March 27, 2013

Richter City vs Pirate City: a historical match

I don’t think anything will equal the first match I witnessed between Pirate City and Richter City. Of particular memory was Pirate City’s entrance to I’m on a Boat forming a boat as they skated. I also recall Skate the Muss and Fai Fasi Oe? shining in that particular match. That was the first interleague bout in New Zealand, Saturday’s match was another history maker.

As a ‘nod to the athleticism’ of the game one local player skated under her own name and you will note the marked difference in uniform of both teams from that of early years. This highlights the changing face of roller derby in New Zealand. The game was the first to be played here under the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association) rules. I also noticed a greater emphasis on timekeeping; the clock showed times for timeouts, jams and jam setups (only 30 seconds).

Pirate City managed to keep a steady lead on Richter City throughout the first half despite winning lead jammer only one third of the time. The home team would narrow the gap each time they had a power jam – the biggest such jam in the first half was 24 points scored by Skanda Lass bringing in a lead. She paid for her winning steak with a sprained ankle later in the game which necessitated a trip to hospital.

I don’t know if it was a reflection of the new rules or Pirate City’s way of playing but they often had a slim team on track while they frequented the penalty box. It does say a lot about their skill that they were able to keep up such a good despite lacking in players. Matters got worse in the second half when three of their players were ejected from the game for reaching the maximum number of penalties, including the team captain Terror Santana. With their jammers often in the box Meat Train was able to score the highest jam of the game – 30 points for Richter City.

The final time out of the game was called with only 42 seconds left on the clock. Richter City were at a 5 point lead and the penalty box was well occupied. It was a fight through the last two jams. The final score was 194/192 to Richter City, the first time that Pirate City has been beaten by a New Zealand team.

March 25, 2013

I Want to Break Free (Pole Room)

A great line up of performers (Karry Summers, Maree Prebensen, Andre Corey, Larry Wong, Giada, Nick Pitt, Kapi Huria, Poleman Pete, Amy Polaris, Ernestine, Freya Devine, Jennifer Starrdust, Raha Star and Rachel Palmer) from all over the country put on a fabulous show for us on Friday 22nd March at the Fringe Bar. The show was 80’s themed and a great load of fun!

It was my first show to attend and I brought two girlfriends with me – it’s safe to say we would definitely go again.

The MC’s were great - they kept the show running smoothly with quick quips and many laughs from the audience.

It was fantastic to be able to see reigning NZ Pole champion Karry Summers perform for us as well as 2nd runner up, Raha Star. Both had my jaw to the floor in awe. Raha’s performance was filled with energy and awe inspiring strength and flexibility – my favourite performance of the night and I would recommend anyone to see her if you ever have the chance (or see her on youtube alongside the other fantastic dancers).

Andre Corey has been selected for the Mr Pole Dance championships in Sydney this year, and it’s very easy to see why. Three other guys performed and it was great to see their enthusiasm and theatrics – not to mention that they were good to watch too!

The only negative feedback I have is that it’s quite an awkward bar for a show. The seating was tight and if you don’t come early, you may very well be at the back and I’m unsure you’d be able to see much.

Other than that, every performance was great, fantastic organisation and commentary by the MC’s and the song choices were fantastic. Bring on the next show!

March 22, 2013

Weight loss: a month of disappointments

The dancing weight loss programme I was so enthusiastic about (though secretly dreading the late nights) in my last post has been cancelled. This has been a real disappointment. I’m told that it may be resurrected should enough people show interest but I’m not holding my breath. This, along with the influx of reviews for the Fringe Festival, has been why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

It’s been a month of disappointments. The scale has resisted any efforts to move it in descending direction. My dietician has taken another job and will not be replaced.

However, I can share one last bit of wisdom from my dietician; how to read food labels. The formula to check that food is healthy to eat is 10-10-6-450.

Check the nutritional panel and read the figures for per 100gms. Ideally it will have:
10 – less than 10gms of fat
10 - less than 10gms of sugar
6 – more than 6gms of fibre (labels are not legally required to illustrate fibre content so this may be lacking)
450 – less than 450mgs (micrograms) of sodium

It’s as simple as that!

Go read some labels and let me know what you discover.

Keep reading and you’ll see less of me next time.

March 21, 2013

Mexican Fusion

I am so glad that a friend warned me how bad Mexican Fusion was so that instead of being frustrated I could really enjoy how truly terrible the experience was. Am I a masochist? possibly.

The hours say it is open all afternoon into the evening but when we turned up at 5 the waitress said they weren't open nor did they have any tables free. Eventually we were allowed to sit at an empty table in the still empty restaurant..

The 'restaurant' is more of a cafe in appearance but the prices are of something much more upmarket. The food was not only expensive but also bland. The corn chips were authentic but would have been much better had they been warm. The mains were tiny and not at all filling. The desserts were similarly bland and the chocolate cake was even burnt!

On a positive note the waitress was nice (apart from the altercation when we arrived), and authentic (as was the chef). However at one point the waitress went outside, I thought to talk to a couple who were looking at the menu in the window but, no, she completely ignored them - to clear the table that had a coffee cup sitting there since before we arrived over an hour earlier.

I am frankly surprised that Mexican Fusion is still in business when the only thing to recommend them is the authenticity of their staff.

Mexican Fusion, 99 Molesworth Street

March 11, 2013

Fringe: Gobsmacked

Gobsmacked - a cabaret comedy about showbiz and dating from Melbourne duo Nikki Aitken and Jamie Burgess was absolutely fantastic last night at Meow. A delightful and often true (though we ladies may not want to admit that out loud) view into the world of a single life - the crowd was always engaged and the wit, innuendo and entendre within the show was brilliant.

The story line - though I found confusing with the double characters at times - was good but could have been refined to make clearer who was who and why. But it didn't stop me really enjoying myself. I didn't know what to expect of the show, I was delightfully pleased and often in fits of laughter amongst the rest of the audience. Jamie was the background star of the show with his alternative versions of If You're Happy and having us all sing along to 80's classics. There was always interaction with the crowd and we loved it.

If you missed it Saturday night - sorry that was the last Wellington show, but they are hitting Dunedin. Definitely worth seeing!

Fringe: Footnote Forte

We Have Been There (Cloud in Hand)

I thought going to see Footnote Forte would be an enjoyable experience as I have a background in music and dance.

The stage was empty which gave an atmosphere of being closer to the dancers as there was nothing to distract from watching them.

The first ‘dance’ began with music that sounded like an untuned radio. Noise. There were long periods of silence. The dancers walked in one at a time to this music and formed poses. Many of these poses were simple, every day stances but others looked awkward and alien-like (think arching back, bending arms around the wrong way and creating claw like hands). As the performance developed there was some more synchronised movement where the positions flowed together and times when the dancers grouped together to wrap their arms around each other whilst moving in an often unnatural way.

Lisa Densem mentions in the program that they are aiming to create a ‘state of heightened "attention" that can occur while dancing, improvising or performing’. She also points out that the way in which the ‘performer perceives and responds to the action around them’ creates a ‘charged space’ that can be experienced by the dancer performing and the audience watching. As an audience member I felt confused and awkward; I was on edge and uncomfortable the whole time.

Maybe I'm just uncultured, or I don't get it but after half an hour I decided to leave rather than stay and continue to experience what I was feeling at the time. I appreciate dance is a form of art, but unfortunately this style of dance was not my cup of tea. I can only hope that the performance developed as it went on, and that the majority of the audience enjoyed their experience.

Footnote Forte Cloud in Hand 7&8 March 2013 8.00pm
Wellington Opera House

Choregraphic direction – Lisa Densem
Choreographic assistant – Melanie Hamilton
Performance and Choreography – Lucy Marinkovich, Manu Reynaud, Emily Adams, Olivia McGregor, Alice Macann, Levi Cameron
Music – Andrew Thomas

March 6, 2013

Fringe: How to Make Friends and Still Appear Normal

Can anyone or any medium truly show the human condition successfully?  Our fears and our joys, self-awareness and also confidence, our moods and our feelings towards ourselves and towards others.

What at times seems a daily battle to survive and other times when we are ‘on top’ and winning life over others.

These and many other human emotions and situations were very ably presented in music and movement, particularly movement by a talented group of young women.

Their timing, dance moves, agility and energy was superb.  This was all shown with a sense of humour which gave the entire performance an extra touch of class.

May we see more of Natalie Maria Clark’s work in Wellington.

Look out for this show at Dunedin Fringe 14-16 March.

March 4, 2013

Carousel Cabaret March 2013

Much like its performers, Carousel Cabaret's March Revue was a well put together event, successfully titillating with a mix of classic tease and carnivale-esque humour at the San Francisco Bathhouse this Saturday.

This month's lineup, which included Siren Sweetsong, Little Miss Broadway, Bob Bon Rocher, MisRed, Lily Loca and Tiger Moon drew a sizable crowd of both regulars and newcomers, which is no doubt a testament to the steady popularity of Burlesque in Wellington and the professionalism of Venus Starr, the show's producer. However, I found I was lucky to find an available chair sideline to the stage, as the Bathhouse's seating capacity appeared to be pushed to its limits. Tip: reserving seats is essential if you want the full stage view for complete ogling pleasure.

Once the crowd was suitably warmed up by surprisingly funny MC, Siren Sweetsong was the perfect  opening act and truly set the bar high with her bawdy DeadWood/Madame-esque piece. Not only can that girl sing, she can tease too. Little Miss Broadway followed and mesmerised the audience with her seductive rendition of Habanera. My date was especially impressed with what he called her "multitasking" and elegance. Tiger Moon was perfectly cheeky as she emerged from her travelling trunk to Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, and her classic tease kept the flow, and the interest of the audience to the final act of first half; a mash up of shout outs to Pin Ups past performed by Lilly Loca, who was the best at engaging the audience in spite of what seemed to be an awkward moment with her corset mid way through. Her fan work in the latter half also deserves mention.

The second half flew by with highlights including the delightfully and disturbingly adorable Bon Bob Rocher as a living doll, and my date's ultimate favourite; the fantastical MisRed and her candy eating Marie Antoinette. The whipped cream hidden in her wig was as surprising as it was coordinated. MisRed was successful in balancing both a sense of humour and hinting at a naughty fetish, which is what I have always found so appealing about burlesque.

Unquestionably, the most memorable act of the evening was by 'newcomer' Lil' Bro (alter ego of Little Miss Broadway). Her energetic portrayal as an angry teen complete with hoodie, over sized pants and cap completely wowed the audience with her sense of fun and Rap meets Lolita styles.

All in all the Bathhouse seems to have accommodated the needs of Carousel Cabaret and its audience. The stage was suitably glittered and suggestively lit, and the stage kittens were organised and easy on the eye. The MC was quick on his feet and engaged the audience without being too painful. I felt the evening was set at an enjoyable pace, although it was over too quickly- I'd like a third act for my hard earned cash. Overall a successful production; by the end of the night, my reluctant date was brimming with enthusiasm and grand plans for his own future act. Good job girls!