Music and dance double-header for Expressions over Labour Weekend

New Zealand School of Dance students will celebrate 50 years of dance with a show incorporating classic and contemporary ...
Stephen A'Court

New Zealand School of Dance students will celebrate 50 years of dance with a show incorporating classic and contemporary dance.

Expressions Whirinaki is set for a world-class dance and music double-header this Labour Weekend.

The arts centre will host two performances by the New Zealand School of Dance to celebrate their 50 years anniversary and a concert by piano great Michael Houstoun.

With two top-drawer acts on the bill, Expressions director Leanne Wickham said it was gearing up to be a big weekend.

Michael Houstoun, one of New Zealand's greatest pianists, will  be playing Bach's Well Tempered Clavier on October 23.
Supplied

Michael Houstoun, one of New Zealand's greatest pianists, will be playing Bach's Well Tempered Clavier on October 23.

On October 20 and 21 the School of Dance would be celebrating 50 years of training dancers and artistic staff with a show incorporating classic and contemporary dance.

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"All these dancers go on to join the Royal New Zealand Ballet or companies around the world. It's a great opportunity to see them before they go on to their national or international careers."

Director Leanne Wickham says Expressions has had a good run of top level artists at their theatre this year.
MATTHEW TSO/STUFF

Director Leanne Wickham says Expressions has had a good run of top level artists at their theatre this year.

Houstoun is one of New Zealand's greatest pianists and would be playing Bach's Well Tempered Clavier on October 23.

Wickham could not wait to see him tickle the ivory at the intimate performance which had become an annual event at Expressions.

"He loves our Steinway [piano]. It's probably one of the best in the country."

A feature of the show would be a close up live screening of the keyboard and Houstoun's hands so the audience could appreciate the technical complexity of Bach's work.

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Wickham said Expressions had had a good run of top level artists this year with the likes of Anika Moa, Don McGlashan and Shayne Carter having performed earlier in the year.

Over the last three of four years, Expressions had been able to attract more big acts and a wider range of artists to their venue.

 "Of course we look after them, but it's a really intimate and beautifully presented space."

More locals were also turning out to attend the performances. An increasing number of attendees along with a higher level of local sponsorship for the shows was a sign of a strong and thriving arts scene, Wickham said.

Also on display over Labour Weekend is the interactive Mirror Magic exhibition where patrons can get up close and personal with a range of warped mirrors, and a collection of rarely seen works from New Zealand figurative painter  Nigel brown, in the Nigel Brown; I AM/WE ARE exhibition.

 - Stuff

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