Hamilton Gardens, American Modernist Garden, Hamilton

18/02/2011 - 22/02/2011

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2011

Production Details

Choreographer - Karen Barbour

Five fun, free performances created specifically for the American Modernist Garden by Karen Barbour, to compliment the aesthetic of the garden design, creating a visual spectacle to engage and delight audiences. The performance draws inspiration from the simplicity of the garden’s modernist design and the everyday aspects of summer living in the back yard. This production follows previous successful festival performances of Dancing through Paradise (2010), What love can do (2008), Fluid echoes dance (2007) and Home, land and sea (2006). If you haven’t been to the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, or if you haven’t seen dance performance before, this is a great way to start!

Dancers: Karen Barbour, Patti Mitchley, Marie Hermo Jensen


Simplicity itself

Review by Sue Cheesman 23rd Feb 2011

Dances in the different gardens within the Hamilton Gardens Annual Arts festival have become a regular feature. This year’s offering Simplicity created and performed by Karen Barbour, Patti Mitchley and Marie Hermo Jensen was set in the American Modernist Garden, bedecked with large Marilyn Munroe face Andy Warhol style, chunky yellow deck chairs plus, large white curvaceous shapes, lunging in the kidney shape shallow azure pool.
As I enter the space pristine rows of empty white chairs gleam in the sunlight and my eye catches two females figures draping the deck chairs resplendent in large sunglasses. The music changes to something cool and the three-seated woman stretch an arm out and slowly rotate this arm splendidly capturing the languid mood.  They climb the chairs, lunge on them backwards and almost dabble in the pool only to return to sink into those enormous two -piece deck chairs as if slipping into cool water and I had thoughts of pass me a martini darling.
Marie performs a solo in close proximity to the Marilyn Munroe facade whose luscious bright red, open lips become a focal point for the dancer’s hands or feet.
Take Five by Dave Brubeck see the dancers perform punchy quick footwork contrasted by large leg kicks showing of those every so white pumps. Almost cat and mouse-like, two dancers frolic around the pool juxtaposed with a solo dance moving into the ground and out.
Billed, as an accessible dance for everyone – it certainly was that with a mixture of ages filling the white seats. However this was not my aesthetic. At times the piece for me has too many smiles, looks and poses that borders on too much indulgence and schmaltz however the last dance is a great romp and ends delightfully with the children in the audience joining the dancers in the water performing the routine.


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