ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland

23/11/2017 - 23/11/2017

Production Details

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is partnering with The Dust Palace, Auckland’s leading Circus Theatre company, to present an enthralling and enchanted journey featuring a dazzling display of cirque artistry and skill.

Midnight is a beautiful story told through performance with some of the most evocative music ever written including Debussy’s sublime Clair de lune, Mendelssohn’s spritely A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the heart-wrenching pathos of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

There will be mime, contortion and highflying acrobatics. With an orchestral soundtrack provided by the APO, Midnight promises to be an experience that will delight both young and old.

Presented in association with Auckland Live.

Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/apo-midnight-auckland-new-zealand-23-11-2017/event/2400522CA57D1327

Conductor: David Kay
Artistic Director & Choreographer: Eve Gordon
Cirque Performers: The Dust Palace

Multi-discipline , Dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre , Circus ,

80 mins

Ballet in the Sky

Review by Tim Booth 15th Dec 2017

It seemed an unlikely combination when this show was first announced. Dust Palace and the APO? What sort of arranged marriage was this? Had both companies’ marketing departments recently been on a misguided training course on audience diversification?

It initially seemed my fears were confirmed at curtain up. A warm but minimal exchange between conductor and performer left me screaming in my head “do something cool!”- this is such a unique opportunity!! [More


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APO and The Dust Palace an enchanting combination

Review by Raewyn Whyte 28th Nov 2017

In Midnight, the latest and perhaps greatest of their experimental hybrid performances, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was joined by contemporary circus theatre artists from The Dust Palace, adding gee-whiz impact and a fairy-tale story to a concert of symphonic greatest hits.

With the ASB Theatre full to the very last row of the balcony, the excellence of the aerial feats, in particular, soon had cheers and whistles ringing from the rafters. Dust Place artistic director Eve Gordon provided an adventurous yet somewhat tenuous tale as the through line threading together 18 distinct episodes.

An ailing King (Geoff Gilson), his concerned Queen (Gordon), a wandering doctor who comes to their aid (Trygve Wakenshaw), a mesmerising wicked Lyra Fairy (Rochelle Mangan) and pixies and marauders kept the action rocking along.

A diversity of acrobatics – cyr wheel, hand to hand, chair balancing, hula hoops, cloudswing, stilt dancers, a mimed story and some clowning about – all featured along with spectacular aerial silks and trapeze work, both standard trapeze and unique Dust Palace devices.



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Spectacle delights in every detail

Review by Chloe Klein 24th Nov 2017

The ASB Theatre is packed for the APO and The Dust Palace’s collaborative work Midnight, a blend of circus performance and live classical music. Midnight is performing to a sold-out crowd.

The APO performs with character and virtuosity, providing tangible shifts in atmosphere between scenes that bring The Dust Palace to life by aiding the imagination.

The stage is preset with curiosity-invoking circus apparatus in front of the tuning APO, with a four-poster bed at the corner of the stage. After Ravel’s Menuet Antique, the story of two acts begins. Midnight shares a fairy-tale narrative in the style of a romantic ballet: a Queen and quirky doctor travel into the forest searching for a cure for the sick King, coming across all kinds of mischievous and enchanting creatures along the way.

Throughout the story, we encounter different circus performances. A performer (Jaine Mieka) keeps five hoops in motion with balance and ease, we see strength in a spinning cyr wheel (Johan de Carvalho with Eve Gordon) that seems to defy physics, and chairs are stacked and climbed without a wobble. Belligerent creatures on silts jump into the audience and back again, leaping incredible heights. Performers are unwrapped from aerial silks as they fall at speed to be caught at the last moment, a fairy plays lithely on a lyra (aerial hoop), stretching and spinning into impossible shapes. The spectacle crescendos with a duet on the trapeze (Edward Clendon and Rochelle Mangan) supporting each other by just a foot or wrist – the audience gasping at each sudden throw. Each performance draws applause at key magical moments.

Each of these feats is performed without mats or visible safety protection, adding to the thrilling risk of the watch. There are several moments I find myself holding my breath and expecting disaster, only to see the performers unphased and in a new elegant contortion.

The Dust Palace performers are in control and their performance inspires confidence and magic. The in-between and transitory moments shake, but the awkwardness disappears once in their routine.

Of particular note are the performances of the Queen (Eve Gordon), who flies with effortless grace, agility, and versatility, performing wonder across a number of the apparatus and in partner work, and the doctor (Trygve Wakenshaw), whose exaggerated mime performance draws laughter throughout the evening, even at one point conducts the orchestra in an unpredictable and possessed discord.

The costumes throughout the evening are delightfully indulgent with sparkling and feathered fairies, and dramatic draping capes catching the light.

Midnight is a spectacle, and every element of its narrative, musical curation and performance, costume, physical performance, and character lends itself to this purpose. The evening is an entertaining and accessible model for future inter-disciplinary collaboration.



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