Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Idle Rogue Productions Presents: MAYFAIR - The Stories of The Mayfair Witches

I was fortunate enough to attend the dress rehearsal of Idle Rogue Productions' newest offering, MAYFAIR, The Stories of the Mayfair Witches, which opens on January 21st at 7pm for 6 performances only.  I can only emaphasize that this is a show you will not want to miss.  

Thirteen dancers bring to life a story based on Anne Rice's spellbinding novel of witchcraft and the occult, The Witching Hour.  Spanning four centuries it tells the story of a great family of witches, the Mayfairs, a family which is haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive demon, Lasher.

Deborah Mayfair - Zahra Ethaniel- casts her magic spells

Sitting in the garden of the Mayfair Mansion in New Orleans, at wrought iron tables under an outdoor gazebo, the audience is drawn into the tales of this family and fully immersed by the use of the Oberlander camera system which captures one's camera and brings one close to the dancers, following them from different angles and giving everyone the same view.

The setting is a garden party at the old Mayfair mansion on First Avenue in the Garden District of New Orleans. The notorious are-they-or-aren't-they family has always drawn it's fair share of speculation, with wild tales of a purse full of coins that never runs out, and a mysterious man whom only some can see.   
                                                                        - GB publicity notice for Mayfair

Angelique Mayfair - Sho Kyong - with Lasher

But the Mayfair witches have endured shattering tragedies along with their immense power. What does the comely Lasher want from them? And is any witch strong enough to control him?
                                                                                                           - GB publicity notice for Mayfair

Marguerite Mayfair - Maeve Branner - in her laboratory
 I haven't read The Witching Hour but each dance is preceded by a storyboard so it's easy to follow along.  We did not see all of the dances last evening including that of chryblnd Scribe, the thirteenth witch, the one who transforms Lasher into human form.  She told us she was keeping it as a surprise as well as hinting that it wasn't quite finished yet.

Deirdre Mayfair - BabypeaVonPhoenix - with Lasher
With Idle Rogue's usual consummate professionalism this story is brought to life in dance by thirteen very talented performers.  The music is powerful and moving and the sets are perfect backdrops to each story, with the imaginative use of fading scenes and particles that we have come to expect these days from dance performance.  Excellent technical and production support is provided by many people and the full cast and crew is listed at the end of this post. 

Details of performances and how to reserve the few remaining places can be found on the Idle Rogue website.

Kat Feldragonne, an SL dancer and performer, wrote a very detailed post, Mayfair Sneak Peek, giving her impressions of the rehearsal along with some excellent photos. 


Chewie Quixote - Soloist - Suzanne Mayfair
Zahra Ethaniel - Production Design
                         Soloist - Deborah Mayfair
Meegan Danitz - Soloist - Charlotte Mayfair
Deb Heron - Soloist - Jeanne Louise Mayfair
                 - Production Design Assistant 
                 - Assistant to chryblnd Scribe
Sho Kyong - Soloist - Angelique Mayfair
Shadow Tarber  - Production Design
                         - Soloist - Marie Claudette Mayfair
Maeve Branner - Soloist - Marguerite Mayfair
Azabella Alamar - Soloist - Katherine Mayfair
Blaze deVivre - Soloist - Mary Beth Mayfair
Anashara Dubois - Soloist - Stella Mayfair
Aubreya Joszpe - Soloist - Antha Mayfair
                           Production Assistant - Public Relations
BabyPea von Phoenix - Soloist - Deirdre Mayfair
chryblnd Scribe -  Producer, Director, Art Director
                             Soloist - Rowan Mayfair
Tray Porthos - Production Design - Camera
                      Soloist - Lasher
Cee Edman - Petyr van Abel
AveBee - Peter Mayfair (alt of Deb Heron)
Franny - Charlotte's Maid 1
               Production Assistant - Membership Liaison
Subversive Vavoom - Charlotte's Maid 2
Imrhien Fargas - Darcy Monahan
March Antiesse as Julien's Lover
Barney Helendale - Julien Mayfair
Spinned - Stella's Lover (alt)
Rogue Fretwerk as Michael Curry (alt of chryblnd Scribe)
Stella's party: Gloriana, Arrehn, Adam3 Magic, Imrhien Fargis

Arrehn Oberlander - Production Design Technical
Martin Yeats - Production Design Technical
Gloriana Maertens - Production Design Builder

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Success of The Euphoria Group on LEA12

Post I wrote for the Linden Endowment of the Arts Blog

While I know those involved have thanked the LEA committee themselves, as one who is involved peripherally in dance performance, as well as LEA, I would like to thank the Committee for “taking a chance” on Babypea VonPhoenix Bikergrrl’s grant application for a sim. I don’t know if anything similar has taken place on the LEA grant sims previously, so perhaps they were not taking a chance after all! But this group made full use of the opportunity given to them by the Committee!

Not only did the Euphoria group create two very different but amazing sim wide builds during their tenure there, but they filled the sim to capacity on every occasion for their numerous events held there during the months of October, November and December.

The SuperMetropolis Train - photo by BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikergrrl

The urban cityscape which hosted the SuperMetropolis show for 5 performances in October was designed and built by one of the very talented dancers in the group, Chrissy Rhiano. The audience travelled the sim in a specially designed train which stopped at various points where each of the dancers performed using a set they had built.

BabypeavonPhoenix Bikergrrl’s Silver Surfer set at SuperMetropolis - photo by BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikergrrl

During one weekend in November the Dance Galaxy Festival was held with 14 different dance troupes performing, as well as the debut “recital” from students of Babypea’s Dawn of Dance classes.

Ronda Saunders danced her first solo performance at Dawn of Dance - photo by Ronda Saunders

For the Christmas ExtravaDanza performances in December the sim was designed and built by Restlesssoul Blackheart. This time the audience travelled by sleigh around the sim to the different dance performance sets.

LEA12 decorated for the Christmas !* ExtravaDanza*! - photo by BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikergrrl

Dance performance in Second Life is a truly artistic venture, with many talented people in that field. Not only does their love of music, and their skill at choreographing dance routines, shine through in their performances, but the beauty of their sets as well as their creative use of particles and special effects is truly amazing. 

SL scripters, particle makers, special lighting and dance animation creators are all heavily involved in making the tools to improve dance performance within the limits of SL, and it has come a long way in the last few years.

Setsuna Hirano danced in a globe set for the Christmas !*Extravadanza*! - photo by ToySoldier Thor

I hope many new people were introduced to this form of art by Euphoria's presence at LEA12. In addition, many people from the dance community heard about LEA for the first time and hopefully they will explore the other sims too and learn more about the different forms of art in the LEA world. 

Over and over I heard Babypea explain how the LEA program worked to people who asked but had never heard of it. I think two very different groups of people benefited greatly by the Committee’s granting of LEA12 to BabypeaVonPhoenix Bikerrgirl and the Euphoria group.

Babypea danced to Oiche Chiun (Silent Night) by Enya - photo by Gunner VonPhoenix

Fortunately for everyone’s enjoyment Gunner VonPhoenix videoed his wife’s performance and posted it on YouTube.

JMB (Jo) Balogh

Advisor to the LEA Committee