Swan Song

Parnell Baths, Judges Bay Road, Auckland

13/02/2013 - 17/02/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details


Wet Hot Beauties presents SWAN SONG – A Classical Love Tragedy Pool Party

Last Fringe Festival, the Wet Hot Beauties presented the first water ballet in New Zealand in over fifty years.
13th -17th February 2013, the 1930s styled ballerinas of the deep are back.

Following on from their 2011 sellout success ‘Sirens’, the Wet Hot Beauties present ‘Swan Song’, a fantastical
Swan Lake/Baz Luhrmanninspired water ballet mash-up with their trademark cheeky modern twist.

100 tutus flock to the water in a romantic and epic tale of star crossed lovers, dark magic and water fowl at
the historic Parnell Baths. Eternal Love. Prince and Princesses. Dark magic. Girl fights. Water fowl. Love
triangles. Love triangles with water fowl. A hilarious water dance party with rocking great moves, this is
Auckland’s most popular pool-side night-time spectacular.

Featuring an eclectic and dynamic sound track including Tchaikovsky, Shirley Bassey, Calvin Harris, Florence +
the Machine, Fat Boy Slim and Whitney Houston. ‘Swan Song’ is created by Pip Hall, Judy Dale, Lara Fischel-Chisholm
and the Wet Hot Beauties.

Wet Hot Beauties are a fully inclusive, contemporary water ballet community in their fifth season. Past and
present whanau sit around 250 and are a widely diverse collection of people. The majority of performers have
no formal dance or performance background and join the group to channel their inner water ballerina and
participate in an art form that sits outside the box.

Classical ballet just got all pool party on it. Will sell out.

“Before they even dipped a toe in the water this week, the Wet Hot Beauties were the media’s feel-good, soldout hit of the summer.” – Janet McAllister, NZ Herald .

“Extremely engaging and over all too soon.” – Roxanne de Bruyn, Theatreview.

“The Wet Hot Beauties took over the Parnell Baths, delivering an awe-inspiring visual extravaganza in the
water” – James Wenley, Theatre Scenes

Winners of 2011 Peoples Choice Award, Auckland Fringe Awards. Best Special Effect, 2011 Hackman Theatre

SWAN SONG plays 13th – 17th February 2013, 9pm
Duration: 45 minutes approx
Location: Parnell Baths, Judges Bay Rd, Parnell
Tickets: $20/ $16
Bookings: iTicket – www.iticket.co.nz Booking Fee applies
For more information contact:
Pip Hall & Judy Dale
021439747 / wethotbeauties@gmail.com
www.whbs.co.nz / facebook.com/wethotbeauties


Swan Swimming Pool

Review by James Wenley 15th Feb 2013

The Wet Hot Beauties run a water-tight operation. In groups of 15 the audience is ushered to take their seats pool side to watch (as well as receive the odd splash of water) the company’s latest unique contemporary spin on the Water Ballet genre for Auckland Fringe: Swan Song. While we wait, the Parnell Baths are filled by the incredible 65-strong cast who create a series of tableaus and pageantry: some lie in the water and float, some do ballet plies in the water, and others play with pink lifesavers. All performers are completely “on” and focused in their world. What a sight! It is a visual extravaganza-and-a-half, and the water show proper hasn’t even begun.

Swan Song reimagines the story of the classic 1876 romantic tragedy Swan Lake as a tongue-in-cheek water ballet. The broad strokes of this version: Prince Siegfried (Stephen “Butters Bee Arch” Butterworth) falls in love with the beautiful Odette (Emily “Lady Low Tide” Trent). Jealous of their love, and desiring the Prince for herself, Odile (Jule “Water Jewell” Kunkel) plots with her Father (Liam “George Benard Shore” Fennell) – who handily happens to be a Sorcerer – to win the Prince for herself. [More


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Wet, Hot, Enchanting and Hilarious

Review by Dr Linda Ashley 14th Feb 2013

In their fifth season, the current 250 strong whanau of the Wet Hot Beauties have a formula in Swan Song that combines the best of community dance with dollops of humour, joy and ingenious site-specific choreography. The 70 performers provide quality and integrity, and OK there were moments of uneven execution but for me these added to the endearing result. I’m not going to pick outstanding performances because the essence of the success, I feel, is in the whole being larger than the sum of the parts, and I include the whole backstage and front of house crew in that. My friend and I spent a great deal of time talking about how much we’d like to be in this next year!

This refreshingly none-too-serious telling of the classic ballet story Swan Lake makes clever use of simple movement in its flowing (no pun intended) group formations, exits, entrances and transitions. The children’s pool of Parnell Baths is used to maximum effect in weaving a spell of pantomime, parody and moments of epic proportions. This is melodrama on steroids!

Music selection (Elton McAleer) ranges from the opening Shirley Bassey through to other ‘big’ numbers from The Prodigy, Prince, and the synchronized swimming / dancing more than meets these aural challenges in its impact.

There is an eye for detail in the production value, for instance in the stunning make-up (Louise Molloy) and costumes (Lara Fischel-Chisholm, Joanna van der Sluis & the WHB Stitch’n’Bitches). The lighting (Brad Gledhill) plays on the water to create ghostly woodland glades, a lake of ever-changing moods, fun, romance and evil.

The funders of this production, of which there are many including the use of PledgeMe, an online funding platform, are to be congratulated in investing in this work. Reading the long list of thank yous in the programme also indicates what I’m imagining is a mammoth amount of work that the creators have put into making this production happen. It is worth the effort though. If you haven’t bought a ticket yet it may be too late, and you’ll be missing an event featuring what is some of the best of what our dance community has to offer.


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