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Dance and music go together and meld naturally. But what if the music were to be played by a Brass Band? By combining with our own Kensington and Norwood Brass, the New Zealand Dance Company prove beyond doubt that the combination is a winner.

Rotunda is an incredible salute to the ANZAC spirit and the brave men who fought and died at Gallipoli and elsewhere during World War One. At the turn of the last Century, park rotundas were a gathering place for the community to be entertained free of charge, and especially by brass bands.

This piece explores, through dance and movement, all the facets and emotions that are experienced before, during and after any battle: fun, love, camaraderie, death, psychological effects and hope for a peaceful future are all explored by this exceptional, innovative company.

The storyline and symbolism isn’t always one hundred per cent clear; but when one is watching performers of the calibre and physicality of these eight – Carl Tolrntino, Christopher Ofanoa, Gareth Okan, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Katie Rudd, Lucy Lynch, Tupua Tigafua and Chrissy Kokiri – one is so moved and entranced with the choreography and the magnificent way it is executed, that plot and meaning is secondary. One is attuned to seeing males lifting females, but when males lift males and females lift females seemingly without any effort, one realises what tremendous dedication and skill is on display.

Every moment of Rotunda is a visual gem, but two standout moments that must be mentioned are; the hilarious ‘boys will be boys’ scene involving the Sergeant-Major’s mace, and the incredible ‘death’ sequence where one of the male dancers is so lifeless and malleable that it’s almost as if he has had his bone structure completely removed.

Let’s not forget the marvellous Kensington and Norwood Brass! The band bursts through the auditorium in an explosion of wonderful military brassiness and never flags. A highlight here is the euphonium solo of Jerusalem.

You don’t need to be a lover of dance or brass bands to enjoy this exciting production, but you will be after witnessing it.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Grote Street, Adelaide Season: 01 – 02 May 2015
Duration: 1 hour 15 mins
Tickets: $27.50 – $55.00
Bookings: Book online through BASS or phone 131 246