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August 9, 2004


Choreographer Michael Parmenter is back in New Zealand and working towards his first national tour since travelling to Europe for creative inspiration in 2002. During that trip Parmenter attended the famous Wagner festival at Bayreuth, and Wagner is the inspiration for his new dance work.

Parmenter says, "Tristan & Isolde will be a choreographic take Wagner's eloquent rendition of the Western Myth of romantic love." Rather than just reinterpreting the Wagner opera though, Parmenter's dance is more of a critique of both the composer's and also our culture's vision of love as transcendent union; the myth that each person has a soul mate in the world that will make him or her complete. "I am interested in the story of Tristan and Isolde because their tragedy tells the truth about the lie of the truth about love. Death not happiness is the inevitable cost of their love."

Parmenter will be joined by another veteran of New Zealand dance, Taane Mete for the project. Mete recently left his position with Black Grace Dance Company with whom he has been dancing for seven years, in order to take up the engagement with Parmenter.

"It's so exciting to be working with Michael again, this is a really tough project to be involved with but I can't wait to get my teeth stuck into it," Mete says.

Tristan and Isolde will premiere at the Body Festival in Christchurch before heading to Dunedin for the Fringe Festival, Wellington and finally onto Auckland where the tour will finish.


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