Tag: Lily Paskas


Fanning creative flames

By Myron My

A single match is struck and a candle lit. Then another and another and another. The darkness that was on stage is soon illuminated by five dancers in Stephanie Lake’s A Small Prometheus.


Performed as part of this year’s Melbourne Festival, the show uses the story of Prometheus from Greek mythology, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to as a gift to the newly-created humanity, to spark off this performance about unpredictability, uncertainty and the fragility of life.

Lake has brought together five extremely talented and strong performers in Rennie McDougall, Lauren Langlois, Alana Everett, Lily Paskas and Lee Serle. I continue to be impressed with the skill and finesse that Paskas (Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box and P.O.V) and Serle (P.O.V) display and the limits to which they constantly push themselves. With such a physically and mentally demanding performance, I was surprised to discover that this is Everett’s professional debut as she is very confident and able on stage.

The show moves between solo and ensemble pieces that are rigidly choreographed, to moments that have varying levels of improvisation which not only heighten the feeling of instability that Lake is creating but also the notion of something more dark and primal at play. Indeed, there are moments where the dancers’ only light is provided by matches and candles, casting many shadows and illuminations.

The fusion of dance, sound and light remains strong and constant throughout A Small Prometheus, but I was just as intrigued by Robin Foxs fire-driven kinetic sculpture which created some powerful moments during the production, and in its own right seemed to lead and guide the performance a certain way.

I was very much drawn into the world created by A Small Prometheus and surprised when it reached its conclusion as it had felt like mere minutes had passed since I began watching. Having seen Lake also perform in A Conversation Piece for Dance Massive earlier this year, it is clear she has a profound interest in exploring dance, music and the self through various means. A Small Prometheus is a clear and fine example of such a show – and should not be missed.

Venue: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 20 October | Friday 7:30pm, Sat 2pm and 7:30pm and Sun 5:00pm.

Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Conc | $20 Student

Bookings: www.artshouse.com.au, 9322 3713, www.melbournefestival.com.au or 1300 723 038


REVIEW: Finucane and Smith with GLORY BOX: PARADISE

Glorious performances

By Myron My

The highly revered Finucane & Smith have returned to fortyfivedownstairs with their subversive and seductive show Glory Box: Paradise that brings together a myriad of extremely talented women for a variety of acts, from circus to dance to cabaret performance, in a non-stop evening of evocative entertainment.

Glory Box Paradise Image by Jodie Hutchinson

Under the creative direction of Jackie Smith, Moira Finucane soon shows us why she has been so successful over the years, with sell-out seasons around the world for almost a decade. Her performance of ‘A Sunny Afternoon’ was highly emotional whereby, with no spoken word beyond the lyrics, she made a moving statement about our notions of beauty in society. When paired with U2’s hit ‘With or Without You’, the room was frozen in place with the audience deep in contemplation, having been left to our own devices to determine the underscored meaning.

Having experienced British cabaret star Ursula Martinez four years ago in London I was very excited to be seeing her again and I was not disappointed. Also sometimes referred to as the Red Hanky Lady, Martinez’s ‘Hanky Panky’ is always going to be a crowd favourite. Her collaborations with Guinness World Record hoola hooper Jess Love were highly entertaining and the final reveal of ‘Quick Change Sex Change’ proved that with a show like this, we can always expect the unexpected.

It’s an evening of no lulls or disappointments with strong performances by Holly Durant, Lily Paskas and Yumi Umiumare throughout, as well as a few songs by Yana Alana fresh from her Melbourne Cabaret Festival season. There are also a number of special guests joining these remarkable women throughout the season including Rhonda Burchmore and Paul Capsis.

There is a lot of nudity in Glory Box: Paradise but I found it to be quite liberating and affirming, even as a male, to see all these women being nude, or close to, on stage and not being embarrassed or making a big deal about it. There is a strong underlying message in this show regarding what it means to be a beautiful woman, in that all women are beautiful and should never be ashamed of their bodies – a sentiment you hear often but rarely witness being enacted.

In short, you will laugh, you will be inspired, you will think, and things will get messy – especially if you are sitting in the front few rows – but that’s all part of the fun and celebration of Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box: Paradise.

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Season: Until 11 August | Thurs 7:00pm, Fri-Sat 7:oopm and 9:30pm, Sun 5:30pm

Tickets: From $25 – $88.88

Bookings: http://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/events or 9662 9966