At the end of a week of very disappointing shows in Europe (another six things crossed off the "possibles" list), this evening I saw Ballet National de Marseille . . . what a joy! The movement has a physical joy matched with technique and precision. Frederic Flamand really is a choreographic master, and a really nice guy, too.
I never cease to be amazed by Perth's traffic or road systems, and so Annette Madden, the Festival's executive producer, and I are 15 minutes late for the showing of 3G. Not normally a problem, except this time 50 or so attendees and 10 dancers wait for our arrival. Worth it though - a great idea, a lovely piece of choreography, and clearly a handsome addition to the Festival. It will really sit well under the Vital Stages banner, bringing international artists together with WA's arts scene.
Here to see a probable show for 2014 and for a series of meetings, including with Srinivas Krishna, the artist behind My Name Is Raj. Due to fly out today after everything, but stuck in the edge of Hurricane Sandy. More fortunate than my friends in New York, it is still incredibly windy, but because we are running low on food supplies Srinivas and I go looking for the perfect martini. As bits are literally blowing off buildings I ask him which way is the bar, and he points down a southerly facing street. "Towards the eye of the storm, then?" I ask. "Indeed but it is the best martini in Boston." With a so-be-it shrug and an if-the-eye-of- the-storm-is-where-men-must-go-for-cocktails swagger, we track down the martinis, and they are, indeed, good.
Today is my birthday, and what better way to spend it than landing back in Australia after Christmas away and going to see our centrepiece commission, The Secret River. My tension has been alleviated by the amazing reviews but I still wasn't expecting to be entertained, illuminated and moved quite this much. Everyone must see this, it really is a landmark moment in Australian theatre, and to have been involved from the first conversation makes this whole thing very worthwhile.
Although I find the complexity of emotions and politics around Australia Day huge, two things would seem to be certain. Firstly that modern-day Australia, a tolerant nation in which the traditional custodians of the land can walk side by side with the vast range of more recent residents, is worth striving for and celebrating. Secondly, that the best way to spend it is with lovely friends on a boat watching the Skyworks fireworks from the water.
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