Daily Prompt Post: Resolved

Fishing at Eco Beach, Broome, Western Australia

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

Yes, last year I resolved to become stronger and fitter.

It wasn’t what some people would say is a SMART goal, but I just wanted to go for the year making mostly the right decisions about nutrition, sleep, stress management, and health.

I am stronger because I can:

  • peddle my bike better by having increased my cadence. Note: Christmas present last year was to add an electric kit to my bike, so the only way I know how I’m doing is to look at cadence.
  • see that I am a lot more flexible while doing the Pilates and Dance videos on SparkPeople.

I can see that I am fitter because I have gone down a size. This has also helped with my decluttering, as I have thrown out or donated my big clothes so I am not tempted to fill them out again.

This year I am going to crank it up! Finances permitting, I wish to add dancing, swimming, Pilates classes, and running to my repertoire. Also, there are a couple of exercises that I find difficult or cannot do – yet. I want to be able to master:

Currently, I am continuing to practice planks and roll-ups, but I will start swimming next week when I return to work. The plan is to go twice/week on the way to work.

January, February and March I have streaks happening, but cranking up the exercise fits in with these, as it makes me happy, helps with the decluttering, and I’m sure will help me study better.

PIAF

We have booked three events to the Perth International Arts Festival. One dance and two theatre:

We are going to most of the festival films, even driving up to Joondalup Pines in addition to cycling to the Somerville.

I just wish that I had found out about salary packaging sooner. Being able to salary package tickets to the festival, including the films is a great benefit.

first pick of the festival

The launch of the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival Program was celebrated at the Perth Concert Hall with a full-house.

Attendance at the Program launch is a must. From receiving the festival brochure in the morning post, poring over the offerings, attempting to set a budget, confirming and adding more choices during the launch, to meeting up with friends and colleagues that we may not have seen since the last festival.

Our first picks from the brochure were:

After attending the launch celebrations, we would like to add:

Added to that are the Festival Films, Perth Writers Festival, and Visual Arts.

Phew! Now just have to get the money out and book.

The queues were long at the program launch, so having read that we could book online we enjoyed the refreshments and mingled.

I was unsuccessful at booking online as I hoped :( I persevered and attempted to work around issues as they arose, but finally hit the Contact Us button to view a HTTP Error 500 – Internal server error. Because friends said that we would not be able to choose our seats, I gave up with H promising that he would go into town to get them first thing in the morning.

the festival has started

The 2009 Perth International Arts Festival programme launch on Wednesday marks the beginning of the festival for me. Not only do we get to experience a glimpse of the festival, but the excitement of the events and activities to come is shared with some enthusiasm.

Throughout the evening, I found myself talking to complete strangers about the festival. Topics included: Welcome To Country, amazing didgeridoo playing, insights into the programme, presentations, and of course what tickets were you going to buy? Like the programme launch last year, BOCs set up terminals so that Friends of the Festival could purchase tickets then and there.

The formal part of the evening was held in the Octagon Theatre and the programme launch party was held in the Somerville Auditorium which was in a huge marquee surrounded by vintage cars, dance floor (with dancers), and live music. Food and wine were plentiful, but because the weather was cold and wet, those that wanted elbow room headed for the perimeter. The waitpersons all wore wigs to suit the theme, so they were easy to spot, but they too experienced difficulty making their way through the crowd.

We received our programme in the mail on the day, so it was already earmarked to take along to the programme launch. I got tickets for all that we planned, but I may get some more having seen the presentations.

Tickets so far:

Festival Films are on from 1 December, so still plenty of time to get our ticket pack to start the season.

devotion in black and white

The Tero Saarinen Company and Boston Camerata‘s collaboration and production of Borrowed Light was austere but enthralling.

The inspiration for the choreography and music are drawn from the Shakers, with some of the songs transcribed from original manuscripts. The programme explains that these songs had not been performed for 150 years and until Borrowed Light, outside the Shaker community.

When one of the Boston Camerata began to sing the hairs on my arms prickled. I have never been able to comfortably listen to soprano. Fortunately, for the rest of the 70 minute performance the singers did not utilise the high soprano notes. Some of the songs were simple chanting, others were pretty, and others were almost manic and disturbing.

The Tero Saarinen Company dancers performed a number of dancing styles, but mostly it appeared to be in character with the Shaker songs. They sometimes used their costumes as props, for example, their thick brown leather looking belts were used to support and lift each other. The swirling frenzied dancing reminded me of the dervishes, or spinning tops – until they dropped using different levels to great effect.

The stage consisted of a bare dancing floor surrounded by matt black walls. Two of the walls allowed the dancers and music ensemble to climb and stand on platforms on different levels. This added to the atmosphere, particularly when there was activity on the dance floor and movement and sound enamating from the high and low platforms. The light was often on the singer or dancer, but the others were always on stage and appeared as silhouettes.

Although I didn’t listen to the words all the time, some of the songs I found uncomfortable to disturbing. Especially when danced to with such ferocity. It reminded me of the story of The Red Shoes.

I’m pleased that I chose to see the performance of Borrowed Light (programme) although I did not come away with feelings of being entertained. More that I had witnessed a special moment, the amazing result of a collaboration between singers and dancers of an historical event.

festival time

Last night, as a Friend of the Festival, I attended the 2008 Perth Festival Programme launch.

A familiar face was behind the sound desk, but he encouraged us to go up front, as he explained the venue (Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Pavilion 1) was not very good for sound.

The welcome to country was particularly moving, with the traditional welcome following a short cycle of didgeridoo playing which was simply amazing. All the speakers were palatable, but you could tell that the audience was getting a little toey in anticipation of the Artistic Director, Shelagh Magadza getting up to show off the upcoming programme.

We had received our printed programme in the post that morning, and together with the displayed excerpts on a big screen and Shelagh Magadza’s commentary, we were keen to book tickets for the 56th Perth International Arts Festival.

Food and drinks were served behind the stage. Walking through an art installation set up at the entrance to the area, it appeared to be screens placed amongst foliage of strappy leaved plants. I don’t know what the film footage shown on the screens were, as I didn’t get to look at it very closely because of the surging throng moving to be fed and watered,

We didn’t book any tickets last night (Friends have preferential booking until Sunday 11 November), but I’ve just come back from uni having visited BOCS at the Octagon Theatre and burned the plastic there. I was able to get seven of the nine sets of tickets. Some of the performances you need to book directly with the Festival office, which is not very clear in the programme.

In addition to a block of festival film tickets, events we have tickets for so far:

We were going to book other performances, but apart from blowing our budget, some performances were on the same night, for example, Murundak and Sonic Youth.

The only thing that has been relatively uninspiring is the graphics associated with the invitations, programme, poster and web site – a couple of figures dressed in black amongst coloured blocks.

December 3 is already marked on the calendar as the beginning of the festival films. Now to get a 2008 calendar so that I can mark up a very busy three weeks starting in February next year.

real wild life

“In this real wild wild world we have
and there’ll be things that you’ll see
but don’t wanna see
and there’ll be things that you’ll know
but don’t wanna know”

From Ed Kuepper’s Black Ticket Day, released August 1992. As H said, Ed Kuepper could have naively been talking about the internet. Because in 1992, the internet became more accessible as the World Wide Web.

I organised to purchase from 78 Records a CD including “Real Wild Life” as a present for H. Ended up getting “Ed Kuepper sings his greatest hits for you” by Didgeridoo Records.

This would not have happened if H had not discovered “Real Wild Life” on YouTube.

And we will probably buy more songs after seeing them on the internet for free.

wild calligraphy

Last night we saw the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan perform at His Majesty’s Theatre as part of The UWA Perth International Arts Festival. We already knew that driving into the city and parking would be fraught with delays and frustration due to the development of the William Street Underground Platforms. So we caught the bus.

Kuang Chao (‘wild calligraphy’) was the inspiration for Wild Cursive (Cursive III), the conclusion of the Cursive trilogy.

The dance was equisitely executed. The smooth almost fluid movements changed in a heartbeat to angular and hard stances, and sharp tight movements.

From the programme (PDF) I read that the dancers study Tai Chi, meditation, martial arts, Chincese opera movement, modern dance and ballet.

The set could almost be considered an art installation in its self. Drops of white paper (I later found out was rice paper) were lowered and raised at different times and to different heights. Black ink seeped slowly down the paper during the performance creating different patterns, perhaps based on the construction of the paper. The dancers sometimes used these as a backdrop, part of the dance with the movements being back-lit on the paper as dancers moved behind them, or moving behind and around.

The dancers were accompanied by a scoundscape of wind, a sea breaking, foghorns, dripping water, rain, bells, and insects at night. Not all at once though :) The stamps, slaps, and breaths of the dancers were also very much part of the dance.

I can’t remember which sound went with what movement, but I liked best the slow rippling of the dancers bodies and arms. I enjoyed too the sound of the wind and watching the dancers furl and unfurl like leaves.

Also, like ‘silence’ is considered to be beats of music, this dance company demonstrates that ‘still’ is movement.

They certainly earned an appreciative audience in Perth from what I saw.