New Zealand Dance News – August 2020

RNZB in 'Venus Rising'.
RNZB in 'Venus Rising'.

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

NZDC's 'Night Light'.
NZDC’s ‘Night Light’.

In a year when live performance was once so abruptly taken away, the New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) invites audiences back in the theatre for an evening of earthy contrast in Night Light, to be presented 13 – 14 August. Indulge your senses in a complementary double bill by two dynamic New Zealand choreographers who bring to life an ancient sequence of nature and an environment that exists between fiction and reality. First, float through time and space, observing nature’s mysterious golden spirals in the Auckland premiere of newly appointed NZDC Co-Artistic Director Tor Colombus’ The Fibonacci. Then, ground down with feeling in the world premiere of emerging Māori choreographer Eddie Elliott’s Uku – Behind the Canvas, where confronting storytelling is at its most raw. Night Light will be presented at ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland, on Thursday 13 August and Friday 14 August at 7:30pm. All tickets are $25 and can be booked here

International Ballet Workshops. Photo by Chris Dowd.
International Ballet Workshops. Photo by Chris Dowd.

International Ballet Workshops (IBW) is looking forward to once again sharing exciting and once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences with New Zealand dancers at its Summer 2021 Series. Bringing elite teachers and unique opportunities for dance students, IBW is passionate about inspiring students and providing international connections within the dance industry. IBW will return to Wellesley Studios in Auckland for summer workshops, January 18-20, 2021. Registrations open soon. For more information about IBW and the kinds of opportunities on offer, visit www.ibwdance.com.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) marked the return to live performance in July with RNZB RAW, studio performances of works begun in lockdown by company members Shaun James Kelly, Nadia Yanowsky, Allister Madin, Annaliese Macdonald and Levi Teachout, shared with friends and family over four nights at the beginning of July. The RNZB’s community, education and accessibility programme was extra busy during the July school holidays, with free workshops for pre-school and primary school children at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. More than 2,000 people also enjoyed free performances of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with choreography by Nadia Yanowsky and storytelling by Bea Lee-Smith, at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre. Shows included two ‘relaxed performances’ especially for neurodiverse children and their families. RNZB’s Venus Rising will open in Wellington on 20 August, touring works by Twyla Tharp, Alice Topp, Andrea Schermoly and a new commission from Sarah Foster-Sproull to six cities through to 19 September. For tickets and more information, visit rnzb.org.nz/shows/venus-rising.

During the nation’s lockdown, Java Dance Theatre matched up more than 50 musicians and dancers from around the world for 101 improvised duets online. The company’s Artistic Director Sacha Copland describes the duo of dancers and musicians as “a natural pairing, a conversation without words.” Now, 24 of the artists will collaborate in Wellington to create site-specific duets. “We felt compelled to come together in the flesh…to find new ways of working together and create dance and music for a new world,” Copland explained. Follow these artists’ process online with DANZ through 11 September.

Seidah Tuaoi.
Seidah Tuaoi.

Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa (NZ) has announced it is going ahead with its live festival this year, from 30 November – 5 December, at Herald Theatre thanks to Auckland Live. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was postponed from this past June, and given that it was previously half-international, the new programme is mostly locally-based artists with four from Australia. The programme is: Kyah Dove, Atlanta Eke, Forest Vicky Kapo and co, Rebecca Jensen, Anna Bate, Seidah Tuaoi, Amber Liberté, Faasu Afoa-purcell, Katrina E. Bastian (Katrina Elizabeth), Kelly Nash, Joanne Hobern and Jazmine Rose Phillips, Jessie McCall, Caitlin Davey, Janaina Moraes, Neza Jamnikar, and Dave Huggins. For more information, follow Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa on Facebook.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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