, EARTH is a performance that will speak with a contemporary and edgy youth voice. EARTH marks the first in the three year trilogy of originally devised youth theatre ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’

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