Deirdre Tarrant

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Deirdre Tarrant CNZM founded Footnote Dance in 1985, and led it to become the national treasure of choreography and dance exploration it now is. Her own ballet background began in Wellington with Jeane Horne and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. A QE2 study grant took her overseas to dance and on her return she choreographed a number of works for the RNZB. She has developed many works for Footnote and led creative change as the company has evolved over 29 years, including Pick up Sticks (New Zealand Festival), Outside the Square and War in Paradise. Deirdre has recently retired from her role as Artistic Director of Footnote and also from her role as an international examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance. She is  Director of Tarrant Dance Studios and the Deirdre Tarrant Dance Theatre, a youth company with a commitment to integrating dance as a vital part of the Wellington community. Deirdre was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the community in 2000, a Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University in 2006 and received an Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian award and was Arts Wellingtonian of the year 2012. In 2013 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to contemporary dance. She has reviewed dance works for Capital Times, Radio New Zealand and Theatreview for a number of years.

Deirdre Tarrant's reviews

Romeo and Juliet 2023

Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North

04/05/2023 - 03/06/2023

"A gripping romantic tale...

"Devote attention to the company’s past as well as to its future...

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24/02/2023 - 26/02/2023

"Connecting the waters,  the oceans,  the heavens in poetry, script,  personal opinion and song, we are the wayfarers..

RICH PEOPLE CRY TOO (and other lessons I learnt from Telenovela)


19/02/2023 - 21/02/2023

"This clever succinct and smart theatre piece needs to be seen...

NZSD Performance Season 2022


16/11/2022 - 26/11/2022

"Contemporary Dance Programme Exhilarates..

"Memorable! Arresting!..

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Tutus on Tour 2022

Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington

07/10/2022 - 09/11/2022

"An Eclectic Programme With Flare and Versatility..

"Tutus a mixed bill..

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Napier, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

03/08/2022 - 28/08/2022

"Cinderella - what ‘happily ever after’ means in the twenty-first century..

"Cinderella - stylish and glamorous, with the feeling of 60’s retro Chanel and Dior..

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07/04/2022 - 30/07/2022

"Undoing - a plethora of dance conventions..

"Raises laughs, opens emotions, alerts us to human possibilities and frailties..

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New Zealand School of Dance 2021 Graduation Season

Wellington, Paraparaumu

12/11/2021 - 27/11/2021

"Outstanding testament to resilience...

"Dance graduates step into the future with uplifting programme..

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The Firebird

Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Auckland

29/07/2021 - 02/09/2021

"The triumph of renewal and creativity over devastation...

"Brave, innovative and welcome..

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The Most Naked

Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin

24/06/2021 - 22/10/2022

"Stripping Away the Layers on Nudity..

"A cabaret of skin and bone..

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05/06/2021 - 26/06/2021

"Tension, reflection and dissipation...



16/06/2021 - 17/06/2021

"Inspiring other young Pacific women..

"A collective rhythm unfolds of women...


Wellington, Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Napier, Dunedin

12/05/2021 - 09/06/2021

"It would have been a mistake, however, to have left at the interval..

"“Ballets are the dreams of poets taken seriously”..

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Soliloquy in Sweat


09/03/2021 - 13/03/2021

"Strong, self-possessed and wonderful..

Three Monkeys


02/03/2021 - 06/03/2021

"Dark, pessimistic, desperate striving and failing are constants in this three part work...

Lift Off


26/02/2021 - 28/03/2021

"Special, clever, charming and mesmeric..

The Ryman Healthcare season of The Sleeping Beauty

Palmerston North, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Invercargill, Napier

29/10/2020 - 06/12/2020

"An evening at the ballet..

"A ballet with lockdown at its centre..

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Ecology in Fifths

Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Hastings

11/11/2010 - 25/10/2020

"Thought provoking and devastatingly stunning..

"Considered, live, wonderful, urgent and disturbing..

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Strasbourg 1518

Wellington, Auckland

12/03/2020 - 28/03/2021

"Mystery and Frenzy..

"Powerful ruminations on the original event and our current situation..

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11/03/2020 - 12/03/2020

"Captivating and refreshing..

"Precision and clarity, patterns and pathways..



05/03/2020 - 08/03/2020

"A work of layers..

"All in this together..

NZ School of Dance 2019 Graduation Season


20/11/2019 - 30/11/2019

"Aspiring to sprezzatura..

"A great variety of choreographic offerings..

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