2016 Publications

Review of Giselle by the Royal NZ Ballet at ASB Theatre, 31 August 2016
Published in NZ Herald Online on 1 September 2016
Simply superb in every way
Revisioned by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, this version of the 1841 classic presents 21st century ballet technique and a naturalism in performance that makes the story emotionally convincing. The action is attentively matched to the repeating melodies and motifs of the score by Adolph Adam which carry the tale along, played beautifully on this occasion by the APO conducted by Marc Taddei.
Read the review

Preview article about the New Zealand Dance Company’s double bill, The Absurdity of Humanity
Published in NZ Herald, Saturday 20 August
The New Zealand Dance Company’s double bill, The Absurdity of Humanity, brings together two works that offer two alternate visions of the future.Matter, by Ross McCormack, explores a world inhabited by a small band of people who come across five pole-like structures; Whispers from Pandora’s Box, by Lina Limosani, considers the aftermath of opening the mythical Pandora’s Box and the impact of the evils let loose on the world.
Read the article

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
A small team came together at the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) of the World Bank  to produce their Quality Infrastructure Investment Partnership Operations Manual,  August 2016

Review of Mia Blonde Ice Dagger by Dynamotion  at The Basement Theatre, 3 Aug2016
Published in NZ Herald Online on 4 August 2016
Madcap capers in Bond tradition
Dynamotion’s fifth comedy-dance show, Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger is a winner, a saucy and escapist sequence of interactions between ridiculous characters, interlaced with high octane tongue-in-cheek ensemble dancing. The audience is captivated from the very first blast of music and keeps laughing, cheering, and responding to the beat of eminently danceable tunes till the show is all over.

Review of Sunset Affair at The Basement Theatre Studio, 7 July 2016
NB This was originally written for the online NZ Herald  but was not published there.
Novel, zany, melancholic, ingenious
A river of apricot silk, old-fashioned roller skates, and a large self-inflating air mattress are key objects of attention in a mixed bill of short contemporary dance works by local independent choreographers this week at the Basement Theatre. Collectively titled Sunset Affair, the three works share a melancholic feel, yet each is in its own way novel and zany, and you can’t help feeling uplifted by the creative ingenuity which is so evident in their crafting. [
Read the review]

Review – Manaia by Atamira Dance Company, Q Theatre Loft, Auckland
Published in NZ Herald Online on 6 July 2016
Myth allows dancers to soar
Atamira Dance Company’s 2016 development season, Manaia, presents three short works which engage with some aspect of that mythological entity, a bird-headed man most often found as a carved design motif in buildings, stone and pounamu jewellery.  [Read the review]

Review – Middle Eastern Memories, Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Auckland
Published in Theatreview on 2 July 2016
Charismatic dancer brings Cairo to Auckland
The dancing of guest artist  Joana Saahirah (Egypt) seems largely improvised yet is clearly well informed by a rich understanding of the structures, elements and values of traditional and conventional  Egyptian dance.  Her movements show utter control of her own body and all the refinements of shimmy, shiver, quiver, vibrate, and ripple, back bend, head whip, arm ripple… and so on that you could possibly imagine, all interlaced with the gestures and signifiers of metropolitan living which flicker through via micro-movements.  As you watch you feel as if there’s a whole city there with her on stage….
[Read the review   and the unexpected blog response from performer Joana Saahirah]

Review – Nederlands Dans Theatre – NDT1 at The Civic, Auckland
Published in NZ Herald Online 30 June 2016
Dancers provide exhilarating viewing
The splendid dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater’s company NDT1 received a standing ovation on the opening night of their Auckland season, an acknowledgement of their stellar performance. Their New Zealand debut, this almost three-hour show presents four extraordinarily complex contemporary ballets created in the past 15 years, providing much to think about.
[Read the review]

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
Treasure Hunt – How Good Financial Governance can support resource-endowed countries in achieving the SDGs
  (Bad Hof, Germany – June 2016)
Ten contributors from GIZ (Germany’s agency for international development cooperation) came together to create this guide to good financial governance in the extractive sector, continuing a series promoting best practice in the minerals, oil and gas sectors in African countries.

Live review & podcast – LUMINA – The New Zealand Dance Company, Mahurangi – broadcast on National Radio’s  Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 9 May 2016
[Listen to the podcast ]

The Joy of Reading Mystery Novels (a blog post)

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
A Modern, Open, and Scalable Fabric: VXLAN EVPN (
San Jose, California – April 2016)
Thirteen CISCO engineers came together tow write a guide to Cisco’s new  cloud networking technology which  offers  operators of multi-tenant clouds the possibility to scale their networks, adding increased flexibility  for the demands of cloud networking.

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager Operations Guide
 ( San Jose, California – April 2016)
AFM is a high-performance, full-proxy network firewall designed to guard data centres against incoming threats that enter the network. The aim of this guide is to provide the best customer experience possible keeping the AFM healthy. This guide includes recommended maintenance, tuning, and monitoring procedures. It will be extremely helpful to assist customers with keeping their BIG-IP optimised, and performing as designed.

Review – THE WHOLEHEARTED – Massive Company, Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland – Published in Theatreview on 22 March 2016
Exemplary commitment
In this new devised production, The Wholehearted, codirected by Sam Scott and Scotty Cotter, questions about love and what it is to be true to yourself are brought into focus, along with a multitude of interlinked emotions, ideas, and states of mind and being which tend to be experienced in similar ways, despite social and cultural differences. [Read the review]

Live review & podcast –The Wholehearted by Massive Company at Mangere Arts centre, Auckland – broadcast on National Radio’s  Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 21 March 2016 .[Listen to the podcast]

Review – NIXON IN CHINA – APO with NZ Opera and Auckland Arts Festival 2016
Published in Theatreview on 18 March 2016
Triumphantly directed
United States President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 to meet with Premier Chou En Lai and Chairman Mao Zedong was a momentous occasion, far-reaching in its consequences for East-West relationships, the future political economy of Communist Russia and the course of the Vietnam War.  [Read the review]

Review – CHANGES – Black Grace with dancers from T.H.E. Company (Singapore) Sky City Theatre, Auckland
Published in Theatreview on 16 March 2016
Constancy and change, embattlement and death – new works in development
The strongest elements of Constancy and Change, performed by six dancers from Black Grace and the three dancers from T.H.E. Company, arise from the juxtaposition of often very stylistically different movement sequences of individual dancers, the melding of these styles into shared phrases in occasional group sequences, and an extended duet between Ruby Alai’i, in plaid shirt and jeggings, and Mi Wu in burgundy shirt and grey corduroy pants. [Read the review]

Review – BIGMOUTH – Valentijn Dhaenens, Loft at Q Theatre
Published in Theatreview on 16 March 2016
Virtuoso voice artistry
The rhetorical structures and ploys common to most of Dhaenens’ samples are straightforward — words are quietly spoken, whispered or shouted. Open-ended questions are asked, or questions asked and answered. Keywords and phrases are repeated with increasing emphasis. Situations are described to arouse strong emotion; and hyperbole, misrepresentation, irony, metaphor, and ad hominem attacks are all used to help persuade listeners of the reasonableness of the appeals being delivered. [Read the review]

Review – RUAUMOKO – Atamira Dance Company with the APO and students from local schools, Civic Theatre
Published in DANZ Magazine on 16 March 2016
Ticking all the boxes
Ruaumoko was guided by the now well-established formula underlying similar large-scale earlier projects Sacre, Fireworks, Takarangi and Te Manu Ahi/Firebird, with the APO playing live for the performance, and with professional designers creating the look and feel of the show, and production staff ensuring the event ran smoothly.  [Read the review]

Review – WAVES –  Alice Mary Cooper, Loft at Q Theatre, Auckland
Published in Theatreview on 10 March 2016
An inspiring tale of discovery, goal-setting and not giving up
As the narrator, Cooper passes on Elizabeth’s story as it was told to her, being at once herself and Elizabeth, smoothly switching voices and personas in the process of recalling the various significant incidents which Elizabeth has shared with her. [Read the review]

Review – Marama – The Conch, Q Theatre, Auckland
Published in Danz Magazine on 8 March 2016
Call to action needs to be extended
The narrative arc of this production is clear, from dawn to dusk, and overnight to the day beyond that. The first day stretches for aeons of peaceful, harmonious, repetitiously structured habitation, brought to life by a quartet of Pasifika women who animate the space with dance and song and ritual and taonga. The final night and morning bring a fifth woman and chaotic contemporary reality. [Read the review]

Review -Speed of Light – The Royal NZ Ballet, Sky City Theatre, Auckland
Published in Theatreview on 3 March 2016
Dancers exult in challenging triple bill
The centerpiece of the programme is the marvelous post-Balanchinian master work, In The Middle Somewhat Elevated (1987) by William Forsythe, set to a pulsing, dramatic and at times electrifying industrial electronica score by Thom Willems […] This modern classic is now a benchmark work, and it is truly satisfying to see the clarity and precision and finely nuanced delivery the Company’s sleekly lycra-clad dancers bring to it. [Read the review]

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
Power Purchase Agreement Handbook, Part 2: Financing Power (Marrakech, Morocco, February 2016 )
USAID’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and the African Legal Support Facility brought together 18 contributors  to create a follow-on handbook to the Power Purchase Agreement handbook developed in a Sprint in November 2014. This Part 2 handbook tackles the financing challenges of power projects and gives advice to governments on the different options they can take into account in a PPA – the legal agreement that governs the sale and purchase of power.

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
[XYZ] OS10 Open Edition User Guide
 (Santa Clara, California  February 2016)
With a month til their new product is launched, 15 [XYZ] networking engineers came together in a Book Sprint to produce the user’s guide to their next-generation OS10 Open Edition networking software which has been designed to introduce new levels of software flexibility and programmability in large-scale data centre environments.

Review – QUIDAM by Cirque du Soleil – Vector Arena, Auckland
Published in Theatreview on 6 February 2016
Alienation, Outstanding Circus Acts, and a Happy Ending
The aerial work is hung from a purpose-built curving steel structure, the télépherique, which arches right up into the roof of the stadium, amazingly high, and extends out over the audience. Five pairs of rails provide sliding aerial anchor points, enabling performers to appear magically and disappear into the darkness rather than having to walk across the bed of the stage. Red silks drop down for a contortionist  to entwine herself in. Sturdy ropes appear for five acrobats in the  Spanish Web ensemble … and  gleaming metal hoops materialise for a splendid trio of aerialists  who pivot and balance, twirl and swing, and lie along the rim of the hoops as they are raised and lowered. [ 
Read the review]

Book Sprint – remote copy editing and proofreading
Changemakers: Educating with Purpose
 (Salt Lake City, Utah   January 2016)
The first Book Sprint for 2016 brought together 12 experienced and inspiring educators representing the Ashoka  Foundation and 100 Changemaker Schools, educational institutions that prioritise the cultivation of empathy, teamwork, leadership, and social entrepreneurship in their students. The group created a very useful guidebook for other educators wanting to implement similar practices in their schools.