Tag Archives: Perth

We launch our ‘Friends of the Opera’ scheme

become a friendRecently, we offered an opportunity for a lucky subscriber to win free tickets to see ‘…into the Shimmer Heat’ our dazzling new chamber opera in development, premièring in Perth, Western Australia, later this year. Many people subscribed to this blog and we thank you for keeping in touch with our blog posts by email.

We’ve set up a new page called ‘Become a friend’ which describes the many benefits becoming a friend can bring and you can go straight to the page here.

In order to become a friend, you have to send an email. We hope that you do as you will get a lot more than just having our blog posts drop into your in box.

David Pye, Phil Thomson and Lee Buddle

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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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Filed under Culture Australia, dance, theatre

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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Sara Macliver shines in world premiere

David Pye of the Nova Ensemble writes:

I was fortunate to be at the world premiere of Iain Grandage’s new song cycle – Life Stories – during the recent Perth International Arts Festival. It’s a significant addition to the repertoire, and Sara’s performance was immaculate.

sara macliver

Sara Macliver

Neville Cohn’s review in the West Australian is here

Sara’s understanding of music ranging from the baroque to contemporary is unparalleled in Perth – what an intelligent singer she is! I can’t wait to work with her in Nova Ensemble’s new opera into the SHIMMER HEAT in October at the new WA State Theatre Centre.

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Filed under Culture Australia, Music, opera

Our Percussionist Bangs it out with the All Stars

Paul MacPhail – producer of into the SHIMMER HEAT writes

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the PIAF Concert of new music by the New York based Bang On A Can All-Stars at the Perth Concert Hall. One of their feature pieces was a composition by Steve Reich – 2 x5.

Paul Tanner from into the SHIMMER HEAT

 

Bang On A Can All-Stars

Bang On A Can All-Stars

Driving rhythms, waves of crashing guitars and a wonderful cacophony of noise. Fantastic! And into the SHIMMER HEAT‘s Paul Tanner was invited onstage for the final piece to showcase his wonderful vibraphone playing – and rightfully took his place for a standing ovation.

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So You Think You Can Dance… in an Opera!!

design image with dancerProfessional Dance Audition Opportunity

into the Shimmer Heat is a new West Australian opera to be staged by Nova Ensemble in the new Heath Ledger Theatre in October this year.  The lead character is mute, and will be played by a young contemporary dancer.  Her character, Nina, is a teenager struck dumb by her father’s untimely death in the desert.  Emotionally damaged she seeks solace in goth-rock music. Her mother seeks to cure her by taking her, by hot air balloon, into the desert where her dad disappeared. There she undergoes more trials and tragedy before triumphing over adversity.  She communicates through dance.

The cast consists of 5 opera singers (including internationally regarded divas Sara Macliver and Fiona Campbell), two puppeteers and a dancer. This is a fully professional production.  It will be directed by Phil Thomson, and choreographed by Danielle Micich.  Music by David Pye and Lee Buddle.  It’s supported by the State Government’s Major Production Fund.

We are seeking a dancer for this fully professional role with the following attributes…
·          Training and/or professional experience in contemporary dance

·          Confidence in working with task based methods and improvising.

·          Able to play a 16 year old girl (ie under 24 years of age)

·          Able to deal with heights (the dancer will be flying high)

·          An understanding/experience of acting process

·          Some singing ability (Nina sings two lines)

·          Availability for full time rehearsals in September and performances in the first half of October.  There will also be workshop sessions during April/May that can fit the dancer’s availability.

Primarily we are seeking a wonderful young dancer with the desire to work hard and take full advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. She will receive theatre and singing coaching during the development process.

Dancers interested in this role are asked to submit an expression of interest in the role by emailing director Phil Thomson by Monday March 7 2010 with a biog or c.v. that outlines their dance experience and addresses the criteria listed above.  We will invite dancers to audition from those who have applied.

Auditions for the dance role will be held on Sunday March 20 at King Street Arts Centre.

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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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