No Plain Jane

Theatre reviews and musings (mostly) from Adelaide

Tag: reviewing

Thoughts: Myth; or, art, feminism, and the critical juncture.

Subtitled “A study on the female species” (perplexingly omitting the word “of”) Erin Fowler’s Myth is a danced commentary on visions and stereotypes of women over time.   Fowler with co-choreographers and performers Jessie Oshodi and Mikaila Roe dance their way through images of this species: ancient perceptions of a goddess; 50s ideals of a housewife; Barbies to be manipulated; nothing more than a tease for men. Presentation of these images accompanies spoken text written by Fowler, the documentary style of Patrick Clements’ voice observing these women.

The small stage and flat seating of Nexus is hardly conducive to a good dance presentation, but Fowler, Oshodi and Roe all do well containing themselves within the space, without seeming constrained, and stay away from too much low and floor work.

The three emerging artists are technically strong, although at times sections of choreography had a tendency to delve into presentation of steps to show technique, rather than working off a through line from the choreography.  Regardless, much of the choreography is intriguing and does well to show off the strengths of the still young dancers: Oshodi particularly strong with a powerful presence in her jumps.

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AdlFringe Diary 1: So You Think You Can Critic?

Don’t tell anyone, it’s shocking, I know, that this level of sarcasm and what I like to call “wit” comes from someone with no training at all.  Ever since I escaped my Year Twelve Drama final exam screaming “don’t ever make me watch a Baz Lurhman film again!” this reviewing has been all me, baby.  Believe it or not (and, well, if you don’t believe it, you don’t have to go far back to find people in the comments not too impressed with me), I have, on occasion, gotten into a touch of trouble for stuff I’ve written on this blog.  Sometimes warranted, sometimes not.  Either way, I will always be proud of the infamy I carried in my Battle With The Bistro (C).

But because of this I thought maybe it was about time I learnt some proper legal stuff (my calling it “stuff” may give you an idea as to where I lie in my knowledge), and it was with that Day One of my Fringe started with me trundling off to Learn How To Be A Critic.

Together with a group of other aspiring young critics, I was taught:

  • The best way to get interviews is to hang around after the show and try and nab the artists on their way home for a few quick questions.
  • If this doesn’t work, accosting them in the corner of The Garden of Unearthly Delights is another good idea.
  • Once you have this interview, it is a good idea to integrate your interview with your review of the show.
  • Never write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.  Especially if this face is attached to someone with big, muscular arms.
  • If you didn’t like a show, it’s probably just because it wasn’t to your taste.  Thus, you should include in all “bad” reviews that you give something along the lines of “while elephants being forced to stand on one leg while hola-hooping and painting wasn’t something that I enjoyed, that’s probably just because I don’t enjoy animal torture.  I’m sure there were many audience members who do appreciate such things: this show is for you!”, or, “although I could hear no lines, as we sat in a dark box for an hour, perhaps this is just in my opinion, because I can’t see in the dark nor do I have as good as hearing as dogs.  I’m sure all audience members who are canines with see-in-the-dark glasses got a lot out of it.”
  • Making comments like these will help you write a fair and balanced review, and stop you from getting in any legal trouble.
  • If you are worried about legal problems, just use your “common sense” and everything will turn out okay.

Now, this blog post might be defamation.  But my “common sense” tells me it’s not.  So I guess it’s okay then!  Look out for my use of these handy hints in my Fringe Reviews!