New Zealand Dance News – February/March 2023

RNZB Principal Mayu Tanigaito. Photo by Paul Ross Jones.

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

This year, Garry Trinder is celebrating 25 years of directing the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD). Trinder’s impressive career began when he was 18, joining Scottish Ballet, as a dancer. In moving into management, he served six years as Artistic Director of Hong Kong Ballet and two years as Director of Dance for the Natal Performing Arts Council (NAPAC) in South Africa. He holds a Master’s degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire and an Advanced Diploma in Education from Newcastle University. Trinder joined the NZSD in January 1998, and since then, he has been a driving force in modernising the school and ensuring the highest quality of dance instruction. His direction has been instrumental in producing some of the world’s most accomplished dancers, with many NZSD alumni now appearing in top-tier dance companies all over the world.

New Zealand School of Dance Director Garry Trinder. Photo by Eric Hong.
New Zealand School of Dance Director Garry Trinder. Photo by Eric Hong.

Under his leadership, the School has extended its professional training reputation globally. Trinder has forged relationships with acclaimed international ballet competitions and established exchange programmes with highly regarded conservatoires. In 2005, the School was endorsed by Youth America Grand Prix and, in 2006, became a Partner School of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne. These connections have helped further the reputation of the School as a world-class training institution. In recognition of his services to dance, Trinder was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013. Trinder has seen NZSD through significant milestones and successes including the move from Cable Street to Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre, launching The New Zealand School Of Dance Foundation, and creating both the School’s Associates and Scholars Programmes. Furthermore, his leadership during the last two years has been critical as the School navigated some of the most difficult and challenging times throughout the pandemic. Despite the immense disruptions, Trinder ensured that students were able to continue their learning in a safe, secure and effective manner.

The School would like to express its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Trinder for his tireless dedication to the ongoing success and excellence of dance training in New Zealand. His unwavering belief in his students’ abilities to excel has been an inspiration to all. His commitment to providing the best possible training and resources to his students has been an invaluable asset to the School, as well as his leadership and guidance throughout the pandemic.

During the Festival of Colour 2023, a week-long celebration of the arts held 26 March – 2 April, the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) will present Woman of Words. To mark the centenary of her death, Woman of Words is a newly created biographical dance work which celebrates the extraordinary life of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, exploring her personal stories and the people who inspired the ideas behind her works. The work is choreographed by Loughlan Prior, with sound design by Matthew Lambourne (POW Studios) and costumes by Donna Jefferis. Audiences will be able to see the world through Mansfield’s eyes in a series of epistolary moments, gathered from letters to her closest friends and loved ones.

Mansfield played a central role in shaping modern literature by experimenting with style, subject matter and theme, with the analysis of anxiety, sexuality and existentialism embroiled within her writing. In remaining true to her singular voice, she created a body of work that redefined the genre. She was unmistakably ahead of her time. In Woman of Words, her intense, captivating and all too short life is brought to the stage using dance, text, colour and sound. Beginning with her early years growing up in Wellington, to the height of London bohemia and the Bloomsbury group, to her death at the age of 34, Woman of Words chronicles Mansfield’s journey and her passion for creativity, love and life. Woman of Words will be presented during the Festival of Colour at Lake Wanaka Centre on 27 March, at 6pm and 8:30pm. For tickets and more information, visit www.festivalofcolour.co.nz/programme/woman-of-words-royal-new-zealand-ballet.

By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.

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