Guest dancer brings touch of New York
A talented New York- based guest dancer on his own mini tour of New Zealand is in town to perform with a Nelson dance academy.
Jesse Campbell - "like the soup" - is from New Mexico, but performs with dance companies in New York.
The 24-year-old will join 16-year-old Nelson College for Girls student Sarah Lauder on stage at the Theatre Royal in a Nelson Academy of Dance show.
Season of Dance, opening tomorrow, features about 100 of Gillian Francis' students in three ballets - Through the Fire, Desert Rose and excerpts from Don Quixote.
Through the Fire is a story ballet for the "little ones - from butterflies to flowers", Francis says, while Desert Rose is a contemporary dance piece.
Lauder, who will dance with Campbell in excerpts from Don Quixote, has been learning ballet for four years.
She learned gymnastics for many years before that, but they are "completely different", she says, apart from the strength and flexibility they require.
Lauder, who travels to Christchurch in her school holidays for ballet training with international tutors, says she is enjoying dancing with a partner - something she has not done much before.
It is the second time Campbell has been to New Zealand to dance. He performed with the Canterbury Ballet School in 2010, because he had been rehearsing with the daughter of the owner of the school in New York.
The Canterbury Ballet School wanted him back this year to perform in Don Quixote and, as luck had it, the Nelson Academy of Dance was putting on the same piece.
"It was really good timing. I'm on my own mini-tour. It's a fun ballet. It's not serious like some of the other classics. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek," he says.
Campbell, who was into jazz dancing before taking up ballet as a 17-year-old, says the Theatre Royal is an "incredible" venue and he's looking forward to performing there.
He is also keen on martial arts and says he is attracted to the athleticism and masculine presence of men's ballet.
He took it up because he likes classical music, but travelling around the world with it is also a major perk, he says.
- Season of Dance, Nelson Academy of Dance, Theatre Royal, 7pm tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, and 1.30pm Saturday. Tickets $16 plus service fees.
- © Fairfax NZ News