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New Zealand Dance News – July 2019

IBW Winter Series 2019. Photo by Brenden Tamraz.
IBW Winter Series 2019. Photo by Brenden Tamraz.

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

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) is now accepting audition registrations for full-time training, commencing January 2020. NZSD has an international reputation and is known for producing versatile and employable dancers. The full-time programme prepares dancers for careers in dance performance. Students major in either classical ballet or contemporary dance but maintain a strong base in both disciplines. Auditions for the year starting January 2020, will be held in September/October 2019: Wellington (28 September), Melbourne (1 October), Brisbane (3 October) and Sydney (5 October). To apply, visit www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz

New Zealand School of Dance student Rench Soriano (1st place). Photo by Amber Griffin Photography. 

Seven NZSD full-time classical ballet students recently participated in the prestigious Alana Haines Australasian Awards. In the 15-18-year age group, Timothy Ching placed as a finalist, Sook Meng Lim placed second, and Rench Soriano received first place and the Audience Choice Award.

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) presents the premiere season of Matariki for Tamariki – Nga Tamariki o Nga Mata Ariki by accomplished New Zealand dancer and choreographer Sean MacDonald, as part of Auckland’s Matariki Festival. MacDonald brings to life a world where a band of players travel throughout Aotearoa and its landscape of lush ngahere (forests), mighty maunga (mountains) and majestic moana (oceans). MacDonald’s choreography is paired with evocative costumes and set design by Rona Ngahuia Osborne, as well as sound design by Alistair Deverick. Paired with six performances of Matariki for Tamariki is Auckland, are two week-long affiliated Youth Winter Schools for aspiring dancers ages 12 and up, who have the opportunity to learn contemporary technique and perform alongside the professional NZDC dancers. For more information about performances and schools, visit www.nzdc.org.nz/node/matariki-for-tamariki.

Rodney Bell will continue to tour his award-winning performance work, Meremere, this July and August. Meremere is a powerful and engaging autobiographical work in response to Bell’s extraordinary life, and was inspired by his period of homelessness on the streets of San Francisco. The multimedia performance piece has been developed in collaboration with director Malia Johnston’s performance design company, Movement of the Human, and features live music from Eden Mulholland. Bell’s Meremere will play at Maoriland Hub (26 – 27 July), at Theatre Royal Nelson (30 July), as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival (31 July – 3 August), at Hokitika Regent Theatre (6 August), at Oamaru Opera House (8 August), and with more performances to be announced. For more information, visit www.movementofthehuman.com

The recent 2019 Alana Haines Australasian Awards awarded cash and prizes worth $460,000 to young dancers. The Grand Finals was hosted by Martin James (former Royal Danish Ballet principal) and saw 22 finalists perform to a full house, with guest performances from New Zealand, Sydney, Royal Ballet School London, Stuttgart’s John Cranko Schule and Royal New Zealand Ballet. Audience Choice awards were presented to Xavier Xue (Annette Roselli Dance Academy QLD), Alfie Shacklock (Dance Centre Peregrin Springs QLD) and Rench Soriano (New Zealand School of Dance). Other winners include Lily Sophia Dashwood, Kohana Williams, Lukas Maher and Charlie Dashwood. For a full list of results and scholarships awarded, head to www.ahaawards.co.nz

The International Ballet Workshops Winter 2019 Balanchine Series is underway and coming to New Zealand very soon. There is still time to book into the Auckland workshops held at Wellesley Studios, 14 – 16 July. Don’t miss your chance to learn from two incredible teachers, Elizabeth Walker and Jane Inglis-Keen, or the opportunity of winning some amazing, life-changing prizes and scholarships! For more information and to register, visit www.internationalballetworkshops.com.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa. 

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