Items filtered by date: June 2013
Thursday, 27 June 2013 17:32

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Published in Flipbook
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:39

Fright Or Flight: Circus In Preview

It's not often that you see a show promising a chicken dance or two but new circus ensemble 3 Is A Crowd has somehow incorporated it into their premiere work 'Fright or Flight'.

The production also includes acrobatics, hoop work, juggling and aerial choreography and has been described as chaotic, comical and outright absurd. The show has won Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival and is about to be staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in late July. One of the members, Olivia Porter, explains how the idea came about in the first place. “The idea for the show first hatched when one of the members refused to hang out her washing fearing that all the birds in the neighbourhood were out to get her. Then the ideas just started rolling. We went out and bought as much bird-related paraphernalia as possible, then locked ourselves away with our apparatuses, toys, rubber gloves and butcher’s paper to produce this weirdly wonderful show.”

Describe the show in 5 words?
Amusing. Boisterous. Entertaining. Odd. Fun.

What is your role and how did your involvement come about?
I'm a third of 3 is a Crowd and we are all (pretty much) equally performers, producers, writers, directors, designers, casters, admin and birds.

What is your favourite pre-show snack?
Is this a general question or is this because people always think that circus performers have extreme dietary regimes? To rest people's minds if so, it's a myth, mostly. I was going to be predictable and make a bird-related snack reference, but to be honest, I'm often too nervous to eat.

How do you think the public perceive out-of-the-box productions like this one where there is no defined genre?
The genre is technically 'circus/ physical theatre', yet when people ask me to try describe the show I do have a lot of difficulty. We do essentially have a story(ish) or a journey for each of us should I say, but it's the type of show where you take what you want, there is no right or wrong. The day before we premiered this show, we were all going out of our minds with fear that people were just going to walk away thinking 'what the f@#k was that?'. And people did think that but they loved it! Although many weren't totally sure what to think, they still had a blast. We walked away with an award. We were beyond imagining that would happen when we opened at Adelaide Fringe. But I guess the more opened-minded you come to this show, the more fun you will have.

Describe your preparation for this role.
A room full of bird paraphernalia, with a bird-related soundtrack and a bunch of yellow rubber gloves. We all have put the hard yards of training to perfect our skills, this was about making a show that was fun, silly and doing what we love to do.

What do you want audiences to say as they leave?
The juggler was my favourite!

What's the last thing you think before you step on stage?
Have I got my newspaper?

Fav. line or moment in the production and why?
The opening scene, you never know what exactly might happen. We have all had moments of walking away from that scene with tears of pain but it's all worthwhile. It's been by far my most favourite way to start a show. All your senses are on edge, you get pumped full of adrenalin, you can't see anything and all you can hear is the sound of 'whooshing' and the audience laughing but you have no idea what at (this will obviously make more sense once you see the show).

Anything else readers should know?
There is no audience participation!

'Fright or Flight' is on at the Judith Wright Centre from July 6-13.

Published in Events Arts
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:34

This Is The End: Film In Review

It's the end of the world and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg feel fine.

The childhood friends and longtime writing partners ('Knocked Up', 'Superbad', 'Pineapple Express', 'Funny People', 'The Green Hornet') make their directorial debut with 'This Is The End', an apocalyptic comedy that suggests the safest place to spend the end of days might just be James Franco's house.

Rogen, Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson, Michael Cera and dozens of other actors play themselves in the audacious comedy. None of the celebrities come off too well in the film, but when we caught up with Rogen and Goldberg in real life, both gents were warm and witty.

Though it's yet to be released here, the film is already a monster hit in the US, where it came second only to 'Man Of Steel' at the box office. Now that it's a success, it's easy for industry observers to say they knew the metafictional comedy would work, but Rogen and Goldberg admit they had their doubts.

“We knew that the stupid people would think it was self-indulgent,” Rogen laughs, in that over-powering way that only he can, “the people that didn't want to take the time to really try to read into what we were doing in any way, shape or form. I mean, it's self-referential, more than it is self-indulgent. It's all done with the goal of entertaining the audience and telling a story. It's not just so we could hang out with each other. There are much easier ways for us to hang out with each other than to make a movie!”

“I don't know if you can call it self-indulgent,” Goldberg adds, “when everybody's making themselves look absolutely terrible.” 

Each actor plays a caricature of themselves, and like all caricatures, there is some basis in reality for their heightened portrayals. Rogen really is a nice guy, Baruchel really is a Hollywood outsider, Franco really is a renaissance man, Hill really is proud of his dramatic roles, McBride really is a straight-shooter and Robinson really does sing 'Take Your Panties Off' at Hollywood parties. If any of them had dropped out of the production, they'd have been impossible to recast.

“Oh, we would have had to completely re-write the character,” Goldberg says, confirming how exposed the production was. “All six main characters are completely designed for these actors, and we did it with the actors. We worked on it with them, so... that would have sucked.”

“We really put on as much pressure as we could,” Rogen laughs. “We really tried to get across to them, you know, that if you tell us you're doing this, it would put us in a really weird situation if you then decided not to do it.”

'This Is The End' showcases Rogen and Goldberg's comedic sensibility in its purest state, a far cry from their watered down work on 'The Green Hornet'. When asked if they'd ever take on another big-budget franchise like that, they admit they prefer to work without a filter.

“Honestly, I think the 'PG-13-ness' of it all is the most off-putting thing for us creatively,” Rogen says. “It's just so frustrating when you're making a movie and you know it could be funnier than what you're doing. That was the thing we encountered a lot in 'Green Hornet'. There were so many times when we were like, 'oh man, if they could just say this, it would be so fuckin' funny'. But you just can't do it, you know?

“That's what's so much fun about a movie like 'This Is The End'. You can do anything! Those crazy ideas? You can do them! For us, honestly, for how we want to spend our days... it's so much more fun to spend your day doing what you really feel is the funniest thing you could possibly be doing, as opposed to doing what you know is a muted version of what you could be doing.”

'This Is The End' lays waste to Australian cinemas on July 4.

Published in Film
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:30

Giselle: Ballet In Preview

Queensland Ballet's latest production 'Giselle' is an exquisite, traditional ballet requiring exceptional technical and dramatic skills, it is a heart-rending tale of betrayal and forgiveness that will touch your heart.

The ballet tells the tragic story of Giselle, an innocent village girl whose broken heart causes her to succumb to an untimely death. Deep in the moonlit forest, she emerges in the twilight spirit world of the vengeful Wilis spirits. When her repentant lover Albrecht visits her grave, only Giselle’s undying love and devotion can sustain him through the Wilis’ irresistible, deathly dance. In this version of the ballet, helmed by Artistic Director Li Cunxin, there are three dancers sharing the role of Giselle including Queensland Ballet Principal dancer Rachael Walsh.

“I'll be dancing it with two Albrecht's this time in a first for QLD Ballet and it is wonderful to have the chance to dance this ballet with two such talented men.” Rachael has been with the Queensland Ballet since 1998 and a Principal since 2002 and she is enamoured with this particular story. “Giselle is one of my favourite classical ballets. Mainly because I believe it is the most pure, there is nothing extra added. The story is told so simply and so beautifully in the choreography and there is quite a difference between the first and second acts.”

For those who are unsure of the storyline, she explains the plot. “The first act is set in a village scene. It's very alive and very youthful and quite joyous and when Giselle and the Prince meet, their relationship flourishes in the first act. The second act, also known as the white act, is Giselle's afterlife as she dies at the end of the first act (which is a shock to many people that the lead character dies). But the second act where she becomes a Wilis in the afterlife is really quite astounding, probably one of the most beautiful acts in dance.”

With a cast of talented creatives at the helm of this production, the troupe of dancers is in very capable hands but Rachael points out that there are some elements that cannot be taught but are expressed.

“With the actual dance steps, there is always creative licence that an artist can take. In this production however, the choreographer Ai-Gul Gaisana, has taken quite a traditional take on the ballet. With Giselle, there is always room for artistic interpretations in her reactions and her emotional journey she goes on. It's the same as with any actor or performer who needs to express what someone is thinking and feeling. It's about the nuances and subtleties in the individual dancer's performance.”

Pausing to think, Rachael adds, “it's such a challenging role for both the female and male leads. Technically it is very difficult and physically it is very exhausting, but also because it's such a journey they both go on through love, betrayal and forgiveness. So it's quite emotionally draining at the end of the night as well. But you are left with a beautiful feeling of hope that life with go on and that love goes on. And though it sounds like a sad story, it is full of love and peace and it has almost a magical feel to the ending.”

'Giselle' will be at the Playhouse, QPAC until July 6.

Published in Ballet

Twelfth Night Theatre will host a musical celebration of love in all its mysterious glory this July.

Entitled ‘LOVE… and all that follows’, the performance will star Australian television icon Lisa McCune and award-winning recording artist Kane Alexander as they sing a catalogue of songs concerning matters of the heart. Leading man Kane Alexander says he and Lisa will be covering a diverse range of material.

“It's a piece that explores the many facets of love through song,” he explains. “There are so many songs that have been written about love in all its forms. We're looking at early love when it first blossoms, love at first sight, right through to unrequited love and parental love. There are so many songs to choose from that it's been quite a difficult task to pull all the songs in but we've got a diverse mix of material.”

Kane’s career to date has been an illustrious one. He is a well-established star of the musical stage and has collected numerous awards. As a career highlight, he lists his performance at Rupert Murdoch’s 70th birthday party alongside jazz royalty Natalie Cole. Having already worked with Lisa McCune on previous projects, Kane says he is relishing the opportunity to perform with Australian television’s favourite leading lady once again.

“Lisa is amazing, we’ve worked together before in a production called 'Urine Town,' which is an unfortunate title. We played lovers in the show and she's just extraordinary because she brings something new every single night. I don’t know whether that’s her background in television where you're trying new things all the time but she’s incredibly disciplined. It's such a joy never knowing what type of performance you're going to get. It keeps it really fresh and she’s very funny and very dedicated and I love her to bits. It's been seven or eight years since we did 'Urine Town' so it is lovely to be working with her again.”

Kane and Lisa are joined by musical director Denis Follington, who instructed both actors in musical theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

“Dennis has been in the industry for such a long time,” says Kane. “In the role he had at WAPA as the head of music, he was responsible for developing so many theatre practitioners and he's quite inspiring because of his breadth of knowledge. He's so knowledgeable about music — and not just theatre music, right through to contemporary music as well. It's been quite incredible; he's like an encyclopedia when it comes to music. We've been looking at which material we would perform and Dennis has been throwing music at us from all angles and all periods in music. It's been quite inspiring.”

Most of all, Kane hopes that 'LOVE… and all that follows' will give punters the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences with that ubiquitous four-letter word.

“The whole point of this piece is to take the audience on a journey. Love is such a universal thing and we all experience love in different forms throughout our lifetimes. The point of this is to highlight different forms of love and what it means to different people. If the audience walks out having analysed their own feelings towards love and relived with how they've connected with love throughout their lives, then we've done our job well.”

Kane Alexander will perform in 'LOVE… and all that follows' for one night only on Thursday July 18 at The Twelfth Night Theatre.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:25

Kryptamistik: Suburban Breakthrough

Brisbane based hip hop duo Kryptamistik will bring new energy to the 'burbs when they showcase their skills at the upcoming Jam N Beats festival.

Emcees Skinz and Nikzman are no strangers to street culture. After more than a decade of making hip hop music, these two local heads are still creating waves in the scene. The local setting is one the lads prefer to perform in, says Skinz.

“We've grown up out in the suburbs our whole lives so we definitely love the opportunities to play in different places, especially out in the local community. We've been doing parties out in the bush for instance, as opposed to night spots in the city and Valley.”

The Jam N Beats event – which is designed as a free, all-ages cultural experience set in Greenslopes –  is something that Skinz thoroughly supports.

“I think it's a really good experience, especially for people who are trying to make their music heard. You've gotta be in it for the long haul, but things like this are gaining in popularity. I think that's what we need in Brisbane, is more people to get a chance to see it and experience it, so that we can all catch up a little more culturally here.”
Aside from preparing for the upcoming show, Skinz says Kryptamistik have future goals set outside Australia's borders.

“I've only been out of the country a couple of times to close places like Bali and New Zealand. I've got friends that travel the world and play our music overseas and say that people love it. We've been playing here for something like 14 years, so it would be good to get a bit of a buzz with something new, and take that to different lands and see how they respond to it.”

The life of an aspiring musician can indeed prove difficult, although Skinz is able to share some of his wisdom from an underground perspective.

“I think we all want to make a career and a life, it's one of those things that you've gotta be doing for the love. And you can't get sucked into riding any bandwagons too.”

Kryptamistik perform at Jam N Beats at Club Greenslopes Saturday June 29. The day kicks off at 12pm and is free.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:19

Purpose: An Honest Rhyme

If you were to describe Purpose’s new self-produced LP, ‘Where It Starts’, with one word, it’d be ‘honest’.   

“Usually if I'm on the money, I'm on the money ... It's not personal in the sense that all the songs are extremely, extremely, extremely personal, more so in the sense that if you were to speak with a 22 year old and for them to be completely honest, off the bat, that is what it would sound like. If that makes sense. And there's a lot more party records in there as well.”

Purpose has come a long way from the freestyle rapping battles he’s known for, with the Adelaide rapper having battled at the Scribble Jam MC tournament in the US at age 17.

“Starting early was the best thing I ever did. I started making beats when I was around 15. I'm 24 now so obviously you learn a lot between then and now, especially those four years between 17 and 21. I did a lot of releases at the time but I was just putting out free mixtapes. I went for a sort of solo statement about who you are so I was mindful of just putting one out. I think it's far more direct and far more genuine. I think that after a while you stop making what you think people want you to and start making what you like. That's kind of the turning point for any artist.”

Coming from Adelaide, a city rich in hip hop culture, Purpose was influenced by local heroes. 

“In a worldly sense, I was influenced by a lot of artists from overseas but a lot of my influences were those guys because they were happening in my own backyard. “
If Purpose wasn't a hip hop artist, he would still be performing in front of crowds.

“This will sound weird because I'm a really laidback person and I don't give a shit about a great deal of things. I'm a pretty low maintenance person. But I think just being able to speak to people is really important to me and so I would find something or somewhere to do that in some capacity if I wasn't rapping on a record. I'm probably the kind of person who would get frustrated enough at reality that I would go into politics or some shit like that.”

Purpose plays Sprung Festival at Victoria Park Sat Sept 21.
sprunghiphop.com.au

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 15:04

Bankrupt Billionaires: Street Culture Kings

It’s been over a year since Bankrupt Billionaires dropped their debut EP. Now they’re back with a bag of new tricks and a performance not to be missed this weekend.

Brisbestfest – pieced together by the Billionaires own vocalist Kel Timmons aka Kel on Earth – boasts a day of aerosol art, markets, and a sizzling line-up of local hip hop acts. Timmons is elated at the opportunity to bring the event to West End.

“I like it because it's very grassroots and community — it's crew. To me it's just all my favourite people put together and they happen to be amazing artists. This is during the day on a gravel pit, with aerosol art everywhere.”

When it comes to organising street culture initiatives, Kel says it’s very much a community effort.

“You really have to do it yourself, you can't fully rely on some venues and councils like you can in places like Melbourne. It's really hard to get things off the ground so you have to be really passionate, but people are there to support it and people are down. We've thrown this all together off the back of next to no budget, so it's very much an artist initiative.”

It’s a culture that Timmons has been involved with for many years, and continues to flourish with events like Brisbestfest. But she explains how she was first motivated to refine her hip hop sound for the Bankrupt Billionaires.

“I'm really into a lot of nu-soul, and in particular some of the underground stuff; specifically Georgia Anne Muldrow, who's probably my biggest influence. I did jazz for a long time and still do, it's kind of my paper maker. I'm totally influenced by all singers of that genre, and because I've also got a hip hop sensibility, I like to think I put a new edge on beats.”

BB are close to releasing a record of their own, a prospect that Timmons says is well overdue.

“It’s about 95 percent done. It's sitting there at the moment and we're just chasing a few back-up singers for vocals. Some of the songs are close to four years old, so we're excited to get them out there.”

Bankrupt Billionaires headline the all-ages Brisbestfest, 2 Edmonstone St. West End June 29 from 2-8pm.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 14:49

Clubfeet: Feet First

After a big start to 2013, Clubfeet are set to go to the next level on their first national headline tour.

The Sydney electro-pop outfit released their debut album, ‘Heirs And Graces’, to much applause earlier in the year, and are relishing their newfound exposure.

"It's been a great year so far," says lead vocalist/ guitarist Sebastian Cohen. "Everything that we've wanted to achieve we've done, and done really well. We were thrilled to get a lot of support from radio across the board and are very happy with the album."

The five-piece are renowned for their work ethic on the road, so it's difficult to imagine how they get the time to write such dense and heavily layered songs.

"We write pretty sporadically at times, but we're always writing something. I think it's just our approach to this type of thing. I've always called Yves [bass/ co-songwriter] the hit machine — he can just sit down and write songs wherever and be successful every time. He knows how to get what he wants.

"Me, on the other hand, I never have something in mind, I just write because I almost need to. I do go through periods where I hate everything I do, but that's just my method. I write a lot of work but might only get a little bit out of it. “

Moving to Australia in 2006 from South Africa, Sebastian hasn't looked back. He remembers an important band from that time which sparked a shift in his tastes.

"I had just come out of a period where I was only listening to electronic and dance music, and it was around then that I got stuck into Arcade Fire and their first album, ‘Funeral’. Along with Broken Social Scene that caused a definite shift in my tastes. I think our debut reflects that; more electronic sounds mixed with organic sounds."

Much has been said about Clubfeet's live shows, but Sebastian insists it's all a natural process.

"It's something that has definitely evolved naturally to where it is. When there was only three of us we didn't really know what we were doing, but now that we have five the live show has come a long way. It's at a stage where it's just exciting and lots of fun to play the songs live and feel confident about it."

Clubfeet play Oh Hello July 18. ‘Heirs & Graces’ is out now.

Published in Pop/ Electro
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 14:30

Kooii: Roots And All

After a break from performing, Australian roots group Kooii are teaming up with Earth Frequency Festival to bring together a soulful night of groove music culture.

Lead singer and trumpet player Peter Hunt is excited to get the band back on stage together after some time spent focusing on other projects.
“There's always this looking forward to doing Kooii gigs because we don't get to play enough.”

The new show promises to be full of energy and will feature some special guests.

“We'll have some extra horns helping us with the rhythm. We're also going to have a couple friends dancing with us,” Peter explains. “It's inspiring to see what they're going to come up with.”

Kooii want high energy and they want the crowd to dance, but they don't want that to detract from the message and the feeling of the music. Fans can expect some new songs from the group when they take the stage next month, with Kooi's music having changed a lot over the past ten years.

“There's been an obvious increase in tempo and in the fullness of the instrumentation. I guess energy wise it's a higher energy thing. I think it's really important to us to start with slow reggae grooves. I guess it's important to me personally to kind of gather myself up in that groove.”

After their July gig, Kooii will retreat to the studio to start work on a new album which the band hope to release mid next year. They will then resurface for a string of shows in November and December.

For now, Peter and the band can't wait to take the stage, which will mark their second show this year after the Earth Frequency Festival in February.

“When we do our own shows it means we get to play for longer, which is important for us because we've got a lot of music and we like to take our time setting in and taking the time to draw out songs and see where they go.”

Kooii will take to the stage with Chocolate Strings, Ladi Abundance and Georgia Potter at The Hi-Fi Saturday July 13.

Published in Rock
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