October 13, 2013


Dance Aotearoa New Zealand celebrates 20 years support to NZ dance. 

In November 2013, Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) celebrates their 20th anniversary as a supporting organisation to the dance community in Aotearoa NZ. 

2013 marks the 20th anniversary for DANZ, a Wellington based organisation dedicated to supporting and growing the diverse dance culture throughout New Zealand.

DANZ’s executive director, Tania Kopytko, is a proud advocate in providing and strengthening the support for dance in New Zealand.

“DANZ estimates that more than 630,000 New Zealanders of all backgrounds, abilities and ages dance regularly, more than those that play rugby and netball combined. The past 20 years has seen an explosion of dance to become one of the top recreational and leisure activities amongst young New Zealanders,” says Kopytko.

In early 1993, dancers around New Zealand demanded support to grow and build a sustainable dance industry. DANZ was formed to mentor and assist dance artists and organisations involved in the art form. 20 years later, DANZ stands strong in a diverse and changing art form.

While DANZ’s work initially focused on the contemporary and ballet genres, today DANZ works across dance in all its diversity.

“We have seen huge growth in Kapa Haka, Pacific Dance, Māori customary dance, and street dance all achieving local and international success, as well as increased numbers of people involved in educational and recreational dance,” says Kopytko.

From Parris Goebel who has choreographed for Jennifer Lopez and is now working on the upcoming Step Up 5 movie, to its partnership with Pacific Dance New Zealand and work with dance companies such as RNZB, Atamira, New Zealand Dance Company and Touch Compass, DANZ has worked alongside a broad spectrum of dance in New Zealand to build a colourful and strong dance community and industry.

DANZ Communications Manager, Linda Lim says “New Zealand is achieving fantastic things locally and on the world stage, and DANZ believes it’s time to celebrate these successes. 10 November 2013 not only marks the anniversary of DANZ, but also the significant progress the dance industry has made over this period.” 

As part of the Wellington Dance Festival in November, DANZ is holding its own event.

DANZdance20 – celebrating 20 years of DANZ working with Wellington dance (see below). Lim believes this event will allow audiences to see the effect of DANZ’s support on the New Zealand dance community.

“This is a chance for DANZ as a service organisation to come out from behind our desks and through the performances of community dance groups and the professional and tertiary sector show the world the impact of our work in supporting dance in Aotearoa New Zealand. DANZ welcomes the opportunity to celebrate with the Wellington dance community in this way,” says Lim. 

Go to www.danz.org.nz

DANZdance20 celebrates 20 years of DANZ (Dance Aotearoa NZ) with Wellington dance.  

Dancers from local community dance groups will share the stage with dancers from the professional and tertiary sector to present a colourful and diverse two hour programme of dance.

Dance moves, inspires and transforms lives. Wellington is full of amazing dance talent and audiences will experience the diversity of Wellington dance from ballet to street dance, tango to circus, contemporary, jazz, Pacific dance, and much more. DANZdance20 celebrates and tells the story of 20 years of DANZ working with the Wellington dance community.  

Dance is for everyone, and some Wellington’s best dancers from the community, professional and tertiary sectors will showcase their talents on the Opera House stage. The diverse programme includes the following: 

Tanemahuta Grayleading New Zealand dancer and choreographer and born & bred Wellingtonian will open the show with his unique fusion of Māori contemporary dance.

Wellington Integrated Dancea contemporary dance performance with mixed ability dancers to celebrate the difference and uniqueness of each individual, disabled or non‐disabled, young or old, experienced or novice to build a stronger community by embracing diversity through dance.

Pump Dance Studio’s Infinite Dance Crew will bring to the stage their performance from the 2013 Hip Hop Unite dance championships in Serbia where they are representing NZ for the 4th time, having placed 3 rd in this competition in 2012.

A modern classical duet by dancers from the New Zealand School of Dancethe country’s top training ground in classical and contemporary dance. 

Based in Newtown, LOD (Love of Dance) Dance Studiohas been a DANZ member since 2006. Working with students of all abilities and interests, to nurture their enjoyment of dance, and, for those wanting to take their dancing further, preparing them for a career in dance LOD epitomises DANZ’s mission to support all who have a ‘love of dance’. 

Wellington is home to many diverse community groups and the Filfest Dance Groupwill bring to the stage a dynamic and colourful expression of the Filipino culture. 

Mudra Dance Companyis the premiere Indian Classical Dance Company of New Zealand. Led by dance luminary Vivek Kinra, this company uses Bharata‐Natyam as the mode of expression to create a spectacle of rhythm, colour, music and motion.

Footnote Dance Company has enjoyed a close association with DANZ and been a major force in Wellington, and NZ’s contemporary dance scene for almost 3 decades. 

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