New Zealand School of Dance Choreographic Season is an Experience Not To Be Missed

The annual New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) Choreographic Season has been a highly anticipated addition to the capital city’s arts calendar for decades. This year’s season, Meraki, showcases the talent and accomplished artistry of the New Zealand School of Dance students as emerging artists. 

Known for their innovative technical approach, the students present a compilation of short works connected by a common thematic thread – the creation of art imbued with something of the creator’s essence…something of the creator’s self.

Meraki | {verb} Greek. [may-rah-kee]:To do something with soul, creativity or love. To put something of yourself into your work.

Working under the mentorship of NZSD contemporary dance tutor Holly Newsome, who herself is a graduate of the School and the Creative Director of dance company Discotheque, the contemporary dance students collaborate to piece their own short works together into a longer dance performance for audiences to enjoy.

Expect to see a diverse range of themes explored through movement, with a consistent thematic shift from work to work.  Performances are nothing short of inquisitive, fascinating, exciting and beautiful.

The 2021 season is to be performed at BATS! Theatre – one of Wellington’s iconic performance venues.  It’s the first time in over 20 years that the season is to be performed outside of Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre in Newtown. 

Video Trailer

2020 Performance Season

From 18 – 28 November, 2020 the New Zealand School of Dance presents alternating performances of ballet and contemporary dance. Ticket sales here.

There & Then | Here & Now:  two spirited dance programmes showcasing the full-time students’ outstanding talent and the School’s creative diversity. 

The national institution’s end-of-year performance seasons have become a fixture of the New Zealand arts calendar.  This year NZSD breaks with its long-established format of performing in the theatre at Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre by staging the performances in the studio where the students train – providing the audience with an informal, first-hand experience of the School and its dancers.

The season opens with Here & Now: an anthology of enthralling newly-created and current contemporary dance works.  This is followed the next evening by the classical ballet programme, There & Then: a collection of much-loved, iconic ballet repertoire. Performances will alternate throughout the season.

Here & Now includes the established contemporary work Be Yourself by Garry Stewart, Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre.  NZSD is the first tertiary institution to be granted permission to perform this work.  One of the highlights of this unique season is the creation of four new works by local choreographers including School alumnae Victoria Colombus and Holly Newsome along with award-winning choreographer Elijah Kennar and NZSD tutor Daniel Jaber (previously Australian Dance Theatre). 

There & Then includes popular favourites such as the Pas de Douze from Swan Lake, Act I and the Pas de Deux from Concerto coached by Stuart Cassidy.  Highlights of the classical programme are the commissioning of a Flamenco work by Catarina Mora of the John Cranko School, Stuttgart and a thrilling performance of La Sylphide, Act II, coached by Sir Jon Trimmer and re-created by NZSD tutors Turid Revfeim, Nadine Tyson and Qi Huan.

2020 is a year that will be etched into our collective memories for generations to come.  Like so many dance companies and training institutions across the globe, all NZSD scheduled performances were cancelled this year.  A great number of companies and training institutions are yet to return to the studio and stage, and the arts industry as a whole has been shaken.  NZSD staff and students therefore feel privileged to be presenting performances to live audiences at this time.

NZSD Director Garry Trinder and the NZSD faculty have worked hard to mentor and support the development of ballet and contemporary dance students into the skilled young artists performing at Te Whaea this November.  The There & Then | Here & Now season demonstrates the incredible range of creative talent of the young people of Aotearoa.

Made possible with support from The Australian High Commission, The Lion Foundation and The Four Winds Foundation