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Vanessa Mafe and Anthony Shearsmith, in Frankie and Johnny.
By RAMA GAIND
DESCRIBED as an "exhilarat
ing piecc of dance theatre, the gutsiest thing the ballet has done", Queensland Ballet's new
work Frankie and Johnny begins its four-day season at the Canberra Theatre on Wednesday.
It is a Broadway-style production with a jazz score which is "vibrant and raunchy, but still classical".
Downtown US can be seen with all
its colour, passion, humour, violence and tainted glory though the pimps, whorehouse madams, cops, film stars and tap dancers.
The production has brought togeth er some well-known and experienced
David Pyle, known in theatrical circles as composer, writer, music director and producer, was com missioned to create a new jazz score using the cream of Asutralia's jazz musicians, together with top Sydney vocalist Toni Mott. who broke into theatre in Brisbane after coming out from England.
Pyle's work has spanned many fields, from being co-author of the stage production of The Queensland
Game and the hi-tech musical Run
ning Late for Nothing to rock concerts
as promotions co-ordinator for 4ZZZFM. He also co-founded a 28 piecc rock band callcd The Fabulous Dingo Family and musically directed plays such as They Shoot Horses Don't They? and The Hills Family
Bill Haycock (winner of this year's prestigious Loudon Sainthill Award for Australian design) creates the vis uals and directs the production, and internationally-acclaimed choreo grapher Andris Toppe was lured away from his work with Torvill and Dean in the US to create the choreography. This isToppe's fourth engagement for the company after Death in Venice, After the Ball and Les Diches. Frankie and Johnny was Haycock's idea. Not only did he write the story around the song, he also designed the sets and costumcs. As resident designer of the Queensland Ballet, he has designed Les Biches, Orpheus, Colourwash and
Also on the same program is Shaman and La Mer. The former is choreographed by the company's principal dancer, Rosetta Cook. Set to Leonard Bernstein's Meditations for Mass, this is the third ballet by Cook for the company. La Mer is the new work of choreographer Pamela Buck man, set to Debussy's score.