Today all four Crows Feet groups got together to strut our stuff in the Paekakariki Memorial Hall. Great to see what the other groups are doing! Elizabeth took photos to immortalize this (totally informal) event—see them soon.
Crows Feet patter
Rachel McAlpine, our most senior Crows Feet dancer, has written a saucy, delightful book 'Scarlet Heels' which is dedicated to the Crows Feet Dance Collective.
On Sunday November 27th at 3pm at St Peters Hall, Paekakariki, nine quaint and sexy stories from 'Scarlet Heels' will be read by Crows Feet director Jan Bolwell, and Paekakariki actors Perry Piercy and Vivien Bell with music by Gilbert Haisman.
The stories are related by nine characters, aged between 16 and 76 years old, each of whom was transformed by a sexual episode. The women talk about events that happened to them yesterday or decades ago, in a wardrobe, paddock, garden, airport, bed or bath.
Wear your scarlet heels to the Paekakariki Hall for an afternoon of discreet entertainment. Five prizes of the book 'Scarlet Heels' will be awarded to the men and women judged to be wearing the craziest pairs of scarlet heels.
Rachel will introduce the reading.
Tuesday 22 November 2011, 5.15pm for a 5.45pm start
Rona Bailey Room, Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington
Entry by koha. Drinks and nibbles will be served.
Marianne Schultz, a PhD candidate and tutor in the History Department, University of Auckland, will talk about Rona Bailey as a member of the New Dance Group. The New Dance Group played a key role in pioneering modern dance in New Zealand in the 1940s.
Photos and excerpts from the documentary 'Dance of the Instant' (2008, director Shirley Horrocks) will be shown. The evening will also include a live performance by students from the New Zealand School of Dance in a short reconstruction of the 1945 New Dance Group work, 'Sabotage in a Factory'.
For further information please contact Hazel Armstrong at legal @ hazelarmstronglaw.co.nz
The New Zealand School of Dance graduation performance
Graduation performance follows the Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture at 7.30pm in the Te Whaea Theatre.
Women's songs of the 1960s and 1970s. That's what our new show will be based on. We are starting with a powerful dance to Helen Reddy's 'Don't Mess with a Woman.' Watch out, here come the Crows! By the end of rehearsal we go into the night all fired up, mad, bad and dangerous to know. Seriously, there's nothing more satisfying than a mighty hip-high sideways kick at an imaginary opponent. Unfortunately it is difficult to photograph ourselves in mid-kick, but you'll get the idea from this shadow, I hope.
We've made our Facebook page and we're waiting enthusiastically for all our friends and enemies to show that they 'Like' us.
Facebook is the place where you can share your own experiences and ideas about dancing and being alive in your body no matter what age. By posting on our Wall, you can talk to each other instead of just to us. We would like that very much.
And by simply Liking us on Facebook, you can share pictures and news with all your own Facebook friends. We would like that too.
Crows Feet Dance Collective is just a little group, but we find that people all over the world can relate to what we are doing: dancing happily onwards into maturity, seniority and (one day) extreme old age.
Big night last night, we had our dress/technical rehearsal at Whitireia Performance Centre. It is a new venue and rather different from the old Performing Arts Centre across the road where we used to perform - always a bit of a mental challenge getting your head around a new stage with different dimensions! I took a few snaps on the ipod not great quality I'm afraid but they do give a sense of the colour, movement and variety of the dances being performed in this show. The professional photographer, Penny Townes, who does all our publicity was there too so hopefully we will have some great photos to post soon. In the meanwhile ... here is a taster of our show that opens TONIGHT!
Todays Capital Times has an interview with Jo Thorpe, a Crows Feet dancer, talking about the new show - “what we can’t do with our own bodies we’ve got life size puppets doing for us.”
Here is the link to the article:
Two larger-than-life puppets dance in Angle Poise. I keep forgetting their names and yet they are a big presence on the stage. Formidable. Enthusiastic. Dangerous, even.
Jennifer Holdaway created the puppets, and they supervise every rehearsal. We daren't make mistakes with them watching...
See them on 5, 6 or 7 August at Whitireia Performance Centre, Wellington. And you must clap. They don't like it when there's no applause, and you wouldn't want to offend these two, believe me.
Whitireia Performance Centre is where we will be performing our new show, Angle Poise. Most of us have never been inside this building, and we're pretty excited. The stage has a sprung floor: perfect. The stage is large and T-shaped: another challenge. It sounds great, both for performers and the audience.
Speaking of which, come along, do!
25 Vivian Street, Wellington, is the address: between Tory Street and Cambridge Terrace. You can book online for free: when did you ever hear of such a thing?
Or if you need to chat, then book by phone: (04) 238 6225. (There's a booking fee for phone bookings.) We recommend coming on Friday night, as part of an elite audience attending the world premiere of Angle Poise.
Old Ladies Dancing: what's difficult about that? (A totally personal view.)
A rehearsal in full swing sees half the Crows playing with plastic balls and the other half trying to control recalcitrant ribbons. It's very serious, of course, but also huge fun as we play around with ideas from the 1950s.
Someone (don't look at me) is sure to drop the props on the night. Even so, I'll stick my neck out and say the next Crows Feet performance will be our best ever. It's packed tight with new dances from the comic to the airy-fairy. And Sunny Amey will feed you running gags about Olga and Svetlana, the aging Russian gymnasts. It'll be fun all right.
See you at the Whitireia Performance Centre, Vivian Street, Wellington, on 5, 6, or 7 August. Our most devoted fans will attend all three.
Free free public forum is for everyone interested in the performing arts. It is a networking opportunity for producers and everyone in the theatre community. All welcome!
More information: http://www.eatwellington.org.nz/content/vision-stage
Sunday 3rd July
1.00 – 5.00 and social hour until 6.00
Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School
11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington
There is no charge to attend but RSVPs are essential.
To register firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information contact Sally Thorburn email@example.com
(04) 801 6470 or 027 432 8935
The pressure is on now, but strangely the harder we work, the better it is for me—in some ways. Whatever you learn, you learn faster if you tackle it more than once a week. And from now on, we'll rehearse twice a week for our August show, Angle Poise.
In this photo, Jan is drilling us in a fancy, fiddly (and very pretty) section of one of the mini-dances we will do to Brahms waltzes.
I was swept away by this terrific novel about Bolshoi Ballet star Nina Revskaya, who defected to the West in 1952. The intensity of her life as a dancer is unforgettable. So is the human story and the mystery that pervades it. A professor who believes he may be Nina's illegitimate son prompts her to auction all her famous jewellery in self defence. Lies and betrayals were the norm in the Stalinist regime, and the resolution comes as a huge unforeseen relief.
Are all dancers readers? This is a brilliant novel, quite apart from its fascinating portrait of a prima ballerina from child trainee to elderly recluse.
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay (HarperCollins, Random House Group)
Sonya and Tiffany playing around outside the dance studio in Paraparaumu
There is feverish activity happening in dance studios both in Wellington and up the Kapiti Coast as the Crows prepare for their next performance season in August.
The Wellington Crows christened one of their new dances 'Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes' at last Sunday's International Dance Day at Te Whaea, the New Zealand School of Dance and Drama.
They are now working on their other new dance called 'Angle Poise' or 'The Belarusian Rhythmic Gymnastic Team'. Yes, it is a send up, but the group also perform two serious and beautiful traditional Russian dances.
The Kapiti Coast Crows group, who celebrate their first birthday this week, will perform for the first time in a Crows concert. Their dance, to one of Bach's Brandenberg concertos, is called 'Point of Order', and is a dance commentary about political issues affecting the Kapiti Coast community - very tongue in cheek!!
We perform at Whitireia Performing Arts new theatre in Vivian Street, August 5 - 7th, so watch this space for further updates.
Crows Feet Dance Collective will be performing at the 10th anniversary celebration of International Dance Day on Sunday 1st May. The event is being held at Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre, with workshops running from 11am - 3pm followed by a performance from 3 - 4.30pm. Come along and see a peak preview of the new piece we are working on!
For more information on the event, go to http://idanceday.blogspot.com
Here is a photo of the last time we performed at International Dance Day
A grand meeting of the Crows took place t Memorial Hall on the Parade in Paekakariki on Sunday November 14th.
Jan took all four groups for a class before each showed the dances they have been working on this year. Wellington Crows did their two Russian dances and part of the Brahms waltzes, Crows Two did a contemporary and a jazz dance, Kapiti Crows did their Coastlands Mall performance and Sonya and Tiffany, the latest Crows group who have only been going 4 weeks, created a lovely duet.
It was a fabulous afternoon of dancing, and each group has such a distinctive flavour with entirely different dances. I love that diversity.
Of course it would not be a Crows get together without lots of delicious food and drink. The feasting after the showing was up to our usual standard.
The Kapiti Coast Crows Feet face distractions during class.
AJ took this photo of a Kapiti Coast sunset last Tuesday evening.
We all had to stop dancing to rush to the window and watch the sun going down before returning to our work. The same scene greeted us in class last night too.
Crows Feet Kapiti had their first performance in Coastlands Mall on Sunday 16th October.
They did a brief medley of dances - the twist (The Beatles), disco (Dusty Springfield), Waltz of the Flowers (Nutcracker) and hip hip (Black Eyed Peas). This was followed by a dance to honour women as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, performed to Radha Sahar's moving song, The Pink Ribbon.
They received a fantastic response from the audience that gathered, and are now keen to do more public performances.
Because Jan sprained her ankle during the warm up they had to perform without her. Good job too! They didn't need her out front.