The festival of the arts is on in Wellington. Everything that I’ve seen so far has been of pretty high quality, although Eva has really stood out. The dancing was great, but the music really blew me away. It struck me that the singing was similar to Islamic music I had heard (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for instance) and that the dancing was sort of (that’s a big sort of) like belly dancing. The south of Spain were occupied by the Moors for hundreds of years, and so of course it makes sense that Flamenco has its roots in Islamic/Arabic music. There was very little in the way of props or fancy tricks, the performance simply didn’t need props.
In sharp contrast, the stage play The Holy Sinner was an amazing production, with a great sound system, costumes, props, explosions, rain, structures, you name it…. However, this didn’t cover up the rather slim plot. The shock value of the “sinful” sexual relationship seemed contrived, and the atmosphere of Irish Catholic oppression was tired. Most of all I was surprised to find that it was a New Zealand play, I assumed that it was British or Irish….
The other highlights so far have been the Japanese opera “Tea”, and the awesome Antonio Forcione Quartet.