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New Zealand Dance News – July 2017

Dusty Button teaching at International Ballet Workshops. Photo courtesy of IBW.

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

Kiwi dancers have a unique opportunity to win a scholarship to dance in the USA, courtesy of world-famous ballerina Dusty Button! The prestigious International Ballet Workshops is bringing Button to Auckland this month as the Guest Teacher in its Winter 2017 Series, held at Wellesley Studios on July 11 and 12. The workshops are open to dancers aged 7 and up, and include ballet, pointe, body conditioning and repertoire.

Dusty Button teaching at International Ballet Workshops. Photo courtesy of IBW.

Dusty Button teaching at International Ballet Workshops. Photo courtesy of IBW.

Senior and Intermediate students will work closely with Button and are eligible for scholarships to the BellaMoxi Dance Convention in the USA. Button will choose at least two students from each city on the Australian/New Zealand tour to win a scholarship to the convention, and at the end of the tour, one of those dancers will also win all of his/her expenses paid (flights, board and food). Repertoire taught throughout the workshops include Paquita, as well as a contemporary pointe solo choreographed by Button herself.

One student from each level will also be selected as the Bloch Most Outstanding Young Artist. This is a truly unique workshop that has already sold out in some cities. Get in quick and register at www.internationalballetworkshops.com.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) has recently welcomed its new artistic director, Patricia Barker. The former prima ballerina has come from being the artistic director of Grand Rapids Ballet in Michigan, USA. She is only the second woman to have held the directorship of the company. RNZB Board Chair Steven Fyfe says, “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Patricia Barker. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience having held positions of artistic leadership for more than a decade, following a distinguished performing career.”

Coming up at New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) is Once, from 8 – 16 September 2017. A captivating collection of 11 solo dance works created by graduates from five decades of the NZSD – Mary Jane O’Reilly, Taiaroa Royal, Daniel Belton, Raewyn Hill, Emma Murray, Craig Bary, Ross McCormack, Sacha Copland, Janessa Dufty, Lauren Langlois and Eliza Sanders.

New Zealand School of Dance student Christina Guieb. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

New Zealand School of Dance student Christina Guieb. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

Each piece has been crafted for one of the exceptional contemporary dance students who will graduate in 2017. In celebration of the School’s 50th anniversary, commissioning choreography from these admired dancemakers gives expression to the School’s culture through innovation and fresh thinking. For more, visit www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz.

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) is hosting its Youth Winter School and “Safe Place to Be Brave” performance (alongside NZDC dancers). The Winter School is open to dancers aged 12-plus and takes place from July 10-14, at the Te Pou Theatre, Auckland. For more information, go to www.nzdc.org.nz/seasonal-schools.

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.

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