Changing the perception of dance
New Zealand's newest performance company says it will change the way contemporary dance is viewed when it launches its first season in August.
The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC), established by artistic director Shona McCullagh and some of New Zealand's finest dance talent, wants to "unravel the current perception in New Zealand of contemporary dance being elitist and inaccessible".
"There's no reason why it should be out of reach or irrelevant on the fringes," McCullagh said.
The company's first programme - Language of Living - premieres in August and will feature five works inspired by the belief that dance is the most "beautifully truthful language".
Choreographers McCullagh, Michael Parmenter, Sarah Foster-Sproull, and Justin Haiu have created works combining the athleticism of some of New Zealand's finest young dancers, while fusing together new technologies, costume and set design and live sound to create a unique dance experience.
Highlights include international dancer Ursula Robb, who has worked with the Paris Opera, animations from Japanese artist Macoto Murayama and music from Motorcade's Eden Mulholland and composer John Elmsly.
As well as Language of Living, the NZDC is staging Liftoff - a youth engagement programme.
The programme is a partnership with Kingsland's Kowhai Intermediate School will see 20 children join the NZDC Youth Company, dancers and special guests on stage to perform a range of short works.
McCullagh and company member Tupua Tigafua have worked with the students over several months to help them to create their own choreographic language, and way to celebrate identity through their own personal connection with community, whanau, culture and passion.
Language of Living:
August 10 and 11 - ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
Tickets from $29.95 from The Edge
August 11 at 2pm - ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
Tickets from $15 from The Edge