Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Rd, Newtown, Wellington

08/09/2017 - 16/09/2017

Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

07/10/2017 - 08/10/2017


Production Details

Alumni return to inspire & choreograph solo works for graduating class of 2017

New Zealand School of Dance Solo Season 2017

The New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD), is celebrating 50 years of training and inspiring world class professional young dancers. Show attendees will be moved and inspired in this year’s contemporary solo season ONCE.

This year’s season features solo dance works created by graduates from each of the past five decades of the New Zealand School of Dance. These include Mary Jane O’Reilly, Taiaroa Royal, Daniel Belton, Raewyn Hill, Emma Murray, Craig Bary, Sacha Copland, Janessa Dufty, Lauren Langlois and Eliza Sanders. Each piece has been carefully crafted and matched to the exceptional contemporary dance student who will graduate in 2017. The full circle of being a student, entering the dance industry, earning recognition and returning to NZSD has been incredibly rewarding for all those involved.

Choreographer Craig Bary (1998 graduate) says, “I love coming back to where it all started for me and to see the incredible progress the school has made over the years. Spending time with the dancers is a fantastic opportunity to stay engaged with the New Zealand School of Dance and to continue to develop my skills as a teacher and a choreographer.”

The students and the audience will embark on an experience that showcases the school’s history and the evolution of contemporary dance. Each piece features the past graduate’s unique choreographic signature, which reflects on their personal journey in the world of contemporary dance.

The New Zealand School of Dance first opened its doors in March 1967 and was previously known as the National School of Ballet. With the expansion of the curriculum to embrace contemporary dance training in 1982, the school changed its name to New Zealand School of Dance.

Part of the 1968 graduating class was Mary Jane O’Reilly QSM “I feel absolutely privileged to be invited to make a solo for this anniversary and grateful to still be making dance as one of the first intake into the school 50 years ago. Any dance career has many facets and mine has certainly been multidimensional, from the NZ Ballet, Limbs, Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, Neo burlesque to now… It’s all and still is exciting, unstable and revolutionary in its variation” 

This season is a true collaboration between the dance students of NZSD and the returning graduates. It underlines the importance of supporting alumni, both in New Zealand and overseas, and celebrates some of the 2017 graduating students as they embark on their careers. This season is a true celebration of contemporary dance and exemplifies the School’s commitment to those that enter through its doors.


New Zealand School of Dance Solo Season 8 – 16 September  2017
Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington
Tickets: $17-$23
Bookings and information www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz

AUCKLAND SEASON – Tempo dance Festival 2017
Q Theatre Loft, 6.30pm
7 & 8 October|Tix: $23.50 – $29.50

Choreographer Lauren Langlois
Music Composition Mixed_feelings_about_Alien_STEMS by Alisdair Macindoe
Dancer Christina Guieb

Falling on Succession
Choreographer Craig Bary
Music Wellington by Ben Ely
Dancer Nick Jachno

Born Under the Same Star
Choreographer Janessa Dufty
Music Mm by Ezio Bosso
Dancer Isabella Coluccio

Choreographer Daniel Belton
Music: Joyce Beetuan Koh and PerMagnus Lindborg from AXIS
Costume: Tanya Carlson
Choreographic Process/Dancer: Kit Reilly, (with Jill Goh, Holly Brogan for the film)

Tipping the World Upside Down
Choreographer Sacha Copland
Music Felix Kolo by Lajko Felix & Boban Markovic
Dancer Ella Williams

Sunflower Sutra
Choreographer Eliza Sanders
Music Feeling Uneasy by Etta James
Dancer Holly Brogan

Solo for Toa
Choreographer Raewyn Hill
Music Petricor by Ludovico Einaudi
Dancer Toa Paranihi

Choreographer and Concept: Emma Murray
Music Singel by MachineFabriek and Il Veliero by Lucio Battisti
Choreography and Dancer: Georgia Van Gils

Choreographer Taiaroa Royal
Music Overdone by William Cooper Barling
Dancer Kent Giebel-Date

Choreographer Mary Jane O’Reilly
Music Snake Eyes by Trouble from the Limited event Twin Peaks series and Cold Wind Blowin by David Lynch
Costume and concept Phil O’Reilly
Dancer Jill Goh

Dance ,

90 minutes including a 10 minute interval

Testing the mettle of creative contributors

Review by Raewyn Whyte 09th Oct 2017

ONCE is a collection of ten solo works commissioned from distinguished alumni to mark the 50th anniversary of the NZ School of Dance. Presented in-the-round in the intimate confines of Q Loft, the ten works test the mettle of this year’s contemporary dance graduates, showing them all as agile, limber, finely- tuned technical performers who fully commit themselves to the requirements of these often tricky works. All deliver strong performances, and look ready to continue their dance development.

As the School of Dance contribution to Tempo Dance Festival 2017, ONCE introduces the graduating dancers to an audience beyond Wellington where the School is situated. 

At the same time it provides an opportunity to reflect on the array of work being produced by the dancer-choreographer alumni contributing to this programme, all of whom currently are active in New Zealand and Australia, and on the festival circuit further afield. 

You can sense the input of the dancers in these works, and the efforts made by the choreographers to celebrate each dancer’s strengths and performance capacities.  Even so, the particular movement style and qualities, design choices and approach to performance of each individual choreographer stamps a signature which is readily identifiable, despite the inflection and infusion of the dancer’s own qualities into the finished work. To some considerable degree, the works which bring that signature into rich collaboration with the dancer’s performance are the most satisfying and appealing works to watch. For me, four works stand out. 

Georgia Van Gils is wearing pastel toned linen trousers with a long-sleeved shirt buttoned up to the chin and carrying a small stack of paper notes as she enters the space in Emma Murray’s ultimately fascinating Wellness. Van Gils sits firmly on a chair and silently reads the note at the top of her stack, then climbs on the chair as if following instructions. As she works her way intently through the stack of notes, her movement is purposeful yet unpredictable, and she roves around the space, sits in an empty seat, climbs a row of stairs, sustains a perfect handstand, goes out one door and in another. As she completes each sequence, she drops the note to the floor, further scattering them as she moves about. Mostly she moves in silence and her state of mind cycles between euphoria and contentedness to gloom and indecision. A sub-vocal rumbling is heard at times, and she quietly utters some lyrics from Help, by the Beatles. The mystery of what lies behind the notes is intensified by her performance persona, drawing us in and holding our attention throughout the performance.

Kit Reilly in XYZ looks exactly as if he has stepped out of choreographer Daniel Belton’s recently released film Axis – anatomy of Space. Wearing a comfortable, almost form-fitting white jumpsuit which could be space-station at-home wear, and carrying a round mirror, he moves intently and articulately to some inner rhythm, accompanied by an eerie soundscore of scritches and blips and other occasional ,unidentifiable sounds (also from Axis and composed by Joyce Betuan Koh and PerMagnus Lindborg).  Reilly’s mirror seems to be an extension of his body, and it leads him on a journey which traces almost visible lines on the air, arcs and curves and angular trajectories, going down to the floor and away up into space, across the diagonal to the far side of beyond, or wrapping around his own axis.

Nick Jachno demonstrates a wonderful facility to sustain the sinuous flow of movement in Craig Bary’s Falling on Succession, a work highlighting his grace and control and precision and long lean limbs which make for dramatic extensions. Set to Ben Ely’s music Welllington, this starts and ends with Jachno’s body stretched across the floor, soon to be contraction-riven. Subsequently, he takes flight in vertically furled 360-degree jumps, he drops and rolls and kicks and cartwheels, and crisscrosses the space with rapid bursts of motion injected with pauses. The moments of stillness allow you to gain a sense of the person inside the dancer, and these moments have enormous impact in counterpoint to the restlessness of the rest.

Jill Goh is a fearless and driven cyberpunk fantasy version of Xena Warrior Princess in Valhalla, choreographed by Mary Jane O’Reilly and set to excerpts from the cinematic scores Snake Eyes from the Twin Peaks series,  and Cold Wind Blowin by David Lynch. Always on high alert, Goh makes a convincing take-no-prisoners combatant as she aggressively whirls and prowls and threatens, eyeballs the audience, and delivers roundhouse kicks to her invisible opponents. It is a somewhat unnerving when she begins to strip off her armour to reveal the inner woman… and you wonder what might happen next if there were other warriors within reach. This feels very much like a section of a longer work under development.

The contribution of designer Glenn Ashworth is significant here; his lighting plays an active role, and there are some stunning effects despite the challenges of the in-the-round setting for which he is also responsible.


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Solo choreographies a tribute to talented graduates

Review by Chris Jannides 17th Sep 2017

The New Zealand School of Dance celebrates its half-century existence in this performance event by linking 10 graduating students with a selection of alumni choreographers spanning each of its 5 decades. The result is 10 short solos showcasing 10 exceptional dancers. In this review, I do not wish to focus on the choreographers, I simply wish to acknowledge each of the dancers. But first, something about the NZSD.

We expect the highest technical outcomes from the NZSD and these students do not disappoint. Their physicalities are beautifully tuned. Muscular toning and conditioning are, without exception, perfect for these high-end, company-level dancers. Proportion, strength and clarity of form are stand-out features.  A standard by which we judge aspiring professionals is their ability to own what they are given. It is clear that these students have no reservations or lack of ability when it comes to mastering choreographic demands and challenges. They work beautifully to make difficulties look easy. On top of this, as performers, they are generous and comfortable with an audience. We warm to their mix of vulnerability and strength, while admiring their confidence, talents and intelligence. Graduating dancers from the NZSD are judged against professional standards and against the question: are they employable? Without a doubt, these students meet all employability criteria. 

As a reviewer, watching the rawness and simplicity of each of these solo dancers entering and exiting the performance space, surrounded by an audience on four sides, makes me want to respond in a similarly simple and direct way. Each dancer is exposed. They might dazzle with complex or difficult moves, but, for all those minutes alone on stage, they are trapped under our gaze. What are we given to see? I write while I watch. I scribble quick notes in the dark, making a kind of running commentary. The nib of the pen dances on the notepad, keeping time with the different choreographies, marking their contours and offerings. Skeletal phrases to flesh out later. Actually no, not today. I want to expose my own raw processes. These short-hand notes will be my offering, and my tribute.  


  • twitches on back in silence
  • body arcs up
  • music pulses to life
  • pushes pelvis into the air
  • curls to side
  • slides along side of space
  • comes to sitting
  • fluid effortless rolls and virtuosic seamless cartwheel flips
  • sustained fluid precise
  • holds the space and his presence well
  • mature
  • clean technically
  • looks comfortably and directly at audience
  • strong agile fast
  • displays his competencies well
  • good bursts of speed and technical precision
  • can be contained as well as furious
  • uses his length of line well


  • enters with bowl on head and circles space rapidly
  • smiling at audience
  • she has beauty of presence
  • violin music
  • holds a balance lit by overhead special
  • slow sustained circular movement
  • music speeds into gypsy rag
  • movement doesn’t really match speed or energy of music
  • slow extended turning movement
  • circling bowl with 2 hands in space around her
  • she is not comfortable with material but is working it strongly
  • she has great form and toning
  • she is not frightened to gaze at us directly
  • does her best with a strangely choreographed clash of movement and music
  • the effect is abrasive
  • finishes balancing on bowl while slowly circling her body
  • hard balancing feat as lights fade to overhead special
  • we see the difficulty in the shakiness of her balancing act
  • she is brave, she is tough
  • she commands admiration


  • a mumbling female dancer like a derelict ambles round the periphery and then enters the space
  • she has overalls and is hunched in her shoulders and distressed
  • mumbling the whole time
  • crouching turned-in positions and floppy gesturally appealing arms
  • she holds the silence with her mournful angst
  • body alternating between extended horizontal turns and flicks and twitches
  • subdued talking to herself is the only sound
  • she is assured / articulate 
  • strongly present performatively
  • holds attention securely
  • technically strong
  • to technical display there is an overcoat of acting
  • burst of bluesy piano and singing (R&B)
  • now she’s sensual and musical
  • she ‘dances’ but maintains her distraught dishevelled persona
  • builds the strength and dynamic of her physicality in an increase of emotional disarray
  • follows the vocal surges and groaning intensities of the singer extremely well
  • like a skydiver, finishes in ‘flying on stomach’ position on ground and louder distressed self-talking
  • ‘I’ll just keep going’ is her refrain


  • a male dancer with naked torso 
  • lyrical moody piano/cello music
  • he traces square lit path round outside of space
  • staggered reaches and stretches erupt into speedier section through space 
  • shows off his muscularity and technically sculpted abilities and physicality on a white brightly lit floor
  • rolling twisting 
  • flick-jumping 
  • self-enclosed stumbling back rolls 
  • monkey crawls
  • holds space and presence clearly and professionally
  • another mature and employable performer who is industry ready
  • virtuosic display in abundance 
  • (is this the order of the day and goal of these choreographers?)
  • he slices time as well as space which puts time on pause
  • superb artistry
  • assured confident strong


  • chair bright lights cue cards
  • she reaches for sky standing on back of chair
  • nice clear presence
  • rubs thighs 
  • takes out cards and reads one
  • pumps herself up then peters out stopping and starting indecisively
  • backs away tentatively nervously reluctantly
  • rearranges chair to face other way and carefully sits
  • this is performative rather than dancey
  • holds the silence well and does varied enigmatic actions with full sense of purpose and conviction
  • she is strong
  • impressive long handstand to read a card on floor is awe-inspiring and calming
  • absurdity fragmentation disjointed random structure
  • she says YES YES then runs and struggles furiously on ground in sideways running motion to finish ‘hanging’ sideways from leg of chair
  • performatively varied demanding she is up to the task
  • posing action while straining to connect with the audience
  • she says ‘If only…’
  • goes into choreographed vocalisation of Beatles ‘Help’ song
  • this is amusing – audience is smiling
  • she creates emotionally charged intensity and intensified stillness
  • from high emotional place she takes us securely to a low feeling state
  • picks up cards and chair exits reading them – gives one to usher 


  • male dancer in bare feet and suit interacts with audience in plaza during interval 
  • in theatre while house lights are still up. he waltzes with Deirdre Tarrant
  • smiling flirting with audience checking people out we laugh
  • music starts and he changes suddenly into convulses 
  • removes and discards jacket like a shed skin
  • male lyrics and lyrical dancing
  • emotive movement vocabulary of extended reaches and spiralling ground twists
  • lots of tutting and gestural explosions
  • removes pants
  • assured confident highly capable
  • typical high standard male dancer
  • clean cut strong smooth exciting gymnastic virtuosic
  • swirly stuff on ground
  • lyrics say ’time to dream and reflect’
  • becomes breathy from exertion
  • takes off shirt naked display look at me mode
  • perfectly proportioned toned elegant


  • funky upbeat music and flashing lights
  • character runs through with flag
  • exotic armoured fantasy warrior character from world of Marvel 
  • assertive powerful movements 
  • music thumps away
  • re-enters crouching vigilante
  • martial arts roundhouse kicks
  • confronts audience – posturing aggressively
  • gymnastic rolls and air spins interspersed with walks looking and scanning audience
  • fight mode knocked to ground
  • struggles reasserts power
  • slaps poses raises arms in triumph
  • ‘I win you lose’ she shouts
  • confident vocal delivery fiery persona
  • music changes to lyrical slower tempo and she goes into sensual dance
  • removes Mongolian-type fur military hat and stands with hands on hips 
  • elegant moves as she discards body armour to expose undergarments 
  • sensuality of female empowerment postures


  • female in red flowing dress
  • slices and shafts of light
  • violin sombre classical music mournful
  • she ‘dances’ reflectively in light shafts
  • low reaching extensions
  • music stops she walks 
  • music kicks in with quick rhythmic instrumentation – movement matches with bursts of energy
  • flamenco-ish arms
  • spins and twirls 
  • range of virtuosic moves while scanning audience with a direct gaze
  • physical display clear eyes high kicks
  • good at translating the choreography and its sequences and phrases of movement
  • she has a compactness of length and line
  • lots of adagio-ish steps that she sustains well
  • finishes abruptly lit by overhead special arms out


  • male dancer holding circular mirror disc in weird white spacesuit
  • sleek and proportioned
  • powerful and employable
  • waves of dance movement wash over and at us
  • circular disc remains glued to the hand and transcribes geometrical patterns in the air        
  • experimental vocal music creates an energised ambience that adds colour to flowing movement vocabulary
  • the dancer translates choreographic instructions precisely 
  • personal investment is replaced by the business of physical action and dancerly-ness
  • we are given necessary glimpses of technical proficiency and highest level achievement


  • swishing hunched over shape hanging hair twirling arms and hands
  • falls to ground struggles and twitches like dying insect
  • speed and awkwardness of movement is riveting
  • she is strange and moves faster than the eye can grasp
  • extraordinary physical expressivity outstanding
  • she is not disconnected internally
  • full embodiment 
  • exciting and accomplished solo and choreography
  • she interprets the work and music seamlessly
  • ugly facial distortions in green light
  • freaky
  • exceptional stamina untiring
  • she makes perfect sense of the word ‘watchable’
  • this is performatively exceptional
  • she is pushed and challenged

Writing a review in this way makes it difficult to know how to sum up. These jumbled incomplete phrases expose some of what I see when trying to capture the fleeting ephemerality of dance. Dangled phrases like these are a bit like the performance, which suspends these fine young dancers with all their strengths and vulnerabilities on threads of aspiration. The fulfilment of their hard work and achievements lies in what’s to come. Their futures are assured. Thanks to all of them for their gifts of artistry.



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Ambitious undertaking

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 11th Sep 2017

An ambitious undertaking with mixed results, ONCE is not only a celebration of current students but also an acknowledgement of past students over five decades who have continued their dance careers and are well known names as contemporary choreographers.     

The opening was effective as the ten dancers stood at the edge of a white boxed space- the dance floor- lit and beckoning as the place where each choreographer’s idea had a common spatial context…The dancers passed the space to each other and on to each new choreographic work – it was an intense evening with the weight of the world firmly placed on these young shoulders.

Two works that succeeded in taking us into terrain that questioned our being and place in the world, were Wellness by Emma Murray and XYZ by Daniel Belton.  In Murray’s work, Georgia Van Gils was compelling both vocally and in terms of her reaching out to us past her own perimeters. Were the cards instructions to respond to or to deny? Deliciously unresolved. In XYZ, Kit Reilly was costumed very effectively by Tanya Carlson and controlled his exploration and an austere and at times robotic movement vocabulary that followed the curves of light reflected from a hand held mirror.

In Falling on Succession and Solo for Toa, choreographed by Craig Bary and Raewyn Hill respectively, there was a clear sense of development of the relationship between choreographer and dancer. The dancers, Nick Jachno and Toa Paranihi, were both technically strong  and superbly sinuous and they will both beg attention as they progress into the world. Exciting talent!

Quirky, unsettling, disjointed, but in a personal and intriguing way, were Sunflower Sutra by Eliza Sanders, danced strongly with command and introverted focus by Holly Brogan, and Creatura by Lauren Langlois which was highly physical and visceral and superbly danced by Christina Guieb. Coiling, pouncing, lashing, low Medusa – like and unsettling.

Less sure of their choreographic context or perhaps the rationale were Valhalla choreographed by Mary Jane O’Reilly, and Tipping the World Upside Down, choreographed by Sacha Copland, danced respectively by Jill Goh and Ella Williams. Although these dancers gave their all and entered into these works with authority, it was hard not to wonder what? why? A big ask in the timeframe and Valhalla, in particular, felt like a part of something bigger and not as yet realised.

The personal stamp of Tai Royal was firmly encapsulated in his work Overdone, danced by Kent Giebel-Date. This was fascinating as the only work where the choreographic and interpretive intent began generously giving to the audience and gradually closed down as the dancer’s journey moved from projection to personal.

Janessa Dufty made a predominantly vocabulary based work Born under the Same Star with very ambitious interpretive goals in her programme notes. Isabella Coluccio danced securely with many highly defined extended lines but there was little space for reflection and I wanted to say breathe!

Throughout the programme all the dancers showed mastery of their technique and a very physically dynamic ability to weightlessly hurl themselves through the air.  Soften into the floor – it is your best friend! Take time for yourselves as performers and give us time to catch up, process and enjoy your talents.

Congratulations to the New Zealand School of Dance and to Paula Steeds-Huston who directed this season and who heads the contemporary programme, and to technical designer Glenn Ashworth who set the stage for these students and supported them with interesting and innovative lighting throughout. So much talent and the world is out there waiting.  This programme served another purpose as it connected the industry to the students. This is essential and a great concept to pave the way forward for these graduating dancers of 2017. Thank you. Well done. Go – dance.


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Reflecting our times, intense performances

Review by Ann Hunt 09th Sep 2017

This exciting and exacting programme of solo dances is by ten different choreographers, all of whom are graduates of the New Zealand School of Dance over the last fifty years of the School’s existence. The production is part of the honouring celebrations of its fiftieth anniversary.  Each work was created for one contemporary dance student who will graduate later this year. Thus, the baton of the School’s extraordinary legacy is passed from previous generations to the present and we see the line of excellence handed down.

The choreographers demand much of these dancers, all of whom are stage-ready for professional performance, and more than meet the challenges presented to them.  The season is ably directed by Paula Steeds-Huston with her usual flair and experience. Production Designer and Dramaturg  is Glenn Ashworth who has re-configured the auditorium in a most innovative way, giving it a fresh, modern appearance, while the redoubtable Donna Jefferis  supervised costume construction.The rectangle of stage is well lit (also by Ashworth,) and in the beginning, all the dancers briefly appear, before leaving the stage for the first performance.

Between each of the dances however, the previous dancer lingers on stage until the next one appears, giving the evening a lovely continuity, as well as seeming a positive supportive gesture for each other.

Programme opener is Craig Bary’s Falling on Succession which is danced to Ben Ely’s Welliington. The work is the celebration between the dancer and the graduate, the dancer in this case being Nick Jachno. It begins quietly with a prostrate Jachno convulsing on the floor, but builds intensity as it progresses. Bary utilises a lot of contract and release movement, punctuated by long extensions which Jachno danced very well with a striking, attenuated reach.

Following on, Sacha Copland’s Tipping the World Upside Down is well interpreted by Ella Williams, whose rippling arms are lovely. The lively music is Felix Kolo by LajkoFelix and Boban Markovic. Copland’s choreography cleverly seems to spiral between the musical phrases, which is fascinating, even if the subject matter is not at all clear.

Sunflower Sutra, the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s poem, is the inspiration behind and also the name of Eliza Sanders’ piece, danced with great intensity by Holly Brogan. Music is Etta James’s mellifluous voice singing Feeling Uneasy, which is also an apt description of the work’s atmosphere. Brogan enters muttering to herself, perhaps repeating words from the poem, it was unclear. With fall and recovery movements, she portrays a troubled persona that is arresting. However, as a die-hard Ginsberg fan, it did not to me have much to do with Ginsberg’s poem, other than an underlying sadness. But there was not the joy that is also inherent in the poem. The choreography at times is repetitious, particularly in the latter sequences. Nevertheless, Brogan’s performance is fully sustained and very affecting.

Choreographer RaewynHill describes her Solo for Toa, to  Petricor by Ludovico Einaudi, as “a celebration of the movement language and the extraordinary spirit that resides in Toa’s body.” Dancer Toa Paranihi gives a fine and very felt performance here, showing great strength and softness in his movements, which are also a little disturbing.

Choreography and concept for Wellness is by Emma Murray, but the choreography is also accredited to the dancer, Georgia Van Gils. The music is Singel by MachineFabriek and Il Veliero by Lucio Battisti.  Referencing the plethora of self-help rhetoric that abounds today, this is a most idiosyncratic piece that is at first quite mystifying and which then fascinates as it progresses, thanks to the strong performance of Van Gils, who commands the stage and never seems self-conscious even when speaking lines from Help by the Beatles!

There is a 15 minute interval between the two halves of the show, which gives the audience a breather in what up till then is quite an intense experience.

The second half begins with Overdone by veteran New Zealand choreographer and dancer, Taiaroa Royal to music Overdone by William Cooper Barling. The piece is very nicely performed by dancer Kent Giebel-Date but is fairly predictable and does not really stretch either dancer or choreographer.

MaryJane  O’Reilly’s Valhalla depicts a woman as a survivor of an embattled revolution – fearless and out to win.  Music is from the Twin Peaks series and Cold Wind by David Lynch. Costume and concept is by Phil O’Reilly. Jill Goh storms the stage and never lets up the intensity. Dressed in a costume reminiscent of Xena Warrior Princess coupled with a burlesque dancer, she has a lovely upper body reach and we are in no doubt that she is unstoppable. A powerful performance.

Janessa  Dufty utilises the beautiful technique, great control and delicate presence of Isabella Coluccio to great effect in Born Under the Same Star. This is the most ‘dancey’ work of the programme and Coluccio delivers it stunningly.

XYZ by choreographer Daniel Belton, draws inspiration from his company’s recent 360 dome film AXIS–anatomy of space. Music is Joyce Beetuan Koh and PerMagnus Lindborg from AXIS. The all-white costume by Tanya Carlson is quite beautiful with its hint at space suits, and also similar to those of fencing garments. Kit Reilly dances splendidly, with great surety and effortless extensions and a beautiful line. The work totally fills the space and possesses an almost Olympian quality. (Not Olympic!)

And finally, Creatur choreographed by Lauren Langlois to Mixed_feelings_about_Alien_STEMS by Aisdair Macindoe. It is described as a visceral work about beginnings, middles and endings and it most certainly is. Dancer Christina Guieb seizes the stage and holds it triumphantly. She literally throws herself into this work.

Interestingly, many of the works here are quite unsettling, if not a little disturbing to watch; a symptom perhaps of the increasingly unsettling and disturbing world in which these young dancers find themselves. 

The evening says much for the exemplary teaching and inspiration of the teaching faculty at the NZSD, as well as the collaboration with the Technical arm (i.e. set, lighting, costume design,) of The New Zealand Drama School.  It is an evening for which staff and students should be proud. 


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