Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is the newest dance production by Rasta ThomasBad Boys of Dance Company, based on William Shakespeare‘s play. It was choreographed by Adrienne Canterna and stars James Boyd, Daniela Filippone, Drew Burgess, Robbie Nicholson, Noah Goldsmith, Nicholas Cunningham, Grace Buckley and Jace Zeimantz.

Plot (short version):
The Montagues and the Capulets are feuding. But when Romeo Montague (James Boyd) falls in love with Juliet Capulet (Daniela Filippone) things could work out for the better. Unfortunately, they don’t and it all goes to hell.

To see Romeo and Juliet this way was pretty awesome. Canterna put together a wonderful, touching and above all entertaining show.

romeoandjuliet

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Swan Lake Reloaded

Swan Lake Reloaded is the newest dance show by Fredrik Rydman. [He also did Bounce: Insane in the Brain.] It’s a combination of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Swan Lake with modern street dance.

Plot:
Based on the classic Swan Lake, the show give the old tale a new spin: A young prince who has grown tired with his partying lifestyle falls in love with a whore who is being controlled by her pimp through drugs.

Swan Lake Reloaded is a really cool show. The music is awesome, the dancing is pretty great and I thouhgt it was an interesting take on the story.

Swanlake_reloaded

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Woyzeck & The Tiger Lillies

Woyzeck & The Tiger Lillies is a new production of Georg Büchner‘s Woyzeck with music by The Tiger Lillies and Die Brassisten (an Austrian brass ensemble). It was directed by Stephanie Mohr and stars Raphael von Bargen, Ruth Brauer-Kvam, Xaver Hutter, Anne Weber, Johannes Huth, Manni Laudenbach, Joachim Bissmeier and Ben Becker.

Plot:
Woyzeck (Raphael von Bargen) is a young soldier who has a child with Marie (Ruth Brauer-Kvam), despite not being married to her. Woyzeck does all he can to support Marie and their child: he does menial tasks for his Captain (Ben Becker) and participates in questionable experiments of the local doctor (Joachim Bissmeier), both for extra pay. But Woyzeck’s psyche is slowly fracturing and when Marie starts flirting with the handsome drum major (Xaver Hutter), it pushes him over the edge.

I loved pretty much everything about this production apart from their interpretation of the play. The stage design and the music was great, the actors were mostly good, but I just did not like the versions of Woyzeck and Marie we got to see.

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Shadowland

Shadowland is a dance show by the Pilobolus Dance Company that mostly just shows the dancers’ shadows.

Plot:
The story it tells is a bit of an Alice in Wonderland variation: a young girl comes to a magical world where a godlike creature gives her a dog head. She has to live through a few adventures and travel this world before she can be turned back into her own self. Or is it just a dream?

Shadowland works perfectly as long as they stick to the work with the shadows. There are breaks inbetween with more usual dance routines which fail to impress. But these are short and don’t dampen the overall enjoyment of the show.

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Les Chaises [The Chairs] – DNF

[Festwochen.]

The Chairs is a play by Eugène Ionesco. It was directed by Luc Bondy, starring Micha Lescot and Dominique Reymond.

Plot:
An old man (Micha Lescot) and an old woman (Dominique Reymond) are preparing for one last party before they die. The man has something to tell the world, something important. But as the time passes, all that seems to be arriving are imaginary guests and more chairs.

This was actually the first play I ever walked out of before it was finished. Not only that, since there was no break where I could sneak out, I actually made people get up so I could leave. It was honestly completely unbearable.

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Mission

[Wiener Festwochen.]

Mission is a play written by David Van Reybrouck, directed by Raven Ruëll and starring Bruno Vanden Broecke.

Plot:
Bruno Vanden Broecke plays an old missionary who has spent the past 50 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On one of his rare home leaves, he gives a talk about his work and his life and his belief. It’s that talk that we see.

Mission is amazing. Bruno Vanden Broecke’s performance and David Van Reybrouck’s text make for an explosive mixture and Raven Ruëll knows that he best let the audience focus entirely on these two things. The result is an intelligent, complex discussion of a difficult topic that is above all engaging.

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Latviešu mīlestība [Latvian Love]

[Wiener Festwochen.]

Latvian Love is a play by Alvis Hermanis [German] and stars Guna Zariņa, Baiba Broka, Vilis Daudziņš, Ģirts Krūmiņš and Kaspars Znotiņš. The actors improvised and wrote the scenes themselves.

Plot:
Starting with reading real lonely hearts ad, Alvis Hermanis and his actors explore the first meetings of 13 couples in Latvia. Those meetings range from teenage poetry readings to two retirees who just want to make their lives a little easier by sharing it with someone.

Latvian Love is a wonderful play. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s beautiful. The actors are amazing, as is the costume and stage design (by Monika Pormale). It just runs a tad too long – 10 scenes would have probably been enough (though I wouldn’t really know which scenes to cut).

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Wastwater

[It’s Festwochen time again.]

Wastwater is a play by Simon Stephens, directed by Katie Mitchell, starring Linda Bassett, Amanda Hale, Jo McInnes, Paul Ready, Tom Sturridge and Angus Wright.

Plot:
The play consists of three loosely connected scenes. Harry (Tom Sturridge) takes his leave from his foster mom Frieda (Linda Bassett), probably forever. Lisa (Jo McInnes) and Mark (Paul Ready) meet in an airport hotel to betray their respective partners. Sian (Amanda Hale) sells Jonathan (Angus Wright) a child from Southeast Asia, despite his hesitation.

I just had a first look at the reviews Wastwater has been getting – and they’re toroughly mixed, which I don’t really understand. I think Wastwater is what theater should be like: it’s excellently written, has a great cast, a beautiful stage design and was very well directed. You could wish for nothing more.

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Three Days, Three Festivals

Apparently, the first May weekend is the ideal weekend to make festivals in Austria. Because suddenly, there was stuff happening everywhere. There was the 10th birthday party of the Museumsquartier with live acts, workshops and general action. There was the popfest, a free festival with and for Austrian music. And there was also the Seaside Festival at the Surf Worldcup in Podersdorf. And honestly, I’m not at all interested in surfing – but the bands playing there? Awesome.

But that also meant that I felt like I had to clone myself at least twice to see everything I wanted to see. And since my home cloning kit is kinda old and the regulations nowadays are quite a bitch, I decided that I would have to make do without some of the stuff I wanted to see and prove my mastery of time management.

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Rock the Ballet

Rock the Ballet is a production by Rasta ThomasBad Boys of Dance Company. They danced at the Museumsquartier in Vienna.

“Plot:”
Rock the Ballet combines (modern) ballet with modern music – like U2, Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Queen, etc – and puts together a dance show with six male dancers and one female.

My review can basically be summed up with “swoon.” I love dance, ballet especially, be it classic or modern and Rock the Ballet takes great dance, great music and sexy men, puts it all in a blender and then gives you a heart-attack inducing milk shake of awesome.

[Unfortunately, this amount of naked was never achieved in the actual show.]

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