Posts in Dance
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Compared with even three years ago, we can, today, do a hell of a lot when and wherever we want to. We're in the middle of an exciting period in the development of human communications. Few working-age people in the UK live off-grid. Mobile phone technology and the Internet have hopped into bed together and decided to consummate their digital relationship. There's no reason to be incommunicado anymore, save you lose your charger, lose your phone, laptop or tablet PC, or find you've got no signal.
Digital technology is dazzling us like a siren. We have become enchanted, but instead of dragging us into the drink, technology and its battalions of aps, programmes and social media platforms is speeding us up.
Those gaps between our daily tasks are being filled by texting, tweeting and updating, or fretting over which ironing board cover product review to believe. These downtimes are precious times. These moments of sanctity, whether a quiet 15 minutes with a book or five minutes of idle daydreaming, bring balance to our lives. We seem to be 'moving' a lot more than we used to. In all senses of the word. Gentle reflection has made way for connection, silence for sound, and patience for impatience.
Our dancers are using the movement-stillness dynamic as the theme of their next show, Stillness in a Mobile World. Professional choreographers will work with third-year dancers to capture some of the spirit of our age through elements and fusions of ballet, commercial, jazz and tap. It is a challenging theme to explore through such a dynamic art form.
That's the beauty of art, though. You work from a blank slate, whether that's a piece of canvas or a group of students, shaping and creating until you find that perfect combination of colours, that perfect combination of movements. Art can say what you want it to say. It's like a ball of magical play putty.
On a similar note, in December some of LIPA's management students are putting on a secret cinema event in Liverpool, particularly aimed at those looking to escape the Christmas hullabaloo - and go off-grid - for a few hours.
Their event, called The Hidden Picture Show, is a film-screening with a difference. To find out more information and book tickets you'll have to go online. Digital technology's really has got us, hasn't it. The web in particular has become as sticky as an extra sticky, sticky-toffee pudding.
ON NOVEMBER 6, Americans go to the polls to choose who they want in the White House for the next four years. Just a few days before they do, we will be staging our production of the high-kicking musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
The timing is perfect as the show is partly about political sidestepping and, as in most elections where mega amounts of power and clout are up for grabs, there will be some of that going on.
SOME news from LIPA ahead of its graduation ceremony next week...
THE celebrated choreographer Matthew Bourne and the musician and music video director Kevin Godley will become LIPA Companions during The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts' graduation ceremony on Wednesday, 25 July 2012.
They are among seven luminaries who will be presented with the award by LIPA co-founder Sir Paul McCartney.
There's a lot of noise on the Internet about 2012. Some, basing their theories on Mayan calendar cycles, say we can look forward to fiery annihilation in December. Others, who have been busy with calculators, calendars and Hindu teachings, say this year marks the end of a dark period in our history and the start of a golden era.
Although I hesitate while writing this, not wanting to tempt fate, I'm pretty sure we won't be dashing for our tin hats come the 12th month. NASA says so, too. Many brush off the second theory as a concoction of religious teachings and myths cooked up by conspiracy theorists, albeit less morbidly pessimistic ones.
These theories, and many like them, should not be read literally, though. They seem symptomatic of the human condition. A lot of people, judging by the gargantuan mass of web pages dedicated to conspiracy theories, are in a spiritual semi-vacuum, looking for something to believe in and feeling disenchanted by what Western society has to offer. We are, I think, looking for a change of some sort.
WITH a brand spanking new studio to prepare in Phoenix Dance say from now on the only limit to their work will be their imaginations so this charismatic programme of four diverse pieces includes one centred around aerial movement, something the Leeds-based company has never done before.
Melt, by Phoenix's artistic director Sharon Watson, draws on the visual effect of elements colliding - the dancers shape-shifting to the primeval-meets-pop sounds of Mercury-nominated Wild Beasts as fire comes into contact with ice.
WHAT pressure Matthew Bourne must have felt devising a new version of Prokofiev's Cinderella ballet with the composer's son in the room sketching the dancers at work.
But he needn't have worried for while there are muses a plenty in this thrilling take on the rags to riches tale - 1940s films and real-life bombing raids among them - the original score remains the choreographer's most deeply felt inspiration.
Set during the London Blitz, the piece draws on the themes of loss, isolation and hurried romance to create an interpretation that enhances the fairytale qualities of the Cinderella story while embedding it in reality.
Yet all three are beautiful in their simplicity, reflected in the barely there yet striking stage sets.
The first is a waterfall, which in Freq is as much a part of the choreography as the solo dancer's movements.
Elana Zaino begins almost stiffly, before the water releases her, cascading off her back in a fan and splattering across the stage as she flicks her hair.
Her motion becomes primal, matching the intensity of Brian Eno's and David Byrne's soundtrack.
I INTERVIEWED Ballet Black choreographer Henri Oguike last week for a piece in yesterday's paper on his new triple bill of dance coming to the Liverpool Playhouse in February.
It's always interesting hearing choreographers talk about their work because words are not usually part of their main form of expression. So it helps when there's a film to watch . . .
IN CASE you missed it in last Wednesday's paper, here is my list of 10 shows that shouldn't be missed in 2011. . .
1. AFTER bringing his spectacular Swan Lake to the Empire Theatre in 2010, Matthew Bourne returns with his 1940s version of Cinderella. This extraordinary production transforms the heroine from a dejected princess to a daughter ignored by her large step-family and the prince into an air force pilot searching for her in the Blitz.
The costumes are beautiful, resembling Erte paintings, and the stage sets ambitious with a steam train entering the stage in the final scene.
MATTHEW BOURNE'S Cinderella, Empire Theatre, April 26-30.
Swan Lake, which he brought here at the beginning of this year, was really magical and I've been hoping his company would come back ever since.
The ballet is set in London during the Second World War and uses Prokofiev's original score. A chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz.
Tickets go on sale today.