Monday, June 28, 2010

Creative indulgence...

Four creative pleasures last week.

The first, On the Rocks at The Court Theatre - a play by Amy Rosenthal about the friendship between DH Lawrence, Frieda Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield and John Middelton Murray. I was a bit dubious about the possibility of making an absorbing play from such self-absorbed characters, but four strong performances and an excellent script made this an engaging theatre experience.

The second pleasure was the Royal New Zealand Ballet production of Carmen to Bizet's music, played by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. This was a modern Carmen, set in a sleazy Rio de Janeiro, the performance in turns seductive, poignant, always edgy. I loved the choreography and particularly the stunning expression of raw emotion through dance.

Third pleasure involved the purchase of a CD featuring German singer Ute Lemper. In the City South Library recently I picked up, by chance, a DVD featuring Ute Lemper performing Kurt Weill. What a find! This woman does cabaret - and especially the songs of Weimar Germany - like no one I have seen or heard before. She is mesmerising.

The final pleasure was the arrival of a book purchased in London and sent out surface mail. It is about the Russian artist Natalia Goncharova - whose work I first saw in Canberra in the 1990s at an exhibition of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes costumes and sets. Her costume designs were magnificent. Coincidentally there is a small exhibition at the Christchurch City Art Gallery right now featuring works by Goncharova and her partner Larionov - but this doesn't really do justice to the sumptuousness of much of her painting and design. 

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