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New Zealand Dance News – September 2020

RNZB in 'Venus Rising'. Photo by Stephen A'Court.
RNZB in 'Venus Rising'. Photo by Stephen A'Court.

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

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) is internationally recognized as producing versatile and employable dancers, skilled in classical ballet and contemporary dance. The School’s unique training develops qualities that meet the needs of the dance profession while extending the boundaries of the art form. The NZSD is hosting both Digital Auditions and Live Auditions for talented young dancers aged 16 – 18 years. Digital Auditions will be held 18 September, and Live Auditions will be held 26 September. Dancers can apply by 11 September at nzschoolofdance.ac.nz. Find out more about the full time programme in NZSD’s Prospecuts here

Bella Wilson. Photo by Delainy Kennedy.
Bella Wilson. Photo by Delainy Kennedy.

The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) is offering a brand new class to continue engaging its online community – Virtual Movement Practice with Bella Wilson on Tuesdays from 1-2pm over Zoom (NZST). This class is open to all levels and is a great way to take a movement break in your day – a fusion of movement each week inspired by contemporary dance, yoga, Pilates, barre, ballet and more. Wilson’s background includes training in all of these styles and will lead to a bit of sweat and a big smile to start the day. If you’re not able to attend the class at that time, the class will be recorded and available to watch for up to 48 hours. Just be sure to be registered before Tuesday to ensure that you will receive the recording. Note that there is a different link each week, so you will need to pay/register ahead of every class and use the new link that is sent to you each time. To register, visit nzdc.org.nz/education/virtual-morning-movement-practice.

RNZB's 'The Sleeping Beauty'. Photo by Ross Brown.
RNZB’s ‘The Sleeping Beauty’. Photo by Ross Brown.

Looking ahead with joy and optimism to its ever-popular Christmas season, the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) will open its magical new production, The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty on 29 October. This new production of the quintessential classical ballet has been created by a powerhouse of creativity, led by RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker. The creative team includes New Zealand costume designer Donna Jefferis; Austrian Dramaturg Michael Auer, whose most recent production with the company was the successful The Nutcracker season in 2018; American Lighting Designer Randall (Rico) Chiarelli (Black Swan, White Swan, 2019); and American scenic designer Howard C. Jones, whose work New Zealand audiences may remember from the RNZB’s much-loved classic production of Giselle (2012). Barker said, “We considered our production of this beautiful, enchanting story from all angles – from the original ballet, to the Disney story, and even as a Netflix-style compelling drama with storytelling and characters at its heart. The result is a bold new production with all the brilliance, grandeur and beauty of the beloved classical ballet.” The national tour of The Sleeping Beauty visits Wellington, Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna. RNZB Principal Conductor Hamish McKeich will conduct a live orchestral accompaniment in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, with a special recording for all other centres. For tickets and more information, visit rnzb.org.nz/shows/the-sleeping-beauty.

Experimental Dance Week Aotearoa has announced that it will be 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 Higgins. 

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

International Ballet Workshops (IBW) is hosting a series of online workshops for dance students in New Zealand and Australia. After huge success with the first online workshop in August, taught by the incredible Dusty Button, students were treated to a wonderful “Broken Barre” contemporary class with international choreographer, artist and former house choreographer of Ballet Augsburg, Riccardo De Nigris. IBW is thrilled to be able to continue to provide these international opportunities for students despite the current COVID-19 conditions. To stay up to date with all upcoming online workshops and guest teachers, follow IBW on Instagram @ibw_dance or Facebook at www.facebook.com/internationalballetworkshops. Visit www.ibwdance.com for more info and to register for online workshops. 

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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