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Push arrives in New Zealand

Filed by Parris Bambery/April 30, 2009/1.05

Peering down intently to the subtly lit stage, my eyes transfixed, my back upright and tilted forward so not to miss a moment of the serene beauty and grace of French ballerina Sylvie Guillem gliding fluidly across the stage with such effortlessness. The air still, I am hypnotized by the meditative atmosphere created by the Spanish guitar music and I find it difficult to swallow and rearrange myself in my seat. Heavy beats and quick flashes of movement contrast with slow pulses of the guitar. Guillem’s limbs intertwine with the music casting an intrinsic strength in her path. She dances barefoot throughout, although at times it takes some straining of the eyes to be sure she is on her bare tip-toes. With more of a contemporary streak, rather than tutus and points, Push is a living, breathing, raw performance igniting feelings of passion coupled with visions of an almost animalistic quality. When Guillem is paired with Russell Maliphant, an English choreographer and accomplished performer in his own right, the two move across the stage in a way that fools the eye into thinking they are one, morphing together in an almost seamless transition.
   Push, direct from Sadler’s Wells in London, hit New Zealand last week. If you were lucky enough to see the performance you’ll understand why I was so impressed. If not, here is a preview of the brilliance of Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant.

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