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Print Version

at Opera House, Wellington
16 Nov 2013
[90 mins]

Reviewed by Ann Hunt, 18 Nov 2013

They were dancing in the theatre. They were dancing in the street. The infectious percussive beats and joyous dance of Wellington Batucada brought one of the most enjoyable and inclusive dance shows of the year to a fizzing, foot-tapping finish.

This eclectic celebration of twenty years of DANZ (Dance Aotearoa New Zealand,) was entertaining, informative and a total tonic.

 DANZ is the national organisation for New Zealand dance. During the afternoon, Emcee Alex Sutherland of the DANZ Board, informed the audience of the many ways in which DANZ supports people involved in all aspects of dance – students, teachers, choreographers, performers, presenters, researchers and writers.

The excellently programmed show included energetic performances by members of the professional dance sector, (FootnoteNZ and Java Dance Company,) schoolchildren, aspiring dancers from the New Zealand School of Dance, Whitireia Performing Arts and L.O.D. Studios, the inventive Wellington Circus Trust, the ever young Crows Feet Dance Collective, the joyful and moving Wellington Integrated Dance, Community Dance, (a sensuous Argentine Tango,) cultural dance groups and vibrant Hip-hop crews, (The Company NZ Mega Crew and Infinite Dance Crew.)    

From the opening stirring solo by Tanemahuta Gray, which felt like a clearing of the way, it began at the beginning. New Entrant pupils from Seatoun School delighted with their colourful and confident dancing, as did young students from the Chilton Saint James' Chilton Dance Centre in Childhood, choreographed by Bronwyn Bennett.

Celebrating Wellington's multi-cultural focus, were members of the Indian, Polynesian and Filipino communities. Vivek Kinra's Mudra Dance Company performed with precision and grace. Le Moana Productions presented Polinesia, choreographed by the talented Tupe Lualua and featuring Pacific Dance Artist in Residence participants. While the Filifest Dance Group performed the serenely beautiful Paligo.

An afternoon highlight was Facade (choreography, Jeffry Tan,) danced with superb control and sensitivity by two students from the New Zealand School of Dance.

Fresh from their success as gold medallists in the World Hip Hop Championships in Serbia, the nine women Infinite Dance Crew wowed with their electric energy and absolute precision. Sensational!

Thank you DANZ. Here's to the next twenty years! 

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