NZ Dance Company's earthy, witty and beautiful 2013 programme
The New Zealand Dance Company
Language of Living
North Island Tour
Fresh from its season launch in 2012, the New Zealand Dance Company has announced a six-centre North Island tour of Language of Living in May and June.
The company makes a one-night-only return to Auckland’s Aotea Centre before hitting the road to premiere the show in Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Whangarei, Orewa and Warkworth.
“We were thrilled by the audience and critics’ response to our launch last year and know Language of Living will appeal to a broad audience, whether aficionados or those new to dance," artistic director and Arts Laureate Shona McCullagh says.
"Our first tour is the next step in the company’s commitment to sharing great New Zealand dance with as many people as possible.”
One of the most inspirational dance productions of last year, Language of Living is a diverse programme of exquisite works. Earthy, witty and beautiful, the 2013 programme features a selection of choreography by New Zealanders Michael Parmenter, Shona McCullagh, Sarah Foster-Sproull, Justin Haiu and Ashleigh Coward.
It showcases some of our finest dancers – Ursula Robb, Craig Bary, Justin Haiu, Hannah Tasker-Poland, Tupua Tigafua and Lucy Lynch – and NZDC’s newest members, Gareth Okan and Pamela Sidhu.
The company has also announced its first international work, choreographed by Anne Teresa De Keesmaeker and Mark Lorimer. Faune will be presented in Auckland and Wellington only and performed by Ursula Robb.
Formed in 2011, the New Zealand Dance Company’s vision is to present compelling and professional work of the highest calibre on a national and international stage.
It also aims to attract new audiences to dance by demystifying the art form and fostering partnerships with other creative practitioners in fresh and inventive collaborations.
This creative alchemy is brought to life in Language of Living through a visual feast of stunning costume, video, light and set design created by Andreas Mikellis, Gerbrand van Melle, Matthew Marshall and Sue Gallagher.
This unites with an exquisite sound experience featuring compositions by Gareth Farr, CPE Bach, The Electric Boutique, John Gibson and Eden Mulholland. NZTrio, David Guerin and The Electric Boutique perform live on stage for selected works in Auckland, with NZTrio joining the company in Wellington.
The programme in Auckland and Wellington opens with Faune, which is set to the famous L'après-midi d'un faune (or The Afternoon of a Faun) score by Claude Debussy. It features global dance superstar Ursula Robb, whose stellar career includes work with Rosas and the Paris Opera, described by the New Zealand Herald as "beautiful, strong and uber-expressive".
Arts Laureate Michael Parmenter’s duet Tenerezza works on the premise that no movement occurs without initiation by the other, beautifully danced by Craig Bary and Justin Haiu, with music by CPE Bach played live in Auckland and Wellington.
Release your Robot is choreographed and danced by So You Think You Can Dance star Justin Haiu. Inspired by the street dance movement known as robot and liquiding, the solo is about a robot who seeks higher truth and features an original score by south Auckland trio The Electric Boutique, who will perform live during the piece in Auckland.
National Business Review described So You Think You Can dance as ‘An electrifying meeting of street and contemporary dance, Haiu created a dreamlike dance which morphed into a vision of disco heaven.’
Shona McCullagh’s Trees, Birds then People is a group work set to Gareth Farr’s Mondo Rondo performed live by NZTrio in Auckland and Wellington. This playful work is inspired by New Zealand’s unique bird life and explores shifting hierarchy in relationships.
The New Zealand Herald noted that "All McCullagh’s zany wit and wickedness leaps to life in Trees, Birds then People featuring a cacophony of noisy natives in Gareth Farr’s Mondo Rondo… Tigafua’s indignant bird is hilarious".
Human Human God by Sarah Foster-Sproull, is a poignant and comical piece about Generation Y by a Generation X-er.
It features an original music score by Motorcade’s Eden Mulholland, with National Business Review saying it was ‘Operatic in scope … full of inventive and evocative sequences with marvellous sculptural tableaux, with a small group of dancers using their bodies to create shapes and patterns which expressed personal and collective turmoil".
A new work, Without Eve, will be performed in Warkworth, Orewa and Whangarei. This is a fast-paced dialect dance of grunts and gestures, probably stemming from the Stone Age, is emerging UNITEC choreographer Ashleigh Coward's hilarious view of male conversation created with four guest dancers from UNITEC.
LANGUAGE OF LIVING PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Auckland, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, May 25, 7.30pm
Warkworth, Mahurangi College, May 28, 7.30pm
Whangarei, Capitaine Bougainville Theatre, June 1, 7.30pm
Orewa, Orewa Arts & Events Centre, June 4, 7.30pm
Hastings, Hawke’s Bay Opera House, June 7, 7.30pm
Wellington, The Opera House, June 12, 7.30pm
SCHOOLS PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Auckland, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, May 25, 7.30pm
Warkworth, Mahurangi College, Wednesday, May 29, 11am
Whangarei, Capitaine Bougainville Theatre, Forum North, Saturday, June 1, 7.30pm
Orewa, Orewa Arts & Events Centre, Tuesday, June 4 (TBC)
Hawke's Bay, Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Hastings, Friday, June 7, 7.30pm
Wellington, The Opera House, Wednesday, June 12, 1.15pm