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New Zealand Dance News – December 2017

New Zealand School of Dance’s 50th Anniversary Graduation Season, featuring Emma-Rose Barrowclough and Jack Whiter in George Balanchine's ‘Allegro Brillante’. Photo by Stephen A’Court.
New Zealand School of Dance’s 50th Anniversary Graduation Season, featuring Emma-Rose Barrowclough and Jack Whiter in George Balanchine's ‘Allegro Brillante’. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

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

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) has just celebrated a successful 50th Anniversary Graduation Season at the St James Theatre in Wellington. The season was an opportunity to witness the high calibre of students and the results of working with inspirational world class tutors. Audiences at Wellington’s St James Theatre were treated to an eclectic mix of visionary contemporary dance and classical ballet featuring outstanding choreography from NZSD alumni and teachers alongside international choreographic icons.

NZSD's 50th Anniversary Graduation Season, featuring Jill Goh alongside NZSD students in Sarah Foster-Sproull's ‘Forgotten Things’. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

NZSD’s 50th Anniversary Graduation Season, featuring Jill Goh alongside NZSD students in Sarah Foster-Sproull’s ‘Forgotten Things’. Photo by Stephen A’Court.

The School’s programme honoured its past, embraced the present and hinted at a vision for the future. This was most evident through the works commissioned in the programme by the School’s alumni and graduates, such as works by Sarah Foster-Sproull, Michael Parmenter, Victoria Colombus and current Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Loughlan Prior. Reviewer Jack Yan from Lucire says, “ We loved NZSD alumna Sarah Foster-Sproull’s Forgotten Things, which was also featured on the programme tonight, and was even more enjoyable the second time around.” 

NZSD will also launch a new foundation, the New Zealand School of Dance Foundation, which will support the vision of lifting up the dancers of tomorrow. The Foundation’s primary objective is to provide scholarships for students in financial hardship, ensuring that these exceptionally talented students have access to training, regardless of their financial situation.

NZSD is now accepting donations for the Foundation. Donations received by 30 September 2018 will receive “Inaugural Patron” acknowledgement. For more information on the Foundation and how to donate, visit www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/news/new-zealand-school-dance-launches-foundation.

Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB)’s beloved programme, Tutus on Tour, will return in 2018, with performances from March through December. Tickets are now on sale, with prices ranging from $10-35, and the tour will head to all parts of New Zealand – from Gore to Kerikeri, Tauranga to Oamaru, as well as Hamilton, Taupo and Whanganui. RNZB dancers will perform classical favourites and contemporary works, tailor-made for smaller venues, and suitable for all ages. Tutus on Tour also gives local schools the chance to experience the RNZB with Ballet in a Box, during which students can observe the dancers’ daily warm-up, watch them perform brief works and engage in a Q&A session. In the evening, the company will present performances from the company’s repertoire in full costume. For tickets and more information, head to rnzb.org.nz/shows/tutus-on-tour-2018.

RNZB has also announced that its prestigious ballet scholarship, the Todd Scholarship, has been awarded to 20-year-old dancer Luke Cooper, securing him a place with the company for 2018. The scholarship is funded by the Todd Corporation and is awarded annually to a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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