Sirens - the water ballet

Parnell Baths, Judges Bay Road, Auckland

23/02/2011 - 21/02/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details

~ Glamour! Excitement! Danger! ~
Come hither and experience New Zealand’s first water ballet in 50 years.
The glorious Wet Hot Beauties presents ‘Sirens’, a fantastical 1930s & 40s inspired Water Ballet with a cheeky modern twist as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival 2011. 
Water nymphs as you’ve never seen them before. Watch and be amazed as sixty salty seductresses lure mighty sailors to their doom. Broken-hearted and hungry, these mermaids from the deep will not be satisfied until they have what they want – men!
 Inspired by myths of old, ‘Sirens‘ keeps it contemporary by paying homage to our favourite land based sirens Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Kate Bush and Celine Dion.
~ Charming yet Deadly! ~
The Wet Hot Beauties (a.k.a. Wet Hot Bitches)are an ensemble of 70 women and 10 lucky men attracted through word of mouth, through media attention and social network websites. Troupe members come from all walks of life, brought together by their mutual love of this quirky new art form.
Based at the historic salt-water Parnell Baths, the Wet Hot Beauties glide in spell-binding synchronicity with Art in mind. Muses with bright red smiles and pin-up chorus-girl style are guaranteed to beguile and delight you.
Endorsed with the enthusiasm of two previous successful seasons, the Wet Hot Beauties is the coolest thing to be involved in each summer. It’s glamorous and classy – but most of all – it’s fun and it’s cool. After all, nostalgia is SO hot right now.
~ Can you resist the Sirens call? ~

60 women and 10 men

45 mins

Extremely engaging and over all too soon

Review by Roxanne de Bruyn 24th Feb 2011

Seventy-four swimmers gliding and twisting in a pool certainly makes for a mesmerising performance. Telling the story of the lovely, deadly water nymphs luring sailors to their deaths, the Wet Hot Beauties water ballet Sirens was beautifully presented and thoroughly entertaining.
Dark and playful in turns, Sirens caught and kept the audience’s attention with a dramatic tale of love and heartbreak related through intricate and interesting choreography (Linda McFetridge). The performance was very sensual and flowed well with frequent teasing, mischievous moments.
Vintage glamour was the theme of the night, with the women in red lipstick, swimsuits and caps and big smiles – very cute and coy with just the right amount of seduction. Their movements were graceful and elegant with a good sense of showmanship and generally good timing. And even after an hour of frolicking in the water, every siren had perfect makeup at the end.
The sailors (yes, the Wet Hot Beauties includes men too) gave a wonderfully enthusiastic performance and were close to stealing the show with their waterside dance to catch the sirens’ attention. They gave a wonderful contrast and energy to the show, with some fun moments and enjoyable acting.
Olivia Tennet and Stephen Butterworth did a great job as the Queen of the Sirens and the Sea Captain. There was good chemistry between them and they moved very well together. Their dance scenes both in and out of the water were enthralling, with the tango at the edge of the pool deserving special mention.
The music and lighting were both very effective, creating an otherworldly ambience and enabling the transition of mood as well as the storyline. Props were also used very well – the boat was a very nice touch, and the significance of the washing line and clothes only really became apparent at the end. The noodles and balls gave another, challenging aspect to the work, and some of the shapes they formed were very impressive. There was a good variety of formations and the transitions between them were usually quite smooth.
Watching such a predominantly female group float, swim and dive was a lovely experience. There were many different shapes and sizes; there were even some pregnant sirens in the group. The overall effect was of beauty and grace, and was a true celebration of the female form.
Putting together a performance with so many swimmers is not an easy undertaking, but this one was extremely engaging and over all too soon. There was a real sense of vibrancy and fun from the performers, which emerged the audience in their movement and the storyline.  The Wet Hot Beauties gave a professional show and succeeded in paying a wonderful tribute to the synchronised swimmers of the 1940s, while keeping their approach fresh and modern.


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