Went to see Siro-A at the weekend at the Leicester Square Theatre. They are Japan’s answer to the Blue Man group. It was truly a “technodelic” experience. It started with a man dressed up as a white stub who shook hands with the audience…
Here’s their blurb:
Spectacular entertainment fusing video mapping, mime, breath-taking optical illusions and movement all set to a pulsating electro beat by on stage DJs.
My favourite bit has to be the Toshinori Abe sequence: it has it all – comedy, catchy tune and impressive moves! Here’s a trailer:
Check out times and dates you can catch this group perform in London. It all ends April 22.
It was really great to have attended The First Light Awards 2013 as it was an event that celebrated young talent that fills the future of British filmmaking full of hope.
Held at ODEON Leicester Square in London, the ceremony was hosted by funny duo comedian Iain Sterling and CBBC’s Hacker T Dog.
For more information, visit the website.
For choreographer Rosie Kay, her latest ensemble production There is Hope was a journey of self-discovery during the research and creation part of the piece.
There is Hope begins in the real world, with an evangelical preacher who reigns over his flock with an iron grip. Rebelling, they are plunged into a world of chaos, where evil has the space to thrive and they are led through a dark world of dictators, perversion and almost alien-like fear. Breaking through these worlds of childlike terror and hell, they enter a world of purgatory, suspended in stasis, in an endless cycle of birth, life and death. A new world transforms with the scent of incense in the air.
The path to enlightenment can be hard work and various means are used to portray the baroque ideals of beauty including meditation, gospel singing and trance states. In the end the material world is stripped away and ultimately offers up a message of hope and redemption.
Both challenging and thought provoking, this new piece of Kay’s embraces her multi-disciplinary style of choreography, diverse collaborations and eclectic mix of visual media. Featuring five dancers and three musicians – performing on a visually arresting set.
There is Hope weaves elements of black comedy, live music, film, song and occasional nudity to deliver its message of hope and redemption. This new work follows the International success of 5 SOLDIERS.
I saw the show at Laban recently and for those of you who are yet to see it, you can catch the show on the following dates and venues:
Ticket prices and start times vary, so please check the websites for more information.
Finally they are back in the UK and if you have never seen Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, you simply MUST if you are up for a bit of culture and a laugh.
Can’t really sum them up any better than this:
…be amused and amazed as the all-male divas of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (or “The Trocks” to their friends) return to the UK following their last sell-out visit. With one foot in farce and the other in classical ballet, their dedicated tootsies shoe-horned into size 10 pink satin pointe-shoes the Trocks return return with a fabulous new programme, a lorry load of costume changes and lashings of diva attitude.
Watch a dancer transform into their ballet-diva alter-ego:
The Trocks plays at Birmingham Hippodrome Friday, 1 & Saturday, 2 February 2013. Performance times: Eves 7:30pm, Sat Mat 2.30pm. Tickets are between £15 and £34.50. There is a free post-show talk on Friday, 1 February. Call 0844 338 5000 or choose your own seat online at www.birminghamhippodrome.com (5% booking fee applies, calls cost from 5p per min). The programme during their Birmingham performances, which is subject to alteration, will be Les Sylphides/Pas de Deux/La Vivandière/Walpurgis Night.
Make sure to join in on this exclusive and LIVE look at one of the world’s most beloved comedy-dance troupes from 4:15pm on Friday, 1 February for the live open rehearsal live stream available on Birmingham Hippodrome’s social networks as well as on its live streaming account.
I was in Norway earlier this year and stumbled upon two filmmakers in the middle of Oslo centre who asked if I can be part of their short video on ‘what is creativity?’, so I agreed and here’s the vid…
Creativity is really key and it would be interesting to hear what everyone else thinks about what creativity is.
Candoco Dance Company and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance have joined forces to achieve greater access for disabled people into the dance profession and to advocate for the importance of inclusive practice in enhancing creative endeavour, it was announced today by Candoco Executive Director Rebecca Dawson and Trinity Laban Director of Dance Mirella Bartrip.
The partnership, which will formally launch on Wednesday, 17 October prior to Candoco’s performance at Laban Theatre, aims to embed inclusive practice into the culture of dance, integrating disabled dancers, makers, teachers and leaders into the profession. Candoco and Trinity Laban will promote inclusive practice in vocational training, developing progression routes for disabled dancers into pre-vocational and vocational training and providing leadership in establishing the UK as internationally significant for the advancement of inclusive dance practice.
In pursuit of these ambitious aims, Candoco and Trinity Laban are embarking on a comprehensive programme of activity to include providing mutual advisory roles for programme and curriculum developments, and audition processes; developing structured professional development programmes; providing regular placements with Candoco for Trinity Laban students; collaborating on youth projects and company and student performance projects; and Candoco repertory production and performances at the Laban Theatre in Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Dance.
Rebecca Dawson said: “Trinity Laban’s innovative philosophy and diverse community have been instrumental in resourcing Candoco’s groundbreaking workforce and we are very excited to be working together in a formal capacity to harness that history and commitment in order to drive a step change in dance training, performance and making.”
Mirella Bartrip endorsed Rebecca’s view. She said: “I am delighted that the close collaboration of Trinity Laban and Candoco over the years has resulted in consolidation of our association as a formal partnership. As two forward looking and entrepreneurial organisations, our dance artists and educators will collaborate to realize new horizons for dance art in the 21st century.”
Candoco return to Laban Theatre on Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 October for two performances of Three Acts of Play, a triple bill featuring the London theatre premiere of Javier de Frutos’ new duet Studies for C.
Inspired by the poetry of Tennessee Williams and set to traditional Mexican Ranchera music, the duet is a celebration of difference and rebellion.
Richard Raymond has teamed up with internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Akram Khan to bring his directorial debut DESERT DANCER to the big screen. The British film stars Slumdog Millionaire’s Frieda Pinto as well as Reece Ritchie and Tom Cullen.
Set in Iran, where dance is illegal and punishable by prison – DESERT DANCER is the incredible true story of Afshin Ghaffarian who risks everything to fight for his dreams.
The story follows Afshin as he hacks into YouTube (also banned in Iran) and teaches himself how to dance by watching music videos – everything from Michael Jackson and Bob Fosse to Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. With YouTube as his teacher, Afshin starts an underground dance company at university with his friends. As their skills develop the group put on a secret dance performance deep in the desert. Their story plays out against the 2009 protests, when the passion and defiance of a young generation lit the flame of revolution still sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.
Director Richard Raymond said: “When I first discovered this story, I immediately connected with it and felt compelled to share it with the widest audience. It’s a story that provokes unity and reminds us of the hope to be found in human resilience and in the simple determination to fight for what is right.
“This film reflects a belief that we should all have the same rights and basic freedoms, no matter where we come from. And most importantly, we should all have the opportunity to realise our dreams.”
He added: “It has been a privilege and a great experience to collaborate with Akram, whose interpretation of dance is not just visually mesmerising but also beautifully spiritual and it is a testament to the passion and love surrounding this film that such a talented and dedicated cast have worked so hard in training with us.”
Choreographer Akram Khan said: “This film is the beginning of the end of a tradition of trying to capture dance… Because this film is not just about dance, but about the very purpose and reason why dance is so important in our lives.
“I am extremely excited to be working alongside the vision and passion of Richard, where at once, he sees and captures the true essence of the body. Not only is the story an inspiring one about the struggle to free oneself from a political regime through dance, but it is also the very freedom we all have a right to have, regardless of what country, what nationality, or what culture we come from. Dance transcends these boundaries, and film allows us to witness the fleeting moments of the soul in action. I feel this film reveals just that.”
DESERT DANCER also stars Nazanin Boniadi, who is an official spokesperson for Amnesty International USA and has campaigned against the unjust conviction and treatment of Iranian youth, women and prisoners of conscience.
The film will start Principal Photography in Casablanca on October 17th 2012, before moving to London and then finally Paris. DESERT DANCER will be released in the UK in 2013.
So lucky that I’m able to see ZooNation’s brilliant production of Some Like It Hip Hop again. Enjoyed it the first time around and enjoyed it even more with the tweaks they have done with the show. We see the return of the loveable characters of Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzen…
Here’s a video to give you an idea of what it is:
Had the opportunity to join the cast during their technical rehearsal and managed to catch up with Tommy Franzen (Simeon Sun) and Andry Oporia (Chadwell Chichester III). I filmed a mini interview with them on my iPhone…
The show runs until 14 October at the Peacock Theatre, London and the tour kicks off in Manchester on 18 October. For a full tour line up, check out the Some Like It Hip Hop page
Join in the conversation and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
The 37th annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival has some additional sessions and industry names on the bill between Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th August, as well as the indies getting in with a chance of scooping a lucrative investment from Pinewood Studios.
As the rivalry and commercial tension increases between the UK’s two biggest channels, it’s been an explosive year in peak time entertainment, from the on-going dominance of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing to the much-hyped arrival of nervous newcomers The Voice and Superstar. Star Wars! The Battle For Saturday Night will explore the hard fought battle to win the most coveted slot in our TV schedules and discover how to deliver a ratings busting, smash-hit. Elaine Bedell (Director of Comedy and Entertainment, ITV), Mark Linsey (Controller, Entertainment Commissioning) and Siobhan Green (Incoming Director of Entertainment, ITV Studios) join the discussion with chair Richard Bacon. There will also be a special performance from a mystery guest.
Former BBC One Controller Lorraine Heggessey, who recently launched production company Boom Pictures, will join the panel for the BBC DG 2.0 session, alongside Greg Dyke, openDemocracy Chairman David Elstein and Chief Executive of Left Bank Pictures Andy Harries. The session will consider the challenges and obstacles facing incoming Director- General George Entwistle, whose appointment marks the start of a critical new era for the BBC.
One of five indies is set to scoop a sought after £30k investment from Pinewood Studios in the culmination of the Pinewood Pitching competition; those in the running are today confirmed as RDF’s Neale Simpson, presenting Unbeatable, markthree media’s Adam Hunt, presenting Story:Time, STV’s Amy Maher, presenting The Lie which was written with colleague Gary Chippington, Pirate Productions’ Jenny Williams and Avalon’s Toby Stevens, co-presenting Bid for Brains, and Zebra Crossing’s Nev Pitty-Rose, presenting Table 10.
Each of the indies will one by one present their TV format idea in front of an audience and panel of experienced commissioning figures. The panel comprises Elaine Bedell, Zai Bennett
(Controller, BBC Three), Emma Tennant (Controller, UKTV) and Phil Edgar-Jones (Head of Entertainment, Sky). The prize package will include studio time, crew and post-production towards a pilot.
Meanwhile, help will be at hand for aspiring or struggling Indies as the Festival plays host to The Indie Surgery, a Q and A with some of the biggest and most influential figures in independent TV production. Eileen Gallagher (CEO, Shed Productions), Magnus Temple (Founder, The Garden), Tom Manwaring (Managing Director, Mediatique) and Andy Harries (Chief Executive, Left Bank Pictures) will answer all of prevalent questions on buying, launching, sustaining success and selling, as well as addressing topics such as setting up in the USA and how crucial having an agent really is in long term expansion…
In other news, The Inbetweeners favourite Simon Bird and his Friday Night Dinner co-star Tom Rosenthal will also be taking questions from fans and delegates alike in a first screening of the Channel 4 comedy’s second series at the Filmhouse.
Registration for the 2012 MGEITF is now open. Visit the MGEITF website for further information.
The 37th annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival has confirmed its full Festival programme, with the final schedule revealing it to be the most diverse, thought provoking line-up of creative and industry heavyweights to date.
Taking place for the first time between Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th August, the three-day Festival will feature a line up of sessions that focus on this year’s biggest television breakthroughs and finest successes, as well as addressing the current and future issues that the industry is facing.
Delivering this year’s MacTaggart Lecture is Elisabeth Murdoch, who follows in the footsteps of former speakers who include Eric Schmidt, Mark Thompson, James Murdoch, Dennis Potter, Michael Grade, Greg Dyke, Peter Fincham and David Liddiment.
The opening session kicks off MGETIF 2012 with Celebrity Juice taking to the stage. Keith Lemon will host this live special edition of ITV2’s award-winning comedy panel game show, featuring team captains Holly Willoughby and Emma Bunton, who will lead bang-tidy teams featuring some of TV’s biggest names.
To honour Channel 4’s thirtieth anniversary, the Festival will look back on how the channel has broken creative boundaries throughout three decades on air, whilst speculating on its future strategy. Channel 4 – Still A Rebel at 30? asks whether the channel can still fulfill its remit to innovate, experiment and be creative, and whether it can really remain a middle aged rebel. Former CEO Michael Jackson uses his unique experience to challenge current boss David Abraham in an authoritative and engaging debate about what Channel 4 actually stands for today.
BBC DG 2.0 will ask the experts what key decisions face incoming Director-General George Entwistle, as Mark Thompson prepares to depart the post. How will the BBC enter the next phase of its history? How might the BBC continue to evolve under his stewardship?
Looking back to the biggest international event of the year, the Festival’s Delivering the Olympic Dream session will bring together core members of the production team to relay the good, the bad and the ugly moments of the BBC and London 2012’s delivery of ‘the greatest show on Earth’. While an international overview of 2012 is addressed by Egyptian doctor turned political satirist Bassem Youssef, whose observational ‘fake news’ programme has developed an international cult following, as he delivers the 2012 Worldview Address.
Looking ahead, the CCO of Internet streaming giant Netflix, Ted Sarandos, described as the man ‘everyone in Hollywood wants a meeting with’, will speak in The Futureview Address, addressing the company’s upcoming plans within the UK market.
This year’s exciting interviews include prolific British film director Michael Apted, who this year brought the eighth installment of the iconic Up series to television screens, for The Richard Dunn Memorial Interview as he reflects on a career that has spawned numerous BAFTA Awards.
One of Britain’s most distinguished TV documentary producers, Adam Curtis, will provide a Masterclass, sharing insight and wisdom from his thirty years in groundbreaking film making, and discussing his many pioneering investigations for the BBC Current Affairs unit.
The Alternative MacTaggart will feature prolific broadcaster, satirist, screenwriter and journalist Charlie Brooker speaking live to award-winning Independent columnist Grace Dent. The Screenwipe star will discuss his experiences as a writer, producer and showrunner, as well as talking about his latest productions and the world of television criticism.
Meanwhile Welsh TV actress and writer Ruth Jones will be talking to Boyd Hilton about being an actor, writer and co-founding her own production company in their session, Ruth Jones: Keeping up with Jonesy.
Some of this year’s biggest and most talked about TV shows, both home grown formats and transatlantic TV hits, will get the Masterclass treatment, with appearances from the figures behind their success.
Outstanding drama, comedy and documentary series feature in the Festival’s Masterclass line-up. One of this year’s most talked about series, BBC One drama Sherlock, hosts a Masterclass with appearances from show creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and producer Sue Vertue.
A Modern Family Masterclass welcomes Emmy award winning writer and producer Steve Levitan, the co-creator of Modern Family. Steve will reveal what it’s like to be the brains behind a multi-award winning show which regularly attracts audiences of over 16 million viewers in America alone, including the President!
The Educating Essex Masterclass will feature Series Director David Clews, Channel 4 Commissioner Mark Raphael and the indisputable stars of the show, Head Teacher Vic Goddard and his Deputy Stephen Drew. They will reveal why they feel Pass Mores School in Essex touched viewers’ hearts and became one of the most discussed shows of the autumn. They will also detail the realities of managing 65 cameras, 1000 students, parents and consent forms, to make education a breakthrough TV hit.
In addition, the Horrible Histories creative team will be telling delegates how they bring the past to life with brilliant sketches, songs and cartoons, Packed full of shocking facts, bonkers beliefs and gruesome punishments, the programme has transformed the children’s television landscape and continues to inform and entertain millions of children and grown-ups alike..
The challenges and creativity involved in producing successful dramas are addressed by a number of sessions at the year’s Festival. Homeland Leaves Home: The Journey of a Hit International Format will feature conversation with Gideon Raff and Avi Nir, the Israeli creators of the series Prisoners of War (Hatufim) and those who brought the drama series to life in the US as Homeland. They will review how the deal was born and the business and creative challenges that came with adapting a big Israeli hit series into a successful American programme.
The First Ten Minutes will examine hit dramas Scott and Bailey and Call the Midwife with the creative teams behind them. The session will explore how to make the crucial first ten minutes of that first episode compelling and addictive, examine the significance of the marketing and PR before the show airs and question what impact the channel it is aired on has on it.
The TV documentary will also come under examination in Alive and Kicking Docs on the Box, exploring how best to capture documentary truth, off the back of contemporary documentary formats such as Educating Essex, One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A & E, all of which have accrued both critical praise and ratings success. In today’s documentary formats, how heavily are we relying on the contributors to make the show for us?
Meanwhile, in a special series of screenings, delegates will be treated to an exclusive first look at the first episode of the next series of Doctor Who, while Frank Spotnitz, the award winning American television writer and producer best known for his work on The X-Files, will discuss new UK spy-thriller Hunted. Also joining the compelling array of previews is a screening of Loving Miss Hatto, followed by a rare and exclusive interview with comedienne Victoria Wood.
The ever popular Meet the Controller sessions return, as Channel Controllers draw on their highs and lows throughout 2012; BBC One’s Danny Cohen, ITV1’s Peter Fincham, Channel 4’s Jay Hunt, Channel 5’s Jeff Ford, Sky’s Stuart Murphy, BBC Four’s Richard Klein, and ITV2’s Angela Jain and UKTV’s Emma Tennant, will all be taking the hot seat. And with new multichannel controller sessions added to the controllers strand this year, delegates will also get to hear about shopping lists for MTV, Comedy Central, Discovery, Nat Geo and more.
For the first time, Deloitte’s annual report on the state of the UK TV sector will make it onto the conference agenda in Stats, Lies and Videotape? Key findings within the report will go up for discussion amongst a panel of invited industry celebrity guests, looking at the top talking points in television in 2012.
Further new sessions include China: A Long Walk for a Short Drink?, where Zespa media Managing Director and Chinese TV industry expert Jean Dong will take delegates on a journey to her native China, explaining how to sell your format in this rapidly expanding market.
The Festival will tackle the profound implications of the Scottish referendum on independence on the broadcasting landscape. Leading political and cultural figures will examine the practicalities and effects of dismantling the BBC, the introduction of legal production quotas and competitive tax breaks and the political battleground that is EastEnders.
It will also address the changing nature of media platforms as YouTube Superstar Jamal Edwards, the hottest internet mogul on the block, will sit alongside Justin Gayner, co-founder of Channel Flip, to discuss making millions – of hits and pounds – via direct to consumer platforms in Who Needs a Commission Anyway?
While We’re Stealing Your Stuff: The Piracy Problem will be dissecting how the web is changing ownership business models. In a world where television can be instantly and infinitely copied and shared, what can TV creatives do to make sure they make money and retain creative control over their output?
This year’s schedule features new live pitching sessions to encourage and support new ideas and creativity within the industry. In The Pinewood Pitching Competition, programme makers will battle it out in front of a live Edinburgh TV festival audience to win a Pinewood sponsored studio pilot. Applications are now open for programme makers to submit their idea for a studio based format, with the best five invited to pitch to a panel of channel controllers live at the Festival.
Budding broadcast entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to get a film commissioned for Channel 4’s arts strand Random Acts in an exciting live pitch. Ones To Watch Elevator Pitch will see twelve finalists present their ideas to Channel 4 Arts Commissioning Editor Tabitha Jackson.
Then looking back over the past 12 months, The Channel of the Year Awards will be voted for by festival delegates, who will be able to cast their vote before attending the live ceremony on Friday 24thAugust.
Along with headline sponsors MediaGuardian and YouTube, the Festival is delighted to have 13 major sponsors confirmed this year, including 3 brand new, the Canadian Tourism Commission, UKTV and Xbox. Collectively the sponsors will enhance the delegates’ festival experience with networking, business insight and demonstration of the latest technologies transforming entertainment in the living-room.
Registration for the 2012 MGEITF is now open. Visit the MGEITF website for further information.