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Jessica Poulter

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If you are looking for a show that is not riddled with audience interaction, thought-provoking arguments and insightful knowledge then Jimeoin’s new show Result! is for you. 

The set is simply an electric guitar resting on a stand in the corner. As Jimeoin enters the stage, the roaring thunder from the audience shows that his Melbourne fan base continues to be strong. Even at the subtlest hint of an eyebrow raise, the audience is laughing on cue, eager for the humorous dribble that awaits. 

Jimeoin successfully gibbers his way through 60 minutes of garbage…literally, of course, as he shares his adventurous tale of frequently missing bin night and chasing the collector truck to the next street—in his underwear. 

Jimeoin is the man with the best brows in the business. Photo supplied.

He weaves his way indirectly through his observations of fart movements, the mundane thrills of marriage and the simple pleasures found in life, such as seeing his wife stub her toe on the bed and bend down in pain to coincidentally smell his silent-yet-deadly fart. He explains that, at this point in the marriage, laughing at his wife’s pain is a liberating experience. 

Jimeoin expertly fills the last part of the hour with musicality. He plays the guitar with ease while self-deprecating his ability in his unique roguish style, executing the perfect comedic value. The songs he sings are about love and finding the right person, notions that are quickly undermined when he expresses a wearisome response to these life concepts. 

There may be no real point or message to his artistry, but he perfectly fulfils the role of a comedian—he makes people laugh. The audience leaves with stitches and watery eyes, which is exactly how a night at Melbourne’s iconic Comedy Festival should end.

Venezuela-born comedian Ivan Aristeguieta is certainly the best comedian around after his show Fourth Floor simultaneously draws parallels between his younger and current self, while also comparing third and first-world country lifestyles. 

Ivan Aristeguieta is entering the ‘fourth floor’ of his life, as the Venezuelans say. As the soon-to-be 40-year-old ‘Xennial’ (those who do not identify as Gen X or Gen Y) speaks in retrospect of his life, his timing is outstanding—especially considering English is his second language. 

Aristeguieta deliberately jumbles up his prepositions ‘of’, ‘at’ and ‘on’ to make a mockery of the complexities of English language. 

Do you sleep on the bed or in the bed? If you are sleeping on the couch with the covers on you…are you not in the couch too? Or in the floor?”

He makes the same mistake with the concept of threesomes; claiming he always wanted to be ‘on’ a threesome. This misuse of prepositions seems scripted on a simple level, but its intricacies are quite clever. 

Aristeguieta performs a sublime piece of black comedy during his comparison of first-world and third-world living. He gently attacks first-world countries for deliberately starving themselves or adopting fad lifestyle choices, when third-world countries do this purely to survive. The skit is witty and dark, yet the message at its crux is thought-provoking. 

Aristeguieta emphasises that there is no toilet paper in public restrooms of a third-world country. He delivers simple jokes to receive belly laughs for the fact he has had to use one-too-many socks to clean his ‘down under’ in a third-world public restroom, compared to Australia where he can literally see his tax money being flushed down the loo. 

Throughout the show’s entirety, Aristeguieta refers to his icon, Mr Miyagi from The Karate Kid. Torn between living the dream as a comedian and having a secure life, Aristeguieta draws connections to Karate Kid quotes for life guidance. As Mr Miyagi says:

Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no.’ You karate do ‘guess so,’ (get squished) just like grape.”

Aristeguieta squishes all expectations to deliver an innovative mix of Spanish and Aussie lingo to create an authentic spice of comedy. 

Fourth Floor tickets are available throughout the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 27 March – 21 April 2019

Denise Scott and Jeremy Garner’s partnership may be over in Dancing With The Stars, but their legacy in the competition will leave a mark for many years to come.

Comedian Denise Scott, 63, danced upbeat routines and performed with such courage, yet she hid a world of pain underneath her smiling facade. Both ‘Scotty’ and her partner John were hesitant for her to step onto the dance floor, but she hoped that this opportunity was the perfect catalyst to get her body moving and battle the arthritis that plagues her.

 “I think she preferred the Viennese Waltz,” dance partner Jeremy Garner told Dance Writer.

“She struggled with the Latin, especially with the arthritis. I found out later that she was constantly in pain. Viennese was more gentle on her.”

As Scotty’s dance partner, Jeremy’s role was not only to teach the steps and develop their cardiovascular fitness, but to monitor her every move.

“If she was tired, I knew I was going to lose her, and we would go backwards. I was monitoring her constantly and looking for the signs,” Jeremy said.

“She said she has a lot less pain since she started dancing! Dancing is probably the best thing for her,” he added.

As a dance studio owner, teacher, husband and father, Jeremy seemed to be the perfect match for Scotty. He claims running a dance studio requires psychology to understand the different ways that people learn steps and choreography.

Jeremy Garner Dancing With The Stars, Network 10.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL WRIGHT. 2019 DANCING WITH THE STARS S1 EP3 CHANNEL TEN. Photo: supplied.

“I am dealing with young, highly-ranked couples and what dance brings out of them is both good and bad, naturally…it is a bit of a psych degree but when I pass information on I hope that they do it better than me,” Jeremy explained.

During Jeremy’s successful career, he has toured with ballroom dance company Burn The Floor to places including West End and Broadway.

“We have fallen from one thing to the next. We are lucky because many dancers don’t make it, but I do have respect for those who do try. And we [my wife] are lucky to do it together.”

It seems dancing runs in the family. Back in 2006, Jeremy’s sister, Amanda Garner, won Dancing With The Stars when partnered with Grant Denyer. Jeremy, a Shepparton boy, said his mother forced him to attend dance lessons when he was younger, as opposed to playing AFL, the sport all his friends enjoyed.

“I’ve stumbled into everything. My mum forced me to do dance because she wanted her son to do ballroom. Everyone did football, so it was a bit different for me to do dancing,” Jeremy admitted.

Dancing With The Stars has had a strong impact on Jeremy, particularly as he watched Denise go from strength to strength both physically and mentally.

“She did a great job, I’m proud of Denise. I could see that dark side in her like many comedians have…for the most part she just made me laugh,” he said.

Denise used her role on the television show to raise money for Dementia Australia. She has experienced the difficulties first hand when caring for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are definitely talking about other things we can do to raise money for Dementia Australia too,” Jeremy said.

Ten’s Dancing With The Stars saw Miguel and his dance partner Megan be the first couple eliminated from the competition after performing a heart-felt tango from The Greatest Showman. 

Miguel Maestre is a Spanish-Australian iconic chef who is famously known for TV shows such as Miguel’s Feast, Miguel’s Tropical Kitchen and Boys Weekend, and co-hosting the lifestyle television series The Living Room. 

Despite Miguel’s amazing knife skills, he was surprisingly cut from the competition after two dance performances. Megan admitted that coming from a leader in his industry in the cooking world, he would return home to his family, feeling disappointed as a dancer. 

“He went home and felt so useless. So, he cooked his family the best dinner they had ever tasted because he wanted to feel good about himself.”

“He was definitely out of his waters,” explained Megan. 

The training regime involved a combination of gym work, dance basics and choreography for both the week coming and the week after.

“Miguel would be up at 4:45am in studio at 6am and he would bring me a coffee,” she laughed.  “We would have a warm up, start with basics of the Latin and ballroom dancing, sit ups and then choreography.”

Dancing With The Stars casting process involved Skype interviews where Ten paired up celebrities with dancers based on their personalities. Megan, after lots of online investigating of celebrities in her area that could be a potential match for her, she had no idea that her partner would be chef legend, Miguel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL WRIGHT. 2019 DANCING WITH THE STARS S1 EP2 CHANNEL TEN.

“I said to put me with someone funny. And, I was way off, I thought I had the Honey Badger!” 

“I am so glad I got Miguel, he is so much fun,” she continued. 

This was Megan’s first time on Dancing With The Stars after achieving great success in the Ballroom and Latin world. Twice, she was chosen as a first and second Australian representative to go to the World Ballroom Championships. Since leaving competitions, she has travelled around the world, touring the hot Latin theatre show Burn The Floor for the past eight years. 

Dancing With The Stars has been one of the most scary but exciting experiences of my life. I am used to dancing with professional dancers and it is completely different but it is also rewarding in many other ways.”

“I have been able to watch him fall in love with dance and I did not expect that it would be the best part of the experience,” Megan told Dance Writer.

PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL WRIGHT. 2019 DANCING WITH THE STARS S1 EP2 CHANNEL TEN.

The undisputed queen of modern flamenco, María Pagés,uses flamenco with poetry in the unforgettably reimagining of the story of Bizet’s heroine Carmen. Accompanied by an ensemble of dancers and six of Spain’s most talented musicians, Yo, Carmen is on at the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall from 11 – 12 March 2019.

A pioneer in contemporary flamenco, iconoclastic Seville-born dancer and choreographer María Pagés has challenged traditionalists with her sensual rethinks of Spanish dance, and her confrontations of hard issues. She found international fame as a guest artist with Michael Flatley’s Riverdance, forming her own dance company in 1990 before going on to win a dazzling collection of international awards.

María Pagés creates an excitingly bold and multi-faceted blend of Carmen and the songs that inspired it. She reclaims and remakes the original story as a vibrant, contemporary ode to the essence of what it is to be a woman.

Yo, Carmen’s featured musicians – including violin and cello alongside flamenco guitarists and singers – provide a live soundtrack of Bizet’s familiar opera tunes, the popular songs that inspired them, and gripping original flamenco.

Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Projects Australia presents Yo, Carmen 

11 – 12 March 2019Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer HallTickets now on sale at artscentremelbourne.com.au

It is warm summer’s evening where a former convent stands in the corner of an intricate vintage setting. The floor is wooden and sprung, bordered by sand on golden tissue paper to represent the edge of the seas. A 10-piece orchestra stands arm in arm with their instrument, waiting to begin in anticipation. The dancers and female opera singer Kate Bright enter most dramatically, treading as gentle as the sea breeze. 

Composer Evan Lawson’s ideas and musical direction take this narrative on a physical and emotional journey that incorporates Shakespeare, Phemocles, Alessandra Striggio, and librettos from Orfeo ed Euridice and Calzabigi and L’Orfeo. The classic Greek myth Orpheus is a tale told time and time again, but one element that seems lost in translation is the former affair Orpheus had with his male counterpart, Calais. It is within this ballet opera that Lawson aims to unveil the themes of human sexuality and gender. 

Orpheus and Calais. Photo: Kate Baker.

This four-part production allows the audience to flicker between a dream-like state and an abrupt tempo that shocks the human system. The tension is amplified with many silent moments. The orchestra offers an insightful spirit that helps the audience envision a soundscape of trauma as Orpheus makes his journey to Hades. 

It is clear the three dancers represent the opera singers’ characters of Orpheus (Raymond Khong & Ashley Dougan), Eurydice (Kate Bright & Piaera Lauritz) and Calais (Joseph Ewart & Luke Fryer). The first love interaction is between Orpheus and Calais, where the dancers perform an erotic contemporary pas de deux. Dougan’s choreography is very cemented in the contemporary style, demonstrating an abstract interpretation of the live music. 

Two Eurydices during her death scene. Photo: Kate Baker.

The opera singing is nothing short of exceptional, particularly from female lead Kate Bright. Her moment in the centre of the room is solemn, as she experiences rape, torture and death. Her ability to breath short and sharp with raw emotion is captivating.

Despite the many moments repetitiveness of content, words and movements, it does capture the underlying story—that explores in depth the emotions of loss, heartache and trauma. 

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