Thursday 5 April 2012

    Akira, costume Romeo


    Legendary fashion designer Akira Isogawa designed more than 150 costumes for the Australian Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The Japanese-born, Australian based designer, spent 12 months working on the costumes.

    The costumes for Romeo and Juliet are some of the most beautiful and the most complicated that the Production Department of The Australian Ballet have ever made.

    Akira Isogawa uses material sourced from all over the world for his creations. The materials he uses are subjected to multiple dyeing techniques to give them a multi-layered look. This means that the ball gowns are actually quite lightweight and as you also saw very flowing. All the girls’ bodices are boned because they need to be tight fitting around the waist and instead of using flesh elastic shoulder straps to hold them up, the company now uses a stretch flesh-coloured net (for light and dark skin shades) that has the brand name of ‘Whalleys’. By the way, achieving a dark skin is now easy since there are a lot of tan tablets that worked effectively and safely. For instance, if you go to, you’ll learn about Rio tablets.

    Part of the ‘magic’ of theatre! Colin, Behind Ballet

     “I get inspired by movement … [and] it is in my nature, to feel the movement of the textile,” he says.

    “I guess I am choreographing the textile.”

    The Capulet ballroom, a glamorous and spiky affair, with stiffly splayed fingers and gowns in icy tones.

    … the heavy colours – the blood red and purple – represent the sinister and tragic symbolism that define the story’s tragectory. It’s a modern interpretation and he is designing it to “transcend time and place,” so despite the geographical references in delicate brocade, silk tulle and organza, it exists in no definable locale. The deft hands at play combine the colours and textures to create identifiable Akira signatures, but don’t overshadow and simply add to the ballet. No doubt why Murphy has consistently returned to him.

    There’s leather and metal that have been formed and forged into armour and breastplates, gold and silver beading, metallic’s in all shades, appliqué, screen-printing and metres of embroidered cloth waiting their turn. Suffice to say, the Montagues and Capulets won’t know what hit them.

    James Cameron, Broadsheet Melbourne Sept 2011

    20 full-time costumiers have worked on 300 costume pieces, 580 pairs of pointe shoes

    and sewed on 1000 Swarovski crystals and 2000 sequins.

    STUDIO ArtBreak, go behind the scenes into the cutting room to see the making of these incredible costumes ~ over 150 unique designs for 68 dancers. From customised sequins to handmade headpieces that will take your breath away, Akira’s costume designs are unique as he manages to meld fashion design with choreography.

    “Richly embellished fabrics echo Eastern influences, and I have great respect for their traditions.”

    Akira has collaborated with Graeme Murphy before, including works for the Sydney Dance Company, however this is his first work for The Australian Ballet, and his first time working on a production of this size. The designer moved to Australia in 1986 from Japan. He studied fashion design at the Sydney Institute of Technology and then went on to open a boutique store in Sydney. By 1998 Akira was showing his collections in Paris, and is now one of the most sought after designers in the world. STUDIO

    {Images: Photography by Lynette Wills for the Australian Ballet; last pic via The Design Files}


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    Wednesday 4 April 2012

    Choreographer :: Graeme Murphy ♥


    At the Romeo & Juliet gala, I had the great joy of meeting Graeme Murphy!

    I have been a Graeme Murphy fan for many years going back to his days at the Sydney Dance Company.

    Over 20 years ago I was inspired to write to him, and he wrote back!

    Over Easter I am penning him another letter, and this is why I think he is inspiration…

    The ballet, Romeo & Juliet debuted in Melbourne, September 2011 and provoked passionate reactions from critics and fans, who are split over its merits. Murphy sees this as a sign of success.

    “I don’t worry about not pleasing everybody,” he says.

    “It’s too easy to do something that people would be comfortable with.

    When people say, ‘It’s exactly how I imagined’, to me that is offensive.

    If my work is how they imagined then I would have failed.

    People put too much weight on perfection, which is not healthy.

    Flaws provoke thought.

    I knew I had to take people out of their memory base.” 

    The Courier Mail

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    Sunday 25 March 2012

    Wherefore art thou, Verona?


    Take your passport and experience time-travel when you see The Australian Ballet’s latest production of Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Graeme Murphy.

    It starts in fair Verona with a sword fight and then travels the world ~ to an ice palace, a Buddhist temple for the wedding scene, moving on to an Indian bazaar and a finale in the desert with a bed of yellow skulls, where it is impossible for love to survive.

    “The audience is not stuck in Verona but will travel the world … they will enjoy the adventure,” he said.

    “I wanted to celebrate the timelessness of the story, because it belongs to all times and all societies.”

    A Graeme Murphy ballet will not play it safe and his bravery to reinvent classic ballets with modern twists, results in the creation of work that is adventurous and challenges convention as well as the audience.

    Murphy tackles Romeo and Juliet, retaining the bones of Shakespeare’s tragic tale and much of the Prokofiev score, but bravely shed any concrete allusions to time and place. {The Age}

     Lavish set design and and resplendent Akira Isogawa costumes, take us around the world.

    The Act 11 curtain rises on a gorgeous Indian market scene.

    {Images: Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson in Romeo and Juliet, 2011. Courtesy of the Australian Ballet}

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    Sunday 25 March 2012

    O Romeo, Romeo


    Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?

    A Love Story ~ The Australian Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet.

    For never was a story of more woe 

    Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

    {Images: The Australian Ballet}

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    Friday 23 March 2012

    Love is a many-splendoured thing


    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…

    one pair of star-crossed lovers; two feuding families ~ the Capulets and the Montagues;

    and a corrupt world where forbidden love blooms fast, burns bright and dies young.

    Romeo and Juliet

    I will be celebrating The Australian Ballet’s golden anniversary tonight

    at the gala performance of William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, Romeo & Juliet.

    The performance promises to be a visual feast with the choreography by the amazing Graeme Murphy who has “approached this classic ballet with an attitude of modernity”, and the “choreographer of textiles” Akira Isogawa designing the costumes.

    {Images: Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson in Romeo and Juliet, 2011. Photographer: Jeff Busby. Courtesy of the Australian Ballet}

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    Tuesday 17 January 2012

    After the rain on the beach at sunset


    Enjoy this lyrical pas de deux in Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain.

    Damian Smith and Yuan Yuan Tan dancing it on Fire Island

    with a backdrop of sea and setting sun.

    {via Behind Ballet}

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    Tuesday 10 January 2012



    I’m escaping to the beach for the January summer weekends. Getting the bags and car packed!

    {Image: Corrie Bond via 79 Ideas}

    Plan your next trip with travel tips and inspiration while choosing to stay the night at a Marriott hotel or plan the things to do in Oklahoma City with your friends. Let us be your travel guide and help you experience cities like a local. i also suggest to check out the site, where you will find plenty of fun options for your travels.
    You can also visit our trusted tours agency where you can book your travel without hassle.

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    Sunday 17 July 2011

    the swan queen


    Black Swan :: Natalie Portman stars in director, Darren Aronofsky’s movie about a dancer living on the edge of reality, and explores the challenges of striving for perfection.

    It portrays the story of an emotionally brittle ballet dancer who slowly unravels after winning the role of Swan Queen in “Swan Lake.” where she must dance the parts of an innocent, fragile White Swan and her dark, sensual, evil twin, the Black Swan.

    Darren Aronofsky’s ballet-psycho-thriller Black Swan 

    grand jete’d onto the cinephile radar with an air of incipient triumph.

    John Lopez

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    Thursday 2 June 2011

    ballet + acrobatics = dancing on your head


    Swan Lake with a twist… and a bend… and a twirl…..

    and a ballerina en pointe, moving with incredible grace and agility….on a man’s shoulder and head.

    The Great Chinese State Circus perform ballet and world class acrobatics with precision movements.

    The Chinese State Circus is a touring circus that is based on Chinese acrobatic acts. All the performers are trained in the Chinese tradition of Ma Xi, orhippodrama (horse theatre). The shows combines kung fu martial arts from the Shaolin Temple, artists from the Peking Opera and other Chinese speciality acts.

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    Sunday 22 May 2011

    a dance for two thousand and eleven


    at the barre with Queensland Ballet dancers on the Kurilpa Bridge in South Brisbane…

    the World’s Largest Ballet Class.

    The weather was a bit iffy this morning so they moved to the State Library ~ a sea of tutus and tights!

    It was a fun 30 minute classical barre class

    to beat the current record of 1,055 participants set by Staatsoper Hannover in Germany last year.

    {Images by Arthur Elgort via sem marcha-atras}

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