Items filtered by date: September 2013
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:09

Freeze Frame: Possible Odds

Three-time Emmy award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen will theatrically transform QPAC into the tough streets of Los Angeles when ‘Freeze Frame’ makes its world premiere at Brisbane Festival.

“‘Freeze Frame’ is all about the challenges that young people growing up in LA face when their lives collide with police and gangs and education and religion and love and just the disenfranchisement by virtue of their cultural identity and their zip code,” Ms Allen explains with passion.

The production, which fuses music, dance and theatre has been choreographed, written and directed by Debbie, whose illustrious life and career includes playing the legendary Lydia Grant in ‘Fame’, projects with Michael Jackson and Sammy Davis Jr, ten years choreographing the Oscars, judging on ‘So You Think You Can Dance (USA)’, and directing key episodes of ‘Gray’s Anatomy’.

“I have grown up in LA all my adult life and as much as I was admired and celebrated and working, all the time I always knew how it felt to be marginalised. I was upset by the loss of some young people feeling like they didn’t have a future and I knew that something had to be done about that.”

So she did. She capitalised on her years of expertise in the performing arts and established the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) in South Central LA — a haven for local kids experiencing life’s harshest realities.

“So that’s what ‘Freeze Frame’ is about — it’s about young people and how some of them are changing their lives through dance and the arts and how that can change and uplift their lives, but at the end of the day it’s also about the tragic events that they are witnessing daily.”

In ‘Freeze Frame’, these incredibly talented kids will take the stage and share their true stories as part of an electric cast from LA and Australia that includes Ms Allen herself.

“I’ve always been working with young people and I started DADA because I love dance and I wanted to see how I could offer this to young people who deserve the opportunity, as there is such inequity in education and art opportunities for young people in places that are economically challenged. There’s a cast of 29 in ‘Freeze Frame’, and of that 29 there’s probably about 15 or so that are current or graduating students of the academy and I’m actually playing two parts — the wife of Rev. Bishop Washington who has a huge ministry in Los Angeles and also that of Rosanna, a black American/Mexican American who’s the grandma of a young boy haunted by gang members.”

The project was initiated when Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton was moved by the realities in LA and approached Debbie Allen to bring the project to life.

“We started working on it over seven years ago when we first met — he came to see me in Atlanta when I was directing an adaption of ‘Oliver Twist’ and we started working on it back then, then we kind of put it away and pulled it back out again.”

It’s a collaboration that has facilitated a close bond and seen Ms Allen making the arduous trips between LA and Brisbane.

“I truly admire Noel and can’t praise him enough for being such a visionary in guiding not only this festival to its international status but also the way he midwifes great work and nurtures stories that need to be told. He is truly brilliant… I just love the theatre culture in Australia, which is so dynamic and with an audience that is open and looking for new experiences.”

‘Freeze Frame’ boasts a powerful musical component with a soundtrack that bounces between hip hop, soul, gospel and R&B led by musical director Rickey Minor whose credits include ‘American Idol’, the Grammy Awards and numerous superstar tours including Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Ray Charles.

“It’s music, it’s dance, it’s theatre, it’s also film and I’d have to say that it’s every aspect of my upbringing. I have trained in the classics as a young student, translating Homer at Howard University and I trained in many techniques of dance from modern to ballet and then I became a film director so I’m using all the aspects that I learnt and have developed in myself as an artist and it’s the first time that I’m using all that in one production.”

As the project’s developed, Debbie has drawn correlation between the disadvantages faced by youth in LA to the plight faced by young Aboriginals in Australia.

“You have an entire nation, a culture of the Indigenous Australians that can relate to this very directly. That are marginalised by ethnic identity and where they live, I know Brisbane is looking inward to make changes on that, but it’s a long road and a very relevant story for Australia.”

Debbie will also be bringing her own singing group for a performance at QPAC the Sunday before ‘Freeze Frame’ opens.

“It’s called Kids Crew and it’s a group of young people who sing and dance who are going to have a concert down on the grounds at QPAC right before the light show.”

This year’s Brisbane Festival wants to hold up a mirror to society and tell these stories in an honest and creative way, through raw, striking and emotional art that uses the human body as a canvas.

“We believe ‘Freeze Frame’ is a truly powerful piece that’s going to want to be seen in many parts of the world. Dance is a language that is spoken all over, I remember as a child wanting to speak it, to learn it, and I’m still discovering it. I want to offer young people the same opportunities, as they deserve what I call the greatest gift — a possibility.”

Freeze Frame runs from September 19 – 22 at QPAC’s Playhouse Theatre.

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:19

RIPD Tickets

Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds headline the 3D supernatural action-adventure 'R.I.P.D.'.

Two cops are dispatched by the otherworldly Rest In Peace Department to protect and serve the living from an increasingly destructive array of souls who refuse to move peacefully to the other side.

To win one of five prizepacks that each include an in-season double to the film, plus a DVD copy of Ryan Reynolds films ‘Safe House' and 'The Change Up' This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 3pm Tuesday 17th September at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:08

Top Of The Lake DVDs

Nominated for eight Emmy Awards in 2013, ‘Top Of The Lake’ is the television event of 2013.

From Academy Award winning writer/ director Jane Campion and the Academy Award winning producers of ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Top Of The Lake’ is a powerful and haunting mystery starring Elisabeth Moss, David Wenham, Peter Mullan, Thomas M. Wright and Academy Award winner Holly Hunter.

To win one of three DVD copies This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 4.30pm Tuesday 17th September at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 11:21

Top 5 Craziest Things About Making Cannonball

1. Surviving a creative process that basically saw me locked in a rehearsal room alone for three months, talking to myself in strange voices and recording it all on my phone. Occasional visits from other creatives were the only thing that kept me sane!

2. When ‘Cannonball’ toured to New Zealand, getting to explain to customs officers why I had a taxidermied crow in my baggage. I had all his documents in order but I'm pretty sure the Aussies thought I was crazy. The Kiwis took it completely in their stride.

3. Strange as it may sound, getting to know the characters of ‘Cannonball’. They've developed with each theatre season so I know them quite well now – they're a bit like family members or friends. People who've seen the show often ask after them, or recall things that a particular character said or did!

4. Winning Best Solo Show at NZ Fringe Festival was pretty exciting. I'd had such a great time over there with ‘Cannonball’, so it was a really nice surprise at the end of the tour.

5. Being able to share this weird imaginary world with so many different audiences. I've been to several cities, regional areas and small towns. I love seeing how different audiences respond and chatting to people after the show. I'm keeping a tally on which character is the most popular.

‘Cannonball’ is part of the Brisbane Festival and takes place at the Basement, Metro Arts, September 17-21.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 11:13

Action Hero's Top 5 Tips & Tour Stories

1. We made ‘A Western’ in our living room. It was the first piece we made as Action Hero. Back then I never dreamed that one day we'd be touring it to the other side of the world.

2. If you're going to watch a western film, watch ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’. Trust me, I've seen them all (in the name of research) and that's the best one. Avoid the ones with Kevin Costner.

3. Bristol’s performance scene packs a pretty big punch for a small city. Some of the best work in the UK comes out of there. I'm proud to have adopted it as my hometown.

4. We like to see as much theatre as possible, but we also try to see as many non-theatre events as we can. It’s good to be inspired from outside your artform. Last weekend I went to a massive air show, it was awesome!

5. We performed ‘A Western’ in Texas a couple of years ago. I thought, 'if I never perform this show ever again, I don't mind, because I got to do this’. Texans are one hell of a crowd. I reckon Aussies might give them a run for their money though.

Action Hero perform A Western as part of the Brisbane Festival at the Basement, Metro Arts, until Saturday September 28.

Published in Theatre
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 05:46

Soul Continuum: Funk Soul Brothers

As a genre, there aren’t a lot of local funk bands doing the rounds.

But one act who have sewn their funk roots across Brisbane are Soul Continuum.

“We really have listened to a lot of music from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in that sort of funk/ soul genre mix up. Really, when we started out we were emulating a lot of early ‘80s stuff,” lead singer James Higgins says.

With a resume that includes supports of industry giants like Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai, the band are looking to create a strong dynamic and presence on stage.
“We just watched closely how they work on stage and really have taken as much from that as we can. Their cohesion of the band is probably the most impressive thing that they bring, so we've really worked on that to really sort of have a tight outfit on stage where we're all close to each other and play tightly.”

Set to play Wunder Bar as part of the Brisbane Festival, James says they want to build upon their strong performance there last year.

“At Wunder Bar [the audience] responded to that really well and it went from being a seated dining experience to having a packed dancefloor very quickly.”

Soul Continuum’s mixture of soul, pop and funk is greeted with less uncertainty in Europe, as they find the audiences are more aware of the sound they produce.

“There's more general awareness of funk and soul music in Europe, it's a bit more ingrained in the culture whereas in Australia it's a little bit more out of the box, they're just a little more surprised by what they hear. People in Europe are expecting what they hear and they're quite enthusiastic about it.”

As they build their reputation as a funk band, James says they still find joy from the smaller things.

“We're not as well known as we'd like to be but that's okay now, we're happy to just fit into a niche. I still get the pleasure from time to time of just randomly hearing one of our songs on the radio.”

Soul Continuum play Wunder Bar as part of Brisbane Festival September 19.

Published in Urban
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 16:37

Neelix: Not A Trekkie

Hamburg resident Henrik Twardzik, better know to progressive trance aficionados as Neelix, returns to Brisbane this week, ten months after his debut voyage down under.

What’s the latest from the Neelix camp; any new material ready to drop?
I recently had a time of not producing and some problems in my studio, so I couldn't really produce. But I fixed that with a room correction system and managed to finish two new tracks in the last week. I will release a new EP in the near future.

The development of your sound; has much changed in the last couple of years?
I think my sound has been constantly changing for the past ten years. The very early stuff was quite psychedelic, then it went to offbeat with lots of melodies, and I just released an EP with lots of rock elements inside. I don't really notice the changes when I'm producing, but looking back it is more obvious.

Is there a typical week in the studio for you? Or do you create music more sporadically?
I produce when I can. When I have to travel all the time it’s hard for me to relax in the studio and actually produce. I need time to get into it and I like to know I have lots of time ahead to get everything done. It usually takes me a long time to produce a track! When I am working a lot in the studio I usually start at 7am and work for about 12 hours until I have a serious headache from staring at the screen. If I wasn't to tour sometimes in places like Australia or Brazil I would have skin like Gollum because I am a basement child.

As far as your artistic endeavors, how has 2013 been?
2013 has been very good. Every year you develop more and more countries which is super interesting. Some countries are going down and some are coming up. At the moment India and UK are coming up for me. Sometimes you have time to explore the country a bit as well which is nice. I definitely learned a lot more about production and got more skills. I released an EP and just finished a new EP, which will be released soon.

Trance right now; are you happy with the progress of the genre?
I am. It definitely became a bit more popular which I like. A lot of subgenres developed recently which makes it very interesting. I don't really like much of the music but that is ok.

You’re headed to Australia for the first time since last November; what are you memories of your last trip here?
It was awesome. I had a really crazy show in Melbourne and also had the chance to play in New Caledonia for the first time. My girlfriend is from Australia, so she is always keeping us very busy when we visit. At the end of this tour I'll have the chance to take my first real vacation in Australia with Hannes [Vaishiyas] and his girlfriend Claudia.

As a professional traveller, how do you cope with the many hours waiting around at airports, hotels etc?
I love waiting at airports. I really don't like stress and rushing, so if I have time to wait around it is always a good thing because I can relax and look around. I'm definitely never short of cologne.

What are you thoughts on social media; are you a fan?
I love having that platform to be creative. I have so much fun designing my banner and profile photos and changing the look of the page. Obviously it is a great way to reach new people and share music with people who like the Neelix project. On a personal level, I very rarely use my page and only have a few friends.

You mentioned in a past interview you were looking to explore pop music - have you taken this further by producing any pop material?
No, not at all. I was connected to a commercial agency because I made a few tracks for them for ads. They pushed me to go in that direction and I did produce one pop track for them. It's awful. I made a Neelix version of it called 'You And I Belong', which is still quite poppy. In the end I realised that I can only produce music that I actually like.

Your journey to become a DJ is not the traditional one — how did dance culture and electronic music escape your attention as a teenager?
I actually did listen to some very early electronic music when I was about 16, but I was too young to get into the scene. After that my friends and I all got into skateboarding and rock music. We were teenagers, so of course we thoughts that computers and electronic music were very uncool. I started producing music almost by accident when I lived with a friend [NOK] who was a producer. To be honest, I'm still not really into electronic music. If I have the choice I would always listen to Stevie Wonder or The Mamas and The Papas.

Given your name, how big a Trekkie are you?
I'm not a huge Trekkie, but of course I like the show and I used to watch it all the time. I actually just sampled the theme song in one of my new tracks… but don't tell anyone! I went recently to my first Comic-con in London and it was really fun. There were huge queues of people lining up for autographs from people like the voice of Mario and Luigi. Danny Glover was there too, but no one was lining up for him because he was charging 25 pounds. He looked pretty pissed off.

Is ‘Voyager’ your favourite incarnation of the Star Trek universe?
I think my favourite is ‘Next Generation’. I really like the characters and storylines. Realistically, I probably like it the best because I was born in the mid ‘70s and that is what I grew up watching on TV. I like ‘Voyager’ too, but I took the name Neelix mainly because ‘Voyager’ was on TV at the time I was trying to find a name for my project. I had to think of something really fast because a label had contacted me to say they would release one of my tracks on a compilation. I was never planning on doing this professionally, so when I think back to the other names I was considering I'm really glad I chose Neelix!

Is a Neelix costume your fancy dress of choice?
Definitely not. I don't like Neelix at all! Neelix is the Jar Jar Binks of ‘Star Trek’. I would probably dress as a shower like Daniel LaRusso in ‘Karate Kid’.

Neelix, supported by Tranceducer and a host of locals, plays Coniston Lane Friday September 20.

Published in Electronic
Thursday, 05 September 2013 11:34

The Rusty Datsuns Tickets

With the currents of life pulling The Rusty Datsuns in different directions, their upcoming album tour may possibly be the last time they will play together... at least for the foreseeable future.

They're not breaking up or anything like that; Fern is taking off overseas for some time to follow long held dreams, Chocolate Strings is gaining momentum for Al and Sain is discovering yet new ways to express her talent while honing her skills and collaborating with other artists.

Despite this the band is super stoked to be able to release and tour the ‘Riverbank’ album!

To win one of two double passes to the Brisbane launch at The Old Museum Sunday September 15 This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 4pm Tuesday 10th September at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Thursday, 05 September 2013 11:21

Bigsound Live Tickets

Just when you were packing your bags, checking your makeup and cleansing your liver ready for Bigsound next week (September 11-12), Australia’s biggest industry gathering has doubled down on musical treats, announcing live performances from seminal musicians Billy Bragg, Robert Forster and Regurgitator.

With Bragg and Regurgitator already speaking at the event, these music royals now also join the Bigsound festival program which includes a host of the hottest bands from Australia and beyond, including: Megan Washington, Busby Marou, Calling All Cars, Mama Kin, Stonefield, The Trouble With Templeton, Adalita and many more.

To win one of three double passes to the Live component of Bigsound This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 3pm Monday 9th September at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners notified]
3. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:16

Songs For The Fallen: Theatre In Preview

The stellar cast of part punk/ part opera ‘Songs For The Fallen’ is set to enchant Brisbane Festival audiences.

“It's big, brassy, and rambunctious theatre that gets really naughty — but it's also quite poignant because it's a real story of a woman dying.”

This is Sheridan Harbridge's — director, writer and performer of 'Songs For The Fallen' — own explanation of the sassy pop-opera romp that is premiering on Queensland stages at this year's Brisbane Festival.

'Songs For The Fallen' is the story of Marie Duplessis, the legendary Parisian party girl who rose from rags to riches within a few short years, only to die a lonely death at age 23. Harbridge explains that the performance has “done a terrible thing of of making a comedy out of someone's death”.

She goes on to explain that the archetype of Marie Duplessis has been used and abused as a love story – the 19th Century French courtesan has inspired works such as Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge', and the classic story of 'The Lady Of The Camellias' – however, Duplessis "didn't die in the arms of her lover … she died alone, and very poor ... the real tragedy of this woman's life is not to be disrespected.”

Despite the tragic undertones of 'Songs For The Fallen', the performance is decadent, sexy, and fun. It's an eclectic mixture of cabaret, opera, comedy and vaudeville. To top it off, AFI-winning composer Basil Hogios (who did the soundtrack for 'Romulus, My Father') has perfected a baroque pop-score for Duplessis' story.

Harbridge, who wrote the performance and also plays Marie Duplessis, was last year's Sydney Cabaret Showcase winner. But cabaret is not Harbridge's sole field of performance. She explains that there are limits in cabaret's ability to tell a good story, but it's great as it allows for the audience to be “harassed but at the same time not feel too confronted ... you really want [the audience] to be listening but not wishing that they hadn't sat in the front.”

This is why Harbridge chose to give Duplessis a cabaret persona. 

For those who may have seen 'Songs For The Fallen' while it was being staged in Sydney, never fear, the Brisbane performance has been developed a bit further, and there is also a new member to the cast. Also “vocally it's different, there are ... new moments in the songs,” Harbridge explains.

Brisbane Festival director, Noel Staunton describes 'Songs For The Fallen' as a “devilishly good production ... [it's] a tantalising theatrical extravaganza that leaves audiences wanting more.”

‘Songs For The Fallen’ hits Metro Arts from Sept 19 to 22 as part of Brisbane Festival.

Published in Theatre


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