New Zealand Dance News – What’s happening in Nov?

The Royal New Zealand Ballet in 'Romeo + Juliet'. Photo by Ross Brown.

Twenty-year-old Christchurch dancer Holly Diepraam has been named a finalist in the Youth Spirit category at the 2016 Attitude Awards. The national awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of Kiwis living with disability and chronic health. Diepraam is determined to open her own dance studio and keep teaching once she has finished her study for a BA in Cultural Studies.

Holly Diepraam. Photo courtesy of Diepraam.

Holly Diepraam. Photo courtesy of Diepraam.

“I want it to be a fun and social dance class,” Diepraam says. “It will also be inclusive to those with disability, as I have first-hand experience in this area. It’s really important to me that everyone can experience the joy of dance.”

Diepraam was born with congenital talipes equinovarus (club foot) on her right side. She’s had numerous surgeries — the first at six months old — but her passion for dancing has always kept her moving despite daily pain. She began dancing at age three. Now aged 20, she teaches at three different dance schools in Christchurch. She choreographed her first musical at 16 and is currently choreographing Hair. “I have always made up dances and loved teaching them to anyone who let me,” Diepraam says. She will find out if she has won an Attitude Award at a black-tie gala on November 29, at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has announced its 2017 season, which includes “two ballets by one of the great choreographers of the 20th century, the return of an audience favourite, the world premiere of a brand new version of the world’s greatest love story, and a remodelled Tutus on Tour”.

On the 2017 line-up are two ballets by Roland Petit: Carmen with L’Arlésienne; three by Alexander Ekman: Cacti, Tuplet and Episode 31, with dancers joined onstage for Cacti by the New Zealand String Quartet; and The Ryman Healthcare Season of Romeo and Juliet, a brand new version by Artistic Director Francesco Ventriglia. And beyond the main stage seasons are the regional touring productions Tutus on Tour and Ballet in a Box.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet in 'Romeo and Juliet'. Photo by Ross Brown.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Photo by Ross Brown.

Ventriglia says, “Not only does this bold programme celebrate international talents like France’s greatest-ever choreographer Roland Petit and the contemporary genius of Alexander Ekman, it’s also about creating great art here in New Zealand with a new version of Romeo and Juliet. The talented dancers of the RNZB and I look forward to bringing you another year of world class productions. See you at the theatre.”

For more details and booking information, visit rnzb.org.nz/shows/.

Architects, choreographers, dancers, composers, musicians, designers and computer programmers have joined forces to present a unique hyper real experience that will alter the way we view contemporary performance, data and space. Singularity, taking place at Rangatira Theatre for one night only, blends data, dance, music and architecture in a ground-breaking immersive event designed to transport the audience into spaces of awe and delight. Singularity plays on Wednesday 2 November. For bookings, head to qtheatre.co.nz.

The line-up for the National Dance Hui has been announced. Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) has secured some of New Zealand’s renowned practitioners for Together/Moving Forward: A National Dance Hui. These include Arts Foundation Laureates Daniel Belton, Shona McCullagh, Michael Parmenter and Lemi Ponifasio. Also involved are Okareka Dance Company’s Taane Mete, Muscle Mouth’s Ross McCormack, from the South Island Julia Harvie of Movement Art Practice and Adam Hayward from Hyde Productions, plus emerging dance artists Jahra Wasasala and Kosta Bogoievski. You can view the whole programme here.

The Hui, which will be held on 21 and 22 November in The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC), aims to allow for tangible benefits to occur from a shared gathering or collective experience. It is an opportunity for the sector to meet face to face, network and discuss, share, debate, learn, challenge, reflect and contribute to the dance community in New Zealand.

Although the Hui will be primarily focused on contemporary dance, DANZ welcomes all people of the arts community to attend. The evening of 21 November will include a programme of performances, followed by a networking opportunity which will be open to the public.  

“This is a rare opportunity for dance people to benefit from the collective knowledge of this group of accomplished individuals, to learn from each other, work together and be part of the change to move the contemporary dance sector forward,” says DANZ Chief Executive Anton Carter. 

You can register to attend now at eventbrite.co.nz General admission is $50, or $30 for DANZ members and students.

Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer Lucy Green will, at the end of November, return to Australia to take up the role of soloist with Queensland Ballet.

Green says, “Thanks to the RNZB, the last seven years have been some of the best of my life. I’ve been given the most wonderful opportunities and have built a career I never thought possible. I’d like to thank the three artistic directors who’ve nurtured my career to date: Gary Harris, Ethan Stiefel and Francesco Ventriglia, as well as the entire RNZB family. I have loved being a part of your national company and representing New Zealand on the world stage. It’s the right time for me to make a move, but I would love to accept the invitation to come back as a guest artist.”

Green’s last performances as a member of the RNZB will be in the four Wellington-only shows of renowned British choreographer Liam Scarlett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (25– 27 November).  The production created by Scarlett for the RNZB in 2015 was a highly successful co–production with Queensland Ballet.

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.

Photo (top): The Royal New Zealand Ballet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Photo by Ross Brown.

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