Thursday, February 6, 2014

Melbourne: Part One

My friend C and I had a lovely weekend in Melbourne recently. We flew down specifically to see The Doctor Who Symphony. But we also saw a few excellent exhibitions, did a fair bit of walking and balanced that nicely by consuming some amazing food and cocktails. We stayed in what will henceforth be known as MY apartment. I found it on my last trip and it's a clean, modern little one bedroom with kitchen, bathroom, laundry etc and in an excellent position on Collins Street, near Elizabeth Street, AND it has a view!
Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular
This was held at the Plenary at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on our second night. I have never been there but it's a very large, newish, modern centre with various areas for exhibitions, concerts and so forth. I loved the range of ages who attended and some amazing costumes, from t-shirts and scarves to Dalek or Tardis costumes. There was much to see in the foyer prior too.
Our seats were towards the back but still pretty good. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) was joined by the Melbourne Choral Ensemble, conducted by Ben Forster, and some beautiful arias were added by the stunning Antoinette Halloran. And the whole thing was hosted by 5th Doctor, Peter Davison. Peter was charming, very English, and gentlemanly as you would expect. The music played with clips on a large screen behind the orchestra. 
At various times monsters, Cybermen, Oods, and of course Daleks would appear on stage, on throughout the audience which really added to the charm of the evening. The sequences with the Daleks were particularly funny.
But the star of the show was the sensational music of Murray Gold. With powerful music like that I knew it was going to be an amazing show, but I wasn't prepared for how emotional and beautiful the whole thing was. I would have gone again the next night, had it not been sold out!
Spectacle: music video exhibition at ACMI
We spent hours watching, dancing, and singing to this brilliant exhibit on the Friday afternoon. It was great to escape into this cool area on a hot afternoon. As you walked down the stairs into the main exhibit area there was a large screen with 'movement' video clips playing, that is videos that used a lot of dance movements within. We entered to Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet, which was followed by Toni Basil's Mickey and many, many more. 
Then we were taken on a journey through videos from early 'music' clips including jazz and blues from the 20s and 30s through to Dylan, the Beatles, early 60s clips, Bowie, Queen, Devo, the MTV era and Countdown. There were mini screens with multiple headphones, and posters, album covers, and memorabilia. You couldn't help but groove and sing along. 
After that it moved to the more interactive generation of filmmaking, had a lot of clever clips and how they were made or ones you could interact with. My favourite was this Johnny Cash project, where you could much about with various stock photos of Johnny and they are added to a continuous clip.
Other rooms had loads of memorable video clips on large screens, there was photography and even a curtained off room with small peep holes to view the more risque videos. 
I was very impressed, my favourite piece being this:

All that Glitters: Costumes from Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection
We spent Saturday moving slowly through this and the other 3 at the NGV...the best way to spend time in Melbourne!
All That Glitters was a free one we chanced upon and it was wonderful. Featuring costumes that dated back to the late 1800s up to Kylie's ShowGirl Costume and Hugh Jackman's outfits from The Man From Oz. Plus everything in between, a lovely array of Dame Joan Sutherland's Operatic costumes plus hats, jewells, posters, photography, and costume sketches. C did overhear one elderly lady stating how disappointing that there was not at least a cardboard cut out of Hugh next to his costume, lol!

Art Deco Fashion including the photography of Edward Steichen at NGV
This was the most divine collection of costumes from the Art Deco period and about 200 beautiful black and white photos from the camera of Edward Steichen. The photos ranged from shoots for Vogue and other fashion advertising at that time and of famous people and movie stars. His style was glamorous and of that period.
Melbourne Now at NGV
Spread throughout the NGV, this was all modern art, some great, some not so much. Some interactive and some just had to be seen to be believed.

This was my favourite, as you walked into the room you were drawn to it, but as you got closer you realised how very special it was. Each letter is made from cast resin and depicts the artist, Mark Hilton's journey from childhood to adulthood. Incredible!

Regular Collection at NGV
Always outstanding, I can't visit without at least seeing my favourite lady!
There will be more, buildings, Melbourne at night, and places to eat so stay tuned!

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