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New Zealand Dance News – March 2017

New Zealand Dance Week 2017

Find out what’s happening in New Zealand Dance this month!

The Auckland Arts Festival Masterclass Series supported by British Council and DANZ, provides opportunities for industry professionals and graduate students to attend classes with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Taiwan), Jakop Ahlbom (The Netherlands) or Sergei Polunin (Ukraine).

Senior Cloud Gate dancers Huang Pei-hua and Su I-ping will lead the Cloud Gate masterclass, aimed at professional contemporary dancers. It employs some of Cloud Gate’s training elements, including internal martial arts and Qi Gong (an ancient form of breathing exercise), combined with contemporary dance technique, through which dancers will explore the journey from moving to moving in meditation.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in 'Rice' Photo by Liu Chen-hsiang and Gia To.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in ‘Rice’ Photo by Liu Chen-hsiang and Gia To.

The masterclass will take place on 11 March 2017, 12:30 – 2:00pm, at Wellesley Studio, Auckland. $30 plus booking fee. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan is also presenting Rice at the Auckland Arts Festival from 10-12 March at the Aotea Centre.

Horror‘s Swedish-born Jakop Ahlbom will lead a Physical Theatre Masterclass for 20 physically trained dance, theatre and circus practitioners. The class will cover his physical way of working, drawing from his toolkit of slapstick, illusionism, acrobatics, dance, absurdism, visual art, poetry, music and magic. Ahlbom moved to the Netherlands in the 1990s to attend the Mime department at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. He has worked under his own name since 2000, building up a distinctive and original body of work and has toured extensively abroad in Europe, the UK and the USA. Over the last 10 years, this film and theatre maker has developed a trademark theatrical form that unites theatre, mime, dance, music and the world of illusion with a unique talent for combining powerful visual language with equally powerful content.

The masterclass will be held on 25 March, 3pm, at Kenneth Myers Centre. Cost is $30 plus booking fee. Ahlbom will also present Horror, his tribute to horror cinema, at the Civic Theatre, 21-26 March.

Share two hours of studio time with ballet superstar Sergei Polunin (Dancer, 2016). This masterclass is suitable for professional male ballet or contemporary dancers at an advanced level (16 years and up). Born in Kherson, Ukraine, Polunin graduated from the Kiev Choreographic Institute and joined the Royal Ballet School in 2003 at the age of 13, becoming the company’s youngest ever principal in 2010. Polunin left the Royal Ballet in 2012 and is currently a principal with Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. He is well known for the video for Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” and as the subject of the 2016 documentary Dancer.

Sergei Polunin.

Sergei Polunin.

Polunin is in town as a guest dancer for the Sadlers Wells season of Natalia Osipova and Guests at ASB Theatre, 24-26 March. His masterclass is 25 March, 12:30 – 2:30pm, at Wellesley Studios. Cost is $30 plus booking fee.

To register for any of the above masterclasses, contact Faye Jansen at danz@danz.org.nz  with a short bio outlining your experience and why you are interested in the masterclass. Spaces are limited.

Another masterclass will take place on March 15 and 17, presented by the New Zealand Dance Company and DANZ, and Kim Jae Duk from Korea. Jae Duk is the artistic director and choreographer of Modern Table Dance Company, as well as T.H.E Dance Company’s very first resident choreographer. The masterclass is open to contemporary dancers in Christchurch (15 March, 5-7pm, Venue TBC) and Wellington (17 March, 4-6pm, Te Whaea Dance & Drama Centre). Cost is $30. Head to danz.org.nz for more information and registration details.

New Zealand Dance Week is coming up again, from April 22 to 30, also organised by DANZ. The national organisation is asking for ideas and contributions: “There are many ways you can get involved; any contribution is a great contribution! Whether you host a workshop or event, get involved on social media, or join a new class – everything counts… Start thinking about what you can do during this event, and keep an eye out for more information to come!” For more information, visit danz.org.nz/New+Zealand+Dance+Week

The Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship applications are closing soon (March 10). This fellowship is awarded to an established choreographer who has already produced a significant body of work for a choreographic project and/or programme of activity. Up to $100,000 will be awarded to successful applicants. For more details, go to www.creativenz.govt.nz/find-funding/funds/creative-new-zealand-choreographic-fellowship.

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.

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