Saturday, 24 May 2008

No Fit State





Last night I dragged the girls to Victoria Park for the opening of the Paradise Gardens weekend, a celebration of circus, Victorian village fetes, tea dances and general outdoorsy bank holiday fun. We went to see Tabu by No Fit State Circus- a company described by The Guardian as 'Cirque du Soleil without the Disney and the disinfectant'. And it didn't disappoint. An incredibly attractive, multi-talented cast performed an array of aerial arts using beautiful costumes and the elements of fire and water to create a visually dazzling experience. There's no seating area, you're just jostled about amongst the performers which adds a really atmospheric intimacy to the whole thing. Particularly given the amount of snogging that goes on. I'm pretty sure that every woman there left wishing her job involved such a lot of corset wearing, adrenaline rush and naked torso grasping. What is it about circus men?Is it really just that they're everything your mother ever warned you about-dirty, hairy, muscular, tattoed and certain to be in another city by tomorrow morning?There's plenty for the lads too though, including a tightrope walker performing in 5 inch heels, before stripping and rolling a cigarette whilst suspended above your head. I'm really questioning my career choice.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Florence and The Machine


Popped along to the Astoria on Thursday night to see MGMT, but was really pleasantly surprised to catch the warm-up act, Florence and the Machine. Florence has one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard come out of such a tiny white girl, and not in a pretentious pseudo-soul Joss Stoney kind of way, just raw, gutteral power. With glittery eyelashes and a lot of gangly girlishness, Florence channels much of the kookiness of other charismatic frontwomen like Lovefoxx(CSS) and Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes). Lyrics like 'a kiss with a fist is better than none' (and a whole song about eating a bird thats sees her do a bad thing and then its song coming out of her mouth and giving her away) recall Regina Spektor's quirky ramblings, but before I condemn her with too many comparisons, check her out yourself on myspace.
I'm a massive Indian Jones fan.I even did a degree in archaeaology. The disappointment I felt at university when I found out none of my lecturers looked remotely like Harrison Ford was echoed last night when I saw the latest Indie offering.Spoiler alert! Though its not nearly as bad as some critics have made out, I just felt the whole package was some forced, plasticky substitute for the real thing. There was the standard modern Hollywood error of investing massively in special effects, whilst scrimping on script.There's a chance they didn't even have one. And despite all the normal Indie ingredients that are ticked off like a checklist: waterfalls; check, bugs; check,monkeys, snakes, temples, treasure with paranormal powers, truck chases, whip and hat action;check. It just wasn't the same. Maybe this has a lot to do with us not being the same, or our expectations being too great. Whereas Nazis and the power of God were fear factor enough in the original films, the crystal skull has Indie surviving a nuclear explosion in the first five minutes, after which nothing really shocks.Well, actually; some of it is still pretty shocking, but not in a good way.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Rob Ryan and Tatty Devine


There are days when I wonder how anyone has the will power to be a writer. As one soon to be published authoress described her writing technique in Time Out last week,(watching Deal or No deal, writing a bit,eating a biscuit, having a nap, maybe write a bit more), at least I know I'm not alone. Deciding to make a proper go of something that so few people succeed at takes some guts.I, myself, am taking the gutless approach by keeping my day job and thus not actually ever getting round to writing very much, but at least being able to pay the rent and afford basics like food, soap, Vogue,toilet roll, cake etc. I therefore am in awe of someone who decided to make a living out of cutting holes out of bits of paper, and has managed to make an enviable career out of it.Rob Ryan cuts pictures and poems out of paper in the way we used to snip snowflakes out of the white stuff at nursery. Rob's delicate creations are both ridiculously simplistic but also incredibly intricate, and his latest collaboration with the jewellery makers Tatty Devine perfectly complements both their quirky aesthetics. Tatty's jewellery is the definition of kitsch (I challenge you to come up with its actual definition)-her most famous pieces include necklaces designed to look like crisps, plectrums, fishbones,moustaches and so on. As well as working with Rob on a few limited edition designs like this 'story told through tears' necklace, currently being exhibited at the Brick Lane store , Tatty has also teamed up with artists Gilbert and George for her latest range inspired by their Art. Check out her site at tattydevine.com

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Sloth


Whilst I may be a fan of all seven, my favourite sin over the last few months has undeniably been sloth. Having moved in with my boyfriend, we now spend most of our time cooking/eating/playing Mario kart/watching his new boxset of Six feet Under. Times I used to dedicate to writing have been reallocated to TV watching, magazine reading and basically just floomphing about. With this blog, however, I intend to turn over a new leaf, and at least document the few hours I manage to make it out of the flat each week.
   Last weekend I blew my birthday budget on my first piece of Art. Trying to find something that would look good on your wall, is affordable, but isn't from allposters.com is harder than it sounds. But in East London I managed to pick up a signed limited edition print of one of Dan Hillier's creations. I opted for one of the more traditional nude portraits on a bright blue background, but plenty of his work is much more darker, with skulls and octopus tentacles his favorite decorative features.Check out his work at the link: www.danhiller.com
I also braved the most talked about show  of the London Dance world this Thursday, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Myth at Sadler's Wells. The choreography credited both martial arts and anime asinspirations, and the dark, shadow figures with their flowing limbs, dreadlocks and black drapery reminded me of the spidery black creatures in the Zelda computer games. Both sinister, yet funny, spiritual and experimental; this is the cutting edge of modern dance. I can't deny that enjoying it took some work-this is definitely not one to bother with if you're only notion of dance involves a tutu and tights.
www.sadlerswells.com

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