22 November @ The Quarry Amphitheatre, City Beach ·
Presented by WAYJO ·
WAYJO’s three big bands bring the diverse styles of American Jazz to life in band-picked selections at the Quarry Amphitheatre on Friday 22 November at 7.30pm.
From New York to Chicago, New Orleans to Las Vegas, Detroit, Hollywood and Cuba, WAYJO will take you on a jazz journey like no other. Bring your picnic blanket, friends and family to enjoy some of the best big band jazz WA has to offer, all at one of Perth’s most picturesque venues. Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.com.au
West Australian Ballet, ‘In-Synch: Ballet at the Quarry’ ·
West Australian Ballet, Friday 8 February ·
Review by Amy Wiseman ·
West Australian Ballet’s annual outdoor season sees ballet fans flock to Floreat’s magnificent Quarry Amphitheatre for a balmy summer evening of dance. This year’s programme, “In-Synch: Ballet at the Quarry”, features four short contemporary ballet works, including a unique collaboration with WA’s flagship contemporary dance company, Co3 Australia. Arriving early at the venue allows for the added luxury of a shared picnic in the setting sun and the chance to observe the artists warm up and prepare for the performance.
Opening the evening, Finnish choreographer Johanna Nuutinen’s X-It uses both live performance and a projected film, which was shot in the iconic Fremantle Prison. Unsettling in theme, the work explores our psychological reaction to constant surveillance.
An eerie, suspenseful solo, aided by Thomas Norvio’s sparse sound design, unfolds both on and off the screen, performed with strength and precision on opening night by Kymberleigh Cowley. Though the concept is not fully explored and ideas feel fractured, the piece is technically impressive, as the cast of six weave and arc through physically demanding duets.
Itzik Galili’s The Sofa follows a short interval. This comical romp, originally performed by the company in 2014, delighted the opening night crowd. Though thematically a little dated on the issue of sexuality and dare I say, consent, on the whole this work is clever and engaging with charming characterisation (in this casting) from dancers Matthew Lehmann, Chihiro Nomura and a sassy Oscar Valdés.
The world premiere of In-Synch follows. Conceived by Aurélien Scannella and Sandy Delasalle this is an improvised work with the musical score selected by the audience each night. Performance improvisation, as those of us who have tried it will attest, is immensely challenging and demanding. The craft often requires years of specific training even without the added restriction and specificity of the classical form, and unfortunately this ambitious experiment misses the mark.
The company dancers move between a series of constructed tableaus using guided frameworks featuring morphing lighting states by Michael Rippon and movement provocations by former WAB dancer David Mack. For the most part, the work felt structurally transparent and tentative at the performance viewed, though a brief duet by Dayana Hardy and Juan Carlos Osma found space to captivate with stunning partnering and responsiveness.
Concluding the evening, is Reincarnation, a new work created for this season by renowned Australian choreographer Garry Stewart. Bold and visually striking, Reincarnation uses company artists and dancers from Co3 Australia, to full exertion. Clad in saturated reds and blues, ungendered bodies parade in ritualistic procession, moving with Stewart’s characteristic tension and physical intensity. Eccentric and at times ironic, the suspended fantasy felt bewildering and otherworldly but it was difficult to remain completely absorbed, despite the theatrics. Fire-cracker Katherine Gurr (Co3 Australia) and the lithe Polly Hilton (WAB) delivered powerful commanding performances amongst a cast of proficient and committed artists.
Artistic opinions aside, it was wonderful to see an Australian choreographer, particularly one of such esteem in the programming this year, as well as witnessing the (currently) rare opportunity for professional West Australian artists in ballet and contemporary disciplines to share the process and the stage together at a Perth Festival event. I look forward to future collaborations between these two wonderful companies.
31 October – 4 November @ The Quarry Amphitheatre, City Beach ·
Presented by Platinum Entertainment ·
From the team that brought you We Will Rock You Perth comes
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR in November 2018 at The Quarry Amphitheatre.
A rock masterpiece that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is a timeless and extraordinary production. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s global phenomenon exploded onto the stage in 1971 and changed the world of musicals forever.
This, the greatest story ever told, is based on the last week of Jesus’s life. Propelled by a stirring score, by tunes driving and majestic, satirical and tender, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR illuminates the transcendent power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart.
Enjoy a night under the stars with the stars in this ultimate theatrical experience.
Sam Rabbone Music Page – The Voice Australia
Clay Darius – AViiDA and The Voice Australia
Jamie Mercanti – Slim Jim Enterprises
Vin Trikeriotis as Jesus
Genevieve Wilson as Mary
“A triumph…Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score is vibrant, richly varied and always dramatically right and much the same things can be said of Tim Rice’s lyrics.”
– Daily News
“For a 2,000-year-old story set to 30-year-old music, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR still has a fresh, timeless appeal. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music is haunting, snappy and touching… Tim Rice’s lyrics are too good to miss a word.”
– Sue Merrell Grand Rapids Press
Perth Festival Review: “Milky Way – Ballet at the Quarry” by West Australian Ballet ·
The Quarry Amphitheatre, 10 February ·
Review by Amy Wiseman ·
On a typical Perth summer’s evening, the magic of the Quarry Amphitheatre is evident; one can look up into our cavernous clear skies and see the stars. Always an atmospheric venue for West Australian Ballet’s annual “Ballet at the Quarry” season, it is particularly apt this year. While the impact of the heavenly vista is compromised initially with a conspicuous backdrop, “Milky Way: Ballet at the Quarry” gracefully weaves together four works, linked by the pursuit of celestial voyaging, under a sparkling sky.
Patrick Delcroix’s Paradise Within opens the evening, with a cast of nine dancers who cross the space in search of their own resolution. Duets morph and cascade across the space, with young artist April Maguire notable for her ease and athleticism at the performance viewed.
A personal highlight of the evening was Claude Brumachon’s Les Indomptés, danced beautifully on Saturday night by Adam Alzaim and Oscar Valdes. Syncopated canons and unexpected movement pairings, performed in close proximity, build satisfying motifs and repetitions. These give way to soaring leaps around each other, then stop suddenly to form impossible stacked balances. A wonderful shift in dynamics, this short work highlights the expression, commitment and strength of both men, demanding them to move swiftly between sharp, vigorous gestures and a despairing tenderness.
In Christopher Hill’s Ghost Gum, a free-standing set is gradually lit, showing the texture and detail of the knots and bumps of a gum tree. We see a silhouette of two women dressed in long white dresses dipped in colour at the base. While the shapes and fluidity in this piece are beautiful to watch, the choreography feels sparse and repetitive, relying on simplicity and unison rather than developing the characterisation of the pair as Earth and Water. On Saturday night Polly Hilton and Brooke Widdison-Jacobs were controlled, graceful guardians of this landscape, ebbing and rippling across the space in sweeping lines and undulating waves. The execution by both dancers was detailed, skilful and poised, although knowing that the two are powerful technicians, they felt a little under-utilised.
The final work of the evening is Milnjiya: Milky Way – River of Stars choreographed by Gary Lang; an unprecedented collaboration between West Australian Ballet, Lang’s Darwin-based NT Dance Company, traditional cultural artists from Yirrkala (East Arnhem Land) and operatic soprano and Yorta Yorta woman Deborah Cheetham AO.
A ceremonial entrance sets the tone for this Yolngu story, which tells of the transition of spirits as they leave our realm to become part of Milnjiya (the Milky Way). Cloaked in ochre, the dancers’ first movements emit powdered blooms of dust that coat the floor in white, gradually hinting at the vividly coloured costumes beneath, which are revealed throughout the work. The women rise from the dust in soft kneeling shuffles, then transition gracefully through rolling duets and endless arcing lifts, held aloft effortlessly by the men. The effect is mesmeric, and heightened by Cheetham’s soaring melody.
For a work with so many elements, the craft required to stage this feat is refined and sophisticated. While some sequences feel a little disjointed, each component holds equal value and is given space in the work to shine.
It’s a satisfying note to end a beautiful evening – a celebration of the sharing of cultures, movement and story.
9 February – 3 March @ Quarry Amphitheatre ∙
Presented by: West Australian Ballet ∙
Dance and dining under the stars – be part of this summer tradition. Celebrate the raw energy of dance and the beauty of human movement with a vibrant program of four works.
Indulge in a breathtaking feast for the soul when the Larrakia and Yorta Yorta nations, ballet and opera come together to re-tell a traditional Yolngu Milky Way creation story. Milngya, Milky Way – River of Stars is a groundbreaking collaboration between Gary Lang NT Dance Company, West Australian Ballet and Opera artist Deborah Cheetham AO.
Feel the wild and savage take flight in Les Indomptés as Claude Brumachon presents a ‘dual flight’ full of energy.
Let WAB’s own demi-soloist Christopher Hill enchant you with the premiere of Ghost Gum, a gorgeous duet for two women.
Be seduced by the fluidity of French choreographer Patrick Delcroix as he brings his work to Perth for the first time.