Carterton Events Centre, Wairarapa

16/10/2015 - 16/10/2015

Kokomai Creative Festival

Production Details

‘Dance Bites’ showcases dancers of outstanding potential. In this programme the glorious New Zealand School of Dance dancers perform a diverse repertoire of bite-size works, from ballet to contemporary dance. The students will perform classical solos from all-time favourite ballets ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Swan Lake’. The iconic music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky that inspired the choreography sets off glorious moments danced by the lead roles in these ballets. Contemporary dance works, including a duet and a highly physical ensemble piece, will round out the programme. A celebration of beauty and power in performance.

What the Reviewers Have Said:

“Add cutting-edge dance training that harnesses inherent energy in pursuit of excellence and you have the essence of the New Zealand School of Dance.”  DANCING TIMES (UK), 2015

Talk Before the Show

Take the opportunity before the show to hear from Garry Trinder, Director of The New Zealand School of Dance. This free talk starts at 6.20pm.

New Zealand School of Dance

Part 1:     An Historical Perspective

Variation from LA ESMERALDA
Dancer:  Lola Howard

Male variation from LE CORSAIRE
Dancer:  Ben Crossley-Pritchard

Variation from PAQUITA
Dancer:  Megan Wright

Variation from PAQUITA
Dancer:   Kelsey Sparks

Variation from PAQUITA
Dancer:  Mayuri Hashimoto

‘Prelude’ from LES SYLPHIDES
Dancer:  Emma-Rose Barrowclough

Odile’s variation from SWAN LAKE
Dancer:  Yeo Chan Yee

Men’s duo from SWAN LAKE
Dancers:  Felipe Domingos and Yuri Marques

Lilac Fairy’s variation from THE SLEEPING BEAUTY
Dancer:  Georgia Powley

Gamzatti’s variation from LA BAYADÈRE
Dancer:  Yayoi Matches

Pas de Deux from CONCERTO
Dancers:  Lola Howard and Luke Cooper


 Part 2:  Here and Now

Dancer:  George Liang

Dancer:  Megan Wright

‘Sarabande’ from AGON
Dancer:  Felipe Domingos

Dancer:  Georgia Powley

Dancer:  Alice Beedie

Dancer:  Yuri Marques

Dancer:  Yayoi Matches

Dancer:  Lola Howard

Dancers:  Laura Beanland-Stephens, Jadyn Burt, Tyler Carney, Jacob Edmonds, Sophie Gargan, William Keohavong, Amelia McCarthy, Georgia Rudd, Felix Sampson

Family , Dance-theatre , Dance , Contemporary dance , ,

1 hour

Bite sized dance chunks leave us hungry for more

Review by Gemma Begg 17th Oct 2015

Students from the The New Zealand School of Dance opened the 2015 Kokomai Creative Festival in the Wairarapa with Dance Bites, a creative two part performance directed by Gary Trinder. Dance Bites takes us on an historical journey presenting enchanting extracts from well known ballets before arriving here and now at the present day with choreography seamlessly entwining and reflecting  the accompanying modern compositions.

Opening with Part One ‘An Historical Perspective’ Tchaikovsky’s instantly recognisable music is the inspiration for majority of the choreography, and we are swept away into the whimsical world with excerpts from  eight  well known ballets including Paquita, La Bayadere  and The Sleeping Beauty. The classical solos and duets are technically impressive, with an array of dancers flitting around the stage in bounds and leaps, enticing the audience with every turn.  The elegant costumes complemented the effortless theme of the night.

The Carterton Events centre is simply transformed into a cozy and functional auditorium. The dancers so close to the audience they are almost stripped bare of any privacy, kindly opening their hearts and souls to the emotions cascading through them as they dance. The one obvious emotion in the first act is the array of nerves.  The nervous tension so quietly powerful you can feel it vibrating through the air at first though  dissipating with the enthusiastic applause the audience offers.

Lifting the energy is the outstanding Men’s Duo from Russel Kerr’s Swan Lake showcasing sprightly precision and strength, and evoking admiration from the audience as dancers Felipe Domingos and Yuri Marques move together as if they are one person.  Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Pas De Deux from ‘Concerto’ is a highlight with the element of trust and technique alluring, and both dancers, Lola Howard and Luke Cooper, are a shining ray of pure innocence.

Part two ‘Here and Now’ brings a change of mood that reveals a sense of playfulness: by now the audience and dancers are well acquainted and the excitement is rather contagious. The classical music is not as conservative as in the first half of the show, and brings us alluring renditions of Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ and Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Black and Yellow’. The modern play on classical music offers dancers familiarity, and they become almost unaware of the audience, so focused they forget who is watching them. An array of nine selected pieces such as Opus 38, Rythme, Sarabande from Agon, and El Choclo cause the heart to flutter. But it is the work ‘Haru’ that is mesmerising with  the manipulation of dynamics creating a powerful and unique quality which makes  each movement look so light and uncomplicated. Not so easy to do considering the uneven surface of the stage floor was an unexpected challenge, and the dancers’ recovery and poise when taken by surprise was exceptional.

The climax of the night came with Dialogue, an eclectic ensemble piece of nine dancers casually entering the dark stage to a hum of electronic beats. This refreshing style of music has each individual dancer bound together by the beat coursing through every fibre of the dancers being. The fluidity of contemporary dance fused with the energetic elements of breakdance is clever, with  a myriad of moving parts of which the dancers were one. An audacious performance of Bruno Mar’s well known Uptown Funk  gave the audience that rush of feel good spirit that live dance tends to do to you.

This evening of old and new took us on an inspiring journey and sure enough, each  bite sized piece was consumed with such eagerness  that it left you hungry for more.


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