Posted in Adelaide Fringe 2014, Arts Reviews

Soul Night at the Cinnamon Lounge by Move Through Life

cinnamon-bannerIf you are yet to see a show by Move Through Life Dance Company, then you’re missing out! The company has been around for 10 years since its inception in 2004, providing an opportunity for adults to learn and love to dance, while also informing audiences of social messages through movement.

Their latest production for the 2014 Adelaide Fringe season, Soul Night at the Cinnamon Lounge, sees them twisting and jiving on the bandwagon of the 1960s, a decade having a popular resurgence thanks to TV shows like Channel Nine’s Love Child.

The show depicts the best and worst of what the decade had to offer. Amongst the cool clothes, fabulous makeup and hair and awesome music, the so called “decade of love” also had the Vietnam War, conscription, non-existent domestic violence laws, and substandard rights for women and Aboriginal Australians.

Dance performances depicting the sexualisation of cigarettes in the 60s advertising, while simultaneously showing their subsequent health detriment is well done, although the gentleman doing the voiceover lacked emotiveness in his voice to match the choreography.

More performances about being the “good wife” and how it was fine to beat your wife, along with touching performances, including actual audio of nurses and soldiers forced to participate in a war that should never have happened, are portrayed with maximum sensitivity.

My only criticism would be that some of the dancers lacked experience, so timing of choreography was a little off, but for a dance company who has a mission to inspire and enable adults to perform, I think this can be excused, because it will only get better with time, and in fairness – it was opening night – the kinks will be ironed out!

That small criticism aside, for these performers to fuse all these social issues and events together, in an original and moving performance, and still keep the vibe up-tempo, is no mean feat. With an absolutely flawless backing band The Special Guests, and a troupe of dancers who clearly understand and empathise with the subject matter, it makes for an overall outstanding performance.

More kudos needs to be given to “The Special Guests” though, with lead vocalist Jayde McSeveney nailing the 1960s Soul Club vibe with ease. Then you get hit with the “where did that come from?” performance of Eliza Dickson, not content to rest on her back up singer role, she busts out the finale song, guaranteed to have you out of your seat on the first 1-2-3. Adelaide often has an aversion to audience participation, but these guys had almost all the audience out of their seats and doing The Pony and Bony Moronie, as if they were transported back to an actual Soul Club in 1960 with songs like Chain of Fools, I Can’t Help Myself, Respect, Heard It Through the Grapevine and more – willing audience participation at The Fringe is rare!

So whether you’re a Greaser, Mod or Hippie, throw on your white boots, tease your hair high and wing that eyeliner and get set for a fun night of music, with a hint of social message thrown in. No matter what you’re age, this is a Fringe show that is guaranteed enjoyment.

Soul Night at the Cinnamon Lounge runs from 26 February  – 1 March 2014 at the Marion Cultural Centre.

– Suzanna Parisi, DB Mag

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Posted in Movie Reviews

Labor Day

Labor DayLabor Day
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet
Rated: PG

Adele (Kate Winslet) is a single mother, whose divorce from her husband has left her a depressed and lonely woman. On a visit to the supermarket with her son Henry, escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) takes the family hostage over the Labor Day weekend before he can make his escape to freedom.

The news is full of women who, for whatever reason, depression, loneliness, gullibility, just plain crazy, fall in love with criminals while they’re behind bars. It takes a ‘special’ kind of woman to form such an emotional attachment, with a man capable of a hideous crime. Labor Day is one of those stories, and to watch it requires a small suspension of reality.

For those of us not in the emotional states listed above, you’re asked to believe someone could be so charismatic that over the course of three days, could have a woman and her son fall so deeply in love with them that they’re willing to forgo all reason and their life as they know it.

My suggestions is suspend that reality and go with the flow of Labor Day, because what you watch will be a truly wonderful story about the bonds we can form with one another, when kindness, care,  love and understanding are part of our lives.

Part of why this scenario works so well is Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Their relationship, whilst moving quickly from kidnapper/hostage to something else entirely, is heartfelt and to be honest…hot!

Kate Winslet portrays perfectly, a woman who so desperately wants to feel what it’s like to be loved again. From her shaky hands to her slow breathing to her pensive yet calculated movements, Winslet will have you wanting Adele to give in to her emotions like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

Josh Brolin also brings the heat. He is charismatic and soulful, but not in that creepy, brainwashing criminal way, more as a man conflicted with his past, yet determined not to let his convict status, change the person he is at his core.

Whilst, Labor day isn’t perfect, at its heart it is a tender story about how regardless of the mistakes a person makes in their life, showing compassion and resisting judgement, can open up a world you never thought possible.

– Suzanna Parisi, DB Magazine