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Six Picks for New Zealand Dance Week 2018

Celebrate the art form with dance workshops, performance and an inspired program of films.
By Leah Maclean
April 18, 2018
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Six Picks for New Zealand Dance Week 2018

Celebrate the art form with dance workshops, performance and an inspired program of films.
By Leah Maclean
April 18, 2018
  shares

Whether you're a professional on stage gracefully executing pirouettes, a social dancer at the local community hall, or you prefer to keep dancing to the safe confines of your bedroom, New Zealand Dance Week has something for everyone. Dance Week was established in 2016 by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) as way to celebrate the art form and all of its movers and shakers nationwide. From April 21-29 the dance makers, lovers and appreciators across the country will share their passion and killer moves with audiences old and new. As the approved arts capital of New Zealand, Wellington is stepping up with these fabulous Dance Week events.

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TREAD SOFTLY 

Return to your childhood memories playing in the fallen autumn leaves with this artistic collaboration. Choreographer Sacha Copland and photographer Tom Hoyle have fused together two evocative art forms to construct an interactive and magical world, reflecting the beauty and fragility of autumn. Dancers will be inhabiting the space to evoke and highlight the ethereal and blissful experience of human curiosity and the golden descent into winter.

April 21-28, Toi Poneke Arts Centre Gallery.

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Born to Dance

DANCE ON SCREEN

The evenings are darker and there's no denying the chill in the air — the perfect combination (and excuse) for a cosy movie night. The New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound (you can find it on Taranaki Street) has pulled together a NZ Dance Week-inspired program of films. The lineup features some fantastic dance gems; from the Parris Goebel-choreographed Born to Dance to an insight into mixed ability dance to a documentary homage to the New Zealand ballet treasure, Sir Jon Trimmer. Tickets range from $5 to $10, which is cheaper than your average movie night out, plus you'll get the warm fuzzies for supporting local.

April 20-27, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision.cp-line

Toi Poneke Arts Centre

A WEEK OF FREE DANCE TASTERS

Family gathering coming up? A wedding? A night out on the town with your nearest and dearest? Or you just don't want to be the running man/sprinkler hybrid on the dance floor? Fear not, you can skill up with this program of free dance workshops. Monday to Friday (except ANZAC Day) you can sign up for a whole host of dance tasters led by a number of rad tutors. You can let loose with hip hop, get folksy with some traditional Russian folk dance, channel Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman, join the circus, or send the kids to a workshop led by a Russian ballerina — and that's just the tip of the iceberg of what you can expect. You can download the full program here.

April 23-27, Toi Poneke Arts Centre.

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Marcus Nee.

DANCING THROUGH THE PAGES

Join some of Wellington's coolest artists in this series of talks at the Wellington Central Library. Find out how they create work, what inspired them to dance and why they keep going, plus watch them at work with some short performances. Featured in this series are Sacha Copland and Emma Coppersmith of Java Dance Theatre, who are experts in creating a sensory and interactive theatre experience (did you catch The Wine Project?); collaborators, cohorts, dance artist and jazz musician Lucy Marinkovich and Lucien Johnson from the award-winning Borderline Arts Ensemble; plus a team of Royal New Zealand Ballet stars — Loughlan Prior, Luke Cooper and Georgia Powley. The talks start at 6pm each evening.

April 24, 26 and 27, Wellington Central Library.

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JUST DANCE KRAZY SHOWCASE

For a simple gold coin donation you can head to the Hannah Playhouse and check out the Just Dance Krazy (JDK) crew. JDK is made up of eight dancers with intellectual disabilities and they are ready to demonstrate the power and benefits of dance in this special evening showcase. Their journey and their passion for dance will blow your mind. The group includes Jacob Dombroski whose show Big J Stylez recently premiered at the NZ Fringe and took away the Grand Design Award and the Palmy Fringe-Centrepoint Theatre award.

April 28, Hannah Playhouse.cp-line

INTERNATIONAL DANCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

The end of Dance Week culminates with International Dance Day celebrations (curated by Youth Dance Education Trust) at Te Papa. Our beloved museum is going to be a hive of dance activity on April 29 with dance workshops galore and performances in abundance, all delivered by Wellington's own dance champions. This year attendees can choose from ten diverse workshops, including salsa, hip hop and a Scottish ceilidh (kilts optional). And if you need to catch your breath you can relax with a program of short dance films created by some of multi-talented New Zealand based artists. The day concludes in an epic final performance starring 12 community groups.

April 29, Te Papa.

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Header image: Jose G Cano.

Published on April 18, 2018 by Leah Maclean

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