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Movin' to the Movies

Artists often draw inspiration from other artists, reworking the creative visions of others into innovative new forms. Darwin Symphony Orchestra’s latest concert, Pictures – an exciting collaboration with SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre – is a celebration of this kind of artistic influence.

Blending live performances of music inspired by films with specially choreographed dance pieces, Pictures is an immersive feast for the senses.

The concert is also the first time the talented young dancers from SLIDE have had the opportunity to perform alongside Darwin Symphony Orchestra on the big stage, having collaborated with a small DSO ensemble at Darwin Entertainment Centre’s In Motion series last year.

“They loved it,” says SLIDE’s Resident Choreographer and Director, Joanna Noonan, of last year’s collaboration.

“It adds a completely different energy to the way you move because you’re feeding off this live human being making this incredible sound.”

Featuring dances set to iconic film music, including ‘Psycho Suite’ from Hitchcock’s famous film and Penguin Café Orchestra’s ‘Perpetuum Mobile’, SLIDE is nevertheless putting their own stamp on things – something Noonan admits was a little tricky with the music from Psycho. The more she listened to the melody, however, the more she came to see the music as reflecting a bustling cityscape, which then informed her choreography.

Another dance piece, set to Philip Glass’ The Orphée Suite, emerged from a more collaborative process, the young dancers working with mentors to create words out of movement.

“The words they have chosen is really about how they feel about the world right now, so it’s quite a beautiful personal piece for the dancers in that they’re looking for joy and hope. This is their voice coming through.”

The second half of the concert brings the big sounds with the full orchestra on stage performing two rousing works – Sir Arthur Bliss’ March from Things To Come from the 1936 dystopian sci-fi film of the same name, and Modest Mussorgsky’s much-loved, Pictures at an Exhibition, inspired by the paintings of Viktor Hartmann.

Stephen PevelyDSO’s Resident Conductor and Principal Clarinet Stephen Pevely explains he has something of a personal connection to the eighth movement of Mussorgsky’s work – Catacombae (Sepulcrum romanum). The music was inspired by Hartmann’s painting of the Paris Catacombs, a place he was lucky enough to visit with his family back in 2015.

“They are amazing. There’s all these amazing labyrinths, all lined with skulls and the long bones all stacked up on the sides.”

So does the music capture the atmosphere of the place that inspired the painting?

“Absolutely! It’s big, it’s gloomy … it’s beautiful. And then it segues into the next promenade, which is a beautiful transformation of the opening theme into this incredibly atmospheric, gloomy, and quite uneasy transition.”

Through multiple layers of artistic inspiration and reinterpretation, audiences can still expect to be transported to an otherworldly place somewhere on other side of the globe. How amazing is that?

SAT 30 OCT | 7.30PM
COST $60 | $50 CONC | $30 U30 $20 U18

Header & thumbnail: SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre
Top: Stephen Pevely. Photo: Tim Nicol Photography

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