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New Zealand Dance News – January

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) has been formally recognised as the ‘Official School of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed recently between the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and NZSD, committing renewed energy to the relationship between the two national arts organisations.

“When I was a dance student myself at La Scala in Milan, Italy it was my dream to become a professional dancer with the company. I believe very strongly in the importance of the relationship between New Zealand School of Dance and their national ballet company. I will do my very best to help nurture NZSD students and together with the NZSD help the students realise their dreams,” said Francesco Ventriglia, artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Elisabeth Zorino performing in New Zealand School of Dance Graduation Season, photographed by Stephen A'Court.

Elisabeth Zorino performing in New Zealand School of Dance Graduation Season, photographed by Stephen A’Court.

From March 4 to 22, 2015, Auckland will be transformed with an explosion of theatre, music, cabaret, dance and visual arts during the Auckland Arts Festival. This is the 7th biennial Festival since its inception in 2003, and the 2015 festival promises an exciting line-up, including works from acclaimed British choreographer and dancer Akram Khan; New York City’s acclaimed Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; Fela! The Concert, direct from Broadway; Samoan-New Zealand director, Lemi Ponifasio’s I AM; and Close Encounters: PAH, a unique collaboration between leading female New Zealand artists Carol Brown, Gillian Whitehead and Star Gossage.

For the full programme go to www.aucklandfestival.co.nz.

Down in Wellington, the NZ Fringe Festival will take place from 20 February to 14 March 2015. NZ Fringe is New Zealand’s biggest little arts festival and 2015 celebrates their 25th anniversary of creativity and chaos. This year’s programme includes Maria Dabrowska’s Beautiful Recovery, Jandals Inc.’s IMPACT; Infinite’s hip hop show Lady Liberty, a woman who inspired New York’s famous Statue of Liberty; and Ariel Middlemiss Dance Collective’s Dead Silent.

For the full programme go to www.fringe.co.nz.

Dunedin Fringe will also be running from March 12 to 22, 2015. For more information, head to www.dunedinfringe.org.nz.

The Palace Dance Studio has received funding towards flights for touring a Parris Goebel dance work to Europe in 2015. Kezia Barnett and Mary-Jane O’Reilly also received funding for a dance film fusion. Java Dance (Sacha Copland) and Muscle Mouth (Ross McCormack) have both received Creative New Zealand funding towards major new works.

Lyn Cotton, director of integrated dance company Jolt, has been honoured at the Attitude Awards on World Disability Day. On 3 December, Lyn was announced as the recipient of the Making A Difference Award. The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of Kiwis living with a disability. The Awards have grown out of the Attitude TV series.

Lyn’s company, Jolt, runs classes for all ages and abilities and boats three performance companies : Jolt Dance Company, Jolt Youth and Jolt Interactive. Most recently, Lyn’s passion has been directed into establishing Move, New Zealand’s first integrated dance tutor training scheme, in which Jolt Dancers are trained as teachers. As well as dedicating her time to running Jolt, Lyn contributes many hours to other arts initiatives, including supporting mainstream artists and teachers to be more inclusive, ensuring fair pay and conditions for dancers and contributing to arts policy.

This year, two leading New Zealand performing arts companies will give 29 performances in seven Australian cities. Jumpboard Productions presenting Live Live Cinema and The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) are being supported by Creative New Zealand’s Touring Australia pilot to present their works, which respectively bring cult classic films back to life on stage and mark the First World War Centenary (NZDC’s Rotunda).

Photo (top): Lady Liberty by Infinite Dance Crew will be presented at NZ Fringe.

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