NZ Dance News September

By Rain Francis.

Pre-eminent choreographer and award-winning writer Douglas Wright’s work rapt is set to be performed in The Hague at the prestigious Lucent Danstheater next April. Douglas Wright Dance is initiating a fundraising drive to raise $35k NZD to realise the project.

The invitation has come from one of the world’s largest dance festivals, Holland Dance in conjunction with Lucent Danstheater, home to the world famous Nederlands Dans Theater. It is unique for a New Zealand company to achieve the chance to perform on this prominent dance stage.

New Zealand Dance Company's Language of Living at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland. Photo to John McDermott

The New Zealand Dance Company's 'Language of Living' at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland. Photo to John McDermott

The project has received major funding support from Creative New Zealand, however the challenging economic environment and significant size and scale of rapt means that the total cost of the rehearsal period and tour cannot be covered by performance fees and Creative New Zealand funding alone.

People can donate from as little as $10 by visiting www.pozible.com/rapt.  A number of donation tiers with acknowledgement benefits have been created as a means to say thank you to supporters. These include personally signed Douglas Wright books as well as an opportunity to attend a rehearsal of rapt in Auckland before the company departs for Holland.

The world premiere performances of the recently established Auckland based contemporary company, The New Zealand Dance Company met with rave reviews from five different publications.

The programme featured works by Justin Haiu, Michael Parmenter, Sarah Foster Sproull and Executive Artistic Director Shona McCullagh. The company doubled their audience targets at their launch in the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre.

Rise by Java Dance Company

After 25 years at the helm of Footnote Dance Company, Deirdre Tarrant announced earlier this year that she was retiring from the post. It has recently been announced that Malia Johnston will assume directorship in 2013. An award-winning choreographer, Malia is also currently Artistic Director of the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Arts Awards Show (WOW). She also runs Rifleman Productions and is a regular guest tutor of choreography and technique at both New Zealand School of Dance and Unitec.

Java Dance Company is continuing to have a great year. Out of 923 shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Java’s Back of the Bus was ranked 5th best. They’ll be back in Australia next month when they bring the show to Perth, for the Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things.

Java has also recently been commissioned to make a new show for 3-14 year olds for the Capital E International Arts Festival in Wellington.

New Zealand School of Dance third year students, due to graduate in November, are already receiving company contracts and offers for next year.

New Zealand School of Dance students Cauê Frias and Christopher Gerty. Photo by Stephen A’Court

Contemporary students Samantha Hines and Matt Roffe will join Australian Dance Theatre on full-time contracts, dancing alongside 2011 NZSD graduate Zoe Dunwoodie, who is already with the company. Their classmate James Pham has taken up a position with Chunky Move. He will perform in the company’s upcoming season at the Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Classical student Cauê Frias has been offered a place with Houston Ballet II and Christopher Gerty with San Francisco Ballet School’s Trainee Program. Cauê is performing in Stanton Welch’s September production of Madame Butterfly for Houston Ballet.

Top photo: New Zealand School of Dance students Matte Roffe, Samantha Hines and Simone Lapka, photographed by Stephen A’Court

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