On Saturday, I went to an interesting event held by the Royal New Zealand Ballet in connection with their upcoming triple bill of three new works. The forum was held at the St James Theatre, the home of the company, and took place in one of the studios.
The panel consisted of Ethan Stiefel, the artistic director of the company and choreographer of one of the new pieces, Javier de Frutos and Andrew Simmons, the choreographers of the other two pieces, and designers Allan Lees and Kate Venables. The discussion led the audience through how a new ballet is put together, from the inspiration, the music, the design, through to the final production.
It was a fascinating discussion and an interesting grouping of talent as well. The artistic director has been working with an experienced designer (Allan Lees) on a piece set in a beer hall; the maverick Javier de Frutos, whose new work is the fourth he has made for the company; and a young Kiwi choreographer, Andrew Simmons, who has collaborated with a young designer, Kate Venables, an ex dancer who has been working at the Weta workshops. She told us her main concern was to create costumes that could easily be put into a washing machine! As well as discussing the pieces, the panel also discussed the problems of putting together a triple bill and the future of ballet. These last topics belong more to my dance blog than here I think! Anyway, after the discussion we were treated to a visit to the costume workshop and wardrobe, followed by a glass of wine. It was a great afternoon and I am looking forward to seeing the triple bill at the start of March.
The poster for RNZB’s triple bill
On Sunday we went to have another look at what is going to be our new home. We have been extremely lucky in not only finding somewhere so fast, but finding somewhere that is fully equipped so we don’t need to find furniture (except for a bed for Anton) until our own stuff arrives in April. The house can be approached two ways, ‘from the top’ down 90 (I haven’t counted them but was told this was the case) steps or ‘from the bottom’ where there is a slope and some steps. Well, we won’t need to join a gym with the exercise we are going to get!
The top entrance of 144a Upland Road
Living in a jungle? Actually only 20 minutes walk from the city centre
The house has two bedrooms, a large living room, small study, bathroom, good sized kitchen/dining room and a laundry with a downstairs toilet. The garden is – well – green. Luckily there is a gardener that comes once a month for what I would call the hard stuff, though I am pleased there is a patch for me to play in and lots of pots to put some herbs in.
Part of the garden
The house was built in 1929 and is a wooden house. We are lucky to have central heating but of course there is no double glazing, so it will be interesting to see how cold the house will be in the winter. I’ll write more on the house once we move in.
The lower entrance – the one I think I will be using most!