Melbourne Winter Masterpieces The Picasso Century NGV 10 June – 9 October 2022
The Picasso Century is a major exhibition developed for Melbourne - only to be seen in Melbourne. This exhibition is the result of collaboration by the Centre Pompidou, the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the NGV. Containing 170 works with 70 by Picasso and 100 from his contemporaries, the exhibition highlights the countless influences that guided Picasso’s work from his early years in Paris to his later years in the South of France.
Works that inspired me were Sacre-Coeur, painted in the winter of 1909-1910 which shows the iconic building (still under construction) rising out of the scaffolding.
The Frugal Repast 1904 depicts two emaciated looking people sharing a meal of bread of wine. This is said to be reminiscent of Picasso’s early days in Montmartre.
Another Work Three Figures Under a Tree (Winter 1907-1908) caught my attention due to the colours used depict the three nudes in contrast to the Frugal Repast.
Picasso's work is divided into periods, the most commonly known are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919). His works are diverse and reflect the times which he lived through. Interestingly throughout this enormous there are video clips of the time of the Great War, the Spanish Civil war including the Bombing of Guernica – the subject of his famous mural of the same name, and the Second World War. For me these videos enhanced my understanding of his sometimes unfathomable works.
NICA 2022: ECLIPSE NEW website photography: Kieran McNamara
ECLIPSE NICA 3rd year ensemble show 2022 is running till Saturday 18 June 2022 at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), 39-59 Green Street, Prahran https://www.nica.com.au/performs and https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/905381
please enjoy the photos by Kieran McNamara and stay tuned for more media materials
special thanks: Caroline Hendry and Deveta Patel of Zilla & Brook Publicity
review by Francine Nugent and Kieran McNamara
The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) presents its first public-facing production since 2019, ECLIPSE. Twelve students from the graduating company perform their acts with live music and beautiful set design. It begins with students dressed in shabby off-whites under a patchwork top of colourful tent remnants. But everyone is isolated and afraid of the performer with streaky make-up, perhaps representing the COVID virus. The acts are beautiful, graceful, and full of meaning. The lighting and sound enhance the mood.
There is a scarlet dressed opera singer singing throughout the performance. Her sound is first eerie and then becomes more open and languid, as the performers see each other above their phones and run to share a much needed, post pandemic hug. I enjoyed the whole performance with all my senses and was moved to tears during the hugging part. The costumes included a vast array of fabric and materials such as helmets, crutches, cricket pads, lamps, bags and many other eclectic items. As the show progresses, the cast transform from the heavy collection of items to more regular outfits as they become freer and utilise a variety of skills including acrobatics, handstands, foot juggling, hula hoop, trapeze, aerial hoop, tightwire, roue cyr and corde-lisse. Along with the beautiful singing from the opera singer, music is provided with a mix of tracks and live percussion. The National Institute of Circus Arts is the only government-accredited tertiary educational institution that provides professional training in contemporary circus arts in Australia. It is a subsidiary of Swinburne University of Technology and is based at the university's Prahran campus. ECLIPSE is a cross-faculty collaboration with Film Students from Swinburne University of Technology Film and Television and make-up students from Melbourne Polytechnic. Inspired by The Pandemic is a Portal by Arundhati Roy, ECLIPSE offers a gateway to a vision of what our future could, should, would and might just be.
ANIMAGA EXPO: OZ COMIC-CON NEW website review by Sam Bell
Most of the world has unanimously agreed that 2022 is, and has been a terrible year; but every cloud, no matter how dark and stormy has a silver lining to focus on. For the nerds, geeks, and pop culture enthusiasts of Australia, that silver lining is undoubtably Oz Comic-Con. Usually the highlight of the year for many, this year’s conventions has pulled out all the stops in order to deliver the best possible experience under the circumstances. While undoubtably smaller than previous years, it is clear the organisers and guests have all gone above and beyond to ensure that Oz Comic-Con has a place for everyone and activities to suit all needs.
The most obvious route for many is through the fan clubs and community groups. Whether they are long time fans coming together as an annual tradition, or new fans who have just joined the community, all are welcome and all are included. No mean feat considering the sheer breadth of source material fans have to indulge in. But whether you are a casual series fan, a hardcore gamer, or even just interested in a specific genre of story, you can guarantee that you will find a group of likeminded individuals, ready to receive you with open arms and an open mind. For some, comradery is not enough and for those Oz Comic-Con provides the opportunity for competition. The Anime Gaming & Trivia Stage remains the best place to prove yourself the ultimate superfan of your specific love. Battling it out with those who share your passion and are eager to prove themselves more devoted and well read. There can be only one!
Not that answering questions and proving you know exactly how many times your favourite character sneezed through the respective series is the only way to prove your dedication. For the more practically minded, Oz Comic-Con is the best chance you’ll ever get to show off your cosplay skills. Bringing your favourite characters to life and seeing oft-forgotten characters get the love they deserve is a treat in itself. If nothing else just walking around and being surrounded by similarly handmade costumes and outfits Is a wonderful reminder to a more fringe aspect of the community that they are not alone and their zeal is not unique, nor alienating. Human nature demands some form of conflict however, and so Oz Comic-Con contains a variety of competitions fans can compete in and use to measure their work to their peers. From the relatively mild and lowkey Cosplay Parade, to the more intense Cozplay Competition. To the energetic Skit Competition, and inventive prop competition; none are forgotten or left behind. Not even the Cosplay Makeup & Hair Styling Competition. But the title of largest and most prestigious costume contest in Australia is held without doubt, by the Oz Comic-Con Australian Championships of Cosplay. To see the best Australia has to offer, there really is no other place like it.
But that’s all very intense and attached to this meat space of ours. For the quiet comfort of a soft couch and a hit of nostalgia, the Wakey Wakey Gaming Lounge is the place to be. With a mix of retro gaming consoles and a chill vibe that sets it apart from its surroundings, it’s nice to take a minute and go back to when you were a kid, hanging out and playing smash bros with your friends. The gaming lounge isn’t an exception to the rule of competition though and for those motivated to prove themselves, the biggest games including Super Smash Bro’s, Mario Kart, Age of Empires, and Halo: Infinite all have tournaments interspersed throughout the day. Technology is a wonderful thing to be sure, but as anyone who has been in twitter will confirm, it’s not always the best. Sometimes the old ways are there for a reason, and for those who prefer their games of the tabletop variety Oz Comic-Con has you covered. Whether you prefer to challenge your friends or get to know a group of strangers, there are tables and boards throughout the conventions, including (But not limited to) Catan, Zombie Dice, Pandemic, Small World, Red Dragon Inn, or Ticket to Ride. Maybe you’re just getting into games and those names mean nothing to you. If so, fear not, the crew from Australia’s biggest boardgaming podcast, The Board Game BBQ are there to ease you in and show you the ropes. Holding sessions about gaming and teaching how to play Marvel Champions, X-Men United, Jabba’s Palace, Marvel Splendor, and Super Fantasy Brawl. If you’ve just started your board gaming adventure and you’re looking for the tutorial village, Oz Comic-Con is it.
Perhaps even board games are too modern for you and you want to truly go back to basics. To the place where all good stories start, Art. If so, the Scribble Wall is the place to be. Without any pressure, themes, or restrictions, you can be one with your inner child, or showcase your newest shading technique. Drawing materials are provided, the only requirement is a willingness to express yourself. Yes, there are competitions, both for adults and for kids. There is also a section for colouring in and papercrafts. But maybe your love of art and beauty is limited by your ability to draw little more than stick figures. Not to worry, the shopping district has you covered. With a huge variety of extremely talented fans selling for OC’s and fan art if you’re fast enough to grab it before the crowd. Those who arrive late can console themselves with prints made by industry professionals exclusively for Oz Comic-Con. As well as the chance to meet, greet, and get your hands on the work of your favourite artists. With a huge variety of comic guests, such as Dean Rankine, Angie Spice, Nicola Scott and way more. Assuming they are not on a stage giving one of Oz Comic-Con many guest panels and expert industry talks. While you’re there it would be a crime to let your walls have all the fun. Especially when you can find a frankly ridiculous range of clothes, jewellery, badges, pins, accessories of all kinds just begging you to wear them and become the artwork yourself.
Assuming you can still walk while over-encumbered with all your loot, there isn’t much else to do except drag yourself to a stage, hope there is a still a seat and enjoy a Q&A session with your favourite movie and TV star. Get that new Tshirt signed by Aimee Garcia, or have Mike Mcfarkand give your new OC a voice. Take a picture with Bernard Curry, and get some professional advice from Kayla Jean. Worst case scenario, if you miss out on all the previous opportunities, you can always head over the Autograph store and just buy one for the collection. At the end of the day, there is more to do than there is time to do it, and every fan who makes their pilgrimage to this, most commercial of pop culture Mecca’s must plan accordingly. There is always next year, but if you consider yourself a true connoisseur of culture, you owe it to yourself to make the trip and experience Oz Comic-Con in all its glory.
photos: Erkin Kalayci of Cheers Melbourne Photography
RICK PRICE CONCERT TOUR NEW website review by Katherine Kelly photography: Kieran McNamara
Rick Price Memo Music Hall, St Kilda Friday 3 June 2022
I recently attended a wonderful live music performance at St Kilda’s Memo Music Hall.
First up on the program were Rosie Conforto and Dom Italiano a delightful Alt-Country duo known as The Anywheres. Rosie’s beautiful voice blended excellently with Dom’s harmony and excellent guitar work. Such a musical balance. Their program consisted of their originals from their recently released album The Anywheres. I am so relieved that artists such as The Anywheres are now able to present us with their music live after two years of the rigorous lockdowns. Further information about The Anywheres, including upcoming gigs can be found on https://theanywheres.com/home.
Well known singer guitarist Rick Price gave us a very generous performance. Famous for his 1992 debut album, Heaven Knows, which peaked at No. 3 on the ARIA Albums Chart, it provided two top ten singles, "Not a Day Goes By" and the title track. Heaven Knows was awarded the 1992 APRA Music Awards Song of the Year for Price and his co-writer, Heather Field.”
Sitting close to the edge of the stage, and engaging with the audience, I felt he could have been performing in someone’s living room - so personal and intimate.
In between songs which included River of Love, Rick shared aspects of his life. Growing in Beaudesert in Queensland, a small rural town, Rick commenced performing aged 8 with his family in country venues. He paid tribute to his dad, who worked a bridge builder, dedicating one of his songs to him – Bridge Building Man.
Rick also paid tribute to his mother who kept the family together after the parents split when Rick was a small child. As family performers, his mother instilled confidence into Rick and his siblings.
Rick rendered a heart-warming and nostalgic performance paying tribute to family members past and present and. His comment love never dies brought a tear to my eye.
In addition to his original works, Rick gave wonderful renditions of songs such as Don’t Walk Away Renee, and in his interaction with the audience, he invited a “choir” to come up on stage and join him in Stand by Me.
Rick also talked about Melbourne as being the best City in the World with such a variety of entertainment.
Rick has recently released his CD Soulville. Well worth listening to. Further information about Rick, please go to https://www.rickprice.com
AFTER AIDA - A Comedy with Music NEW website review by Alexander O Montgomery
REVIEW OF ‘AFTER AIDA - A Comedy with Music’
Century old theatres abound in Melbourne with abundant talent and entertainment being showcased in our amazing city each year. However, there is no theatre more iconic to Melbourne than our very own Athenaeum Theatre, a grand old dame of a theatre whose foyer itself will be sure to impress any critical critic like me. As such, it was a delight to learn that ‘AFTER AIDA - A Comedy with Music’, will be performed at this iconic venue!
The scene opens with a final trio from Aida presenting to its audience an answer as to why the great Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi, had not written an opera for close to a decade after Aida since 1879? The first words explored from Verdi suggested a lack in confidence brought about by critics, singers, audiences, and theatre traditions. However, Verdi’s closest allies, Giulio Ricordi (a publisher) and Franco Faccio (a conductor) have better plans. They are both resolute in their attempt to convince Verdi to showcase his magic again! Together with the wife of Verdi (Giuseppina), they all bring onboard Arrigo Boito (a wordsmith) to write the greatest tragic opera ever written – ‘Otello’.
This production contains clever speeches, remarkable musical scores, impeccable diction, a consistently strong projection of the actors’ voice, and confidence in portraying all of their characters to perfection. The total strength of ‘AFTER AIDA - A Comedy with Music’ is a positively outstanding concert with an overall excellent performance!
I rate this spectacular production a solid 9/10!
‘AFTER AIDA - A Comedy with Music’ is proudly presented by ‘Circle in the Sand’, ‘Pure Harmony Music & Events’ and the following talented cast. David Meadows (Director) Adrian Tamburinihen (Musical Director) Tref Gare (Verdi) Francesca Waters (Giuseppina Verdi) Adam T Perkins (Arrigo Boito) Paolo Bartolomei (Giulio Ricordi) Andrew Cullimore (Franco Faccio) Michelle Cook (Soprano) Sarah Sweeting (Mezzo Soprano) Michael Lapina (Tenor) Eddie Muliaumaseali’I (Bass Baritone)
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes website review by Katherine Kelly
Back to Back Theatre Directed by Bruce Gladwin Cast: Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, and Scott Price
Back to Back Theatre, are the recipients of the world’s greatest theatre prize, the International Ibsen Award from Norway. They bring to us The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes which is set to tour to Brussels and Vienna in the coming week.
The setting is a bare stage with a black backdrop with two Auslan interpreters on the side. Three characters: Sarah, Scott and Simon are setting up a meeting in a Geelong community Hall. They painstakingly drag in some plastic chairs and there is a large Styrofoam block that serves as a makeshift lectern.
Up above is a screen that acts as a voice recognition device, recording every word that is said. It is also self-correcting with replacing words such as “monoplea” with “monopoly”.
Discussion starts with the characters mulling over issues such as inappropriate touching – trying to differentiate what is appropriate in public and in private. They pay their respects to the traditional owners of Waduwarrung
The actors have a range of disabilities; and they bring into reality of what they face on a daily basis. They struggle to be understood and live with the fear of being misunderstood. Their lack of opportunities that are available to them is palpable. They are aware of the need to speak up for themselves and that others need to accept them for who they are and what they say.
All this takes place under the watchful “eyes and ears” of artificial intelligence noting down everything they say in a self-correcting manner. This brings us to the question - are any of us free.
Simon Tedeschi and George Washingmachine website review by Katherine Kelly
Simon Tedeschi and George Washingmachine David Li Sound Gallery Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts, Monash University Thursday 28 April
Classical pianist Simon Tedeschi and violinist/vocalist George Washingmachine teamed together to perform a wonderful collection of wonderful jazz standards last week. The program included works by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Oscar Peterson.
Tedeschi a renowned classical pianist is very unique in his ability to slip effortlessly slip from the classical into the jazz genre. George Washingmachine’s violin and vocals were a beautiful blend with Tedeschi’s piano expertise. They presented as a very balanced, cohesive team. The chat and patter were not overdone. It was wonderful to hear anecdotes from George about when he saw Larry Adler, “the finest exponent of Gershwin” at the 100 Club in London in 1986. Tedeschi’s rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue took me to another level. He also performed parts of a jazz standard in the form of classical composers such as Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Chopin, and Satie to the great amusement of the audience. Such a versatile performer.
I absolutely George’s Gypsy riff on the violin during Gershwin’s Embraceable you. It reminded me of the renowned French-Italian jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.
The hour long performance ended with Oscar Peterson’s Kelly Blues, which features on their CD The Jazz, available following the concert.