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New Zealand Dance News – July

Okareka Dance Company

Here is the latest dance news from New Zealand:

The 2015 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship has been awarded to experimental dancer and choreographer, Ross McCormack.

The $100,000 fellowship will fund an intense programme of research, artistic development and collaboration for the Aucklander, who has worked extensively overseas and has recently begun to establish a base for his choreographic practice in New Zealand.

Described by the fellowship assessment panel as “an exciting and innovative choreographer,” McCormack’s programme includes becoming an artist-in-residence at the Hannamdong L Studio in Seoul, South Korea in 2016, establishing a design space in New Zealand to focus on set experimentation and design research, and initiating a joint Melbourne/Auckland project with Australian choreographer Stephanie Lake.

He says, “I want to thank the individuals who supported the ideas in my application – to help me continue to run into the dark. This is an incredible outcome.”

A 2001 graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance, McCormack has worked with Douglas Wright Dance Company, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre, C de la B, Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin among others.

The show that saw 21 sold-out shows in 2013 will return to Auckland for six nights before hitting the road. Okareka Dance Company‘s K’ Rd Strip – A Place to Stand will open at Auckland’s Q Theatre on 14 July, Rotorua’s Blue Baths on 22 July and then Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre (dates TBC). It will then head to London where the company will do some promotional shows before a widely coveted season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 5 to 31 August.

Melbourne Ballet Company

Melbourne Ballet Company will have its New Zealand premiere in August.

K’ Rd Strip is a multi-faceted, collaborative dance theatre piece about an iconic piece of Auckland road that has anchored deep roots into the cultural veins of New Zealand history. The result is unlike anything Okareka has created before – ancient Māori mythology and intoxicating tales are entwined with contemporary dance, theatre, haka, drag and live vocals.

Of their work, Okareka Co-Artistic Director Taane Mete says, “It is important for Okareka Dance Company to produce powerful art that upholds integrity, intention and Mana. It was our intention to create a show across a variety of disciplines that harnessed Māori culture yet would travel successfully around the world. This contemporary fusion exposes a new genre of theatre that we believe will strengthen the fabric of contemporary dance in New Zealand and place Aotearoa on the map for developing ground-breaking art.”

For more info or to book, click here.

The Melbourne Ballet Company will have their New Zealand premiere in Auckland next month. The company will perform their signature work, Infinite Space, and three short pieces, Phrased Without Words, Lucidity – which features a duet by internationally recognised dance-maker Tim Podesta – and Divenire. For tickets and info visit www.melbourneballetcompany.com.au.

Photo (top): Okareka Dance Company in K’ Rd Strip.

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