Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Gillies Avenue (Cnr Silver Road) Epsom, Auckland

16/11/2017 - 19/11/2017

Production Details

 Showcase 17 is on the way, pairing the best contemporary choreographers with NZ’s brightest dance students to deliver the high quality contemporary dance that our audiences have come to expect.
We are pleased welcome the return of Charles Koroneho to the role of Adjunct Professor. Charles will work with the full cohort of students to activate the space and welcome our audience into it.
Unitec Lecturers Katie Burton & Paul Young continue their winning collaboration to develop a challenging new work for Unitec’s Year 1 dancers.
Coming to us via Edinburgh, exceptional Dancer/Choreographer Tamsyn Russell will work her Magic with Unitec’s Year 2 cohort. Tamsyn’s prolific career includes dancing for renowned choreographers Michael Parmenter (NZ), Janet Saxton (SCT) and producing her own acclaimed work including ‘Go Get ’em Kid’, new work in development, ‘Scene Stealer’.
Following a successful tour of dance theatre duet ‘Lick My Past’ NZ dance Luminary Kelly Nash will create exciting new work on our graduating Unitec Year 3 students. Kelly brings with her a wealth of experience from all corners of the dance industry and we are really excited to support her work. Kelly is currently creating ‘Atamira’ her first full length work with Atamira Dance Company to premiere late 2017.
This year we are also pleased to welcome director of company IDCO Joshua Cesan, to showcase his award-winning brand of Hip-Hop. Students from Unitec’s joint programme with the Beijing Dance Academy will showcase a new work created for them in China, and NZ Dance icon Michael Parmenter will present an intriguing excerpt from his epic new work ‘The Orpheus Project’, which will be premiered by The New Zealand Dance Company in 2018. 


https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2017/nov/showcase-2017   or at the door.

Cast Lists by cohort
Year 1
Faasu Afoa-Purcell, Elani Austin-Tennant, Issie Cassidy, Chantal Diack, Melissa Duff,
Asha Duncan, Miriam Eskildsen, Celine Human, Amber Jackson, Adriela Jones, Veronica Lyu,
Phebe Mander, Sigrid Marin, Tama McCarthy, Nichola Niemack, Olivia O’Brien,
Isabella Randall, Jacob Reynolds, Brandon Ross, Faith Schuster, Cecilia Wilcox
Year 2
Kiwa Andrews, Tiara Beazley, Nea Brink, Indiana Carder-Dodd, Samantha Crossman, Josh Eliu,
Olivia Gilligan, Kimberley Green, Sophie Greig, Pamela McHardy, Hannah Raimon,
Abbagail Rogers, Laura Ryan, Lavender Taale Tuigamala, Libby Valentine, Lily Warner,
Eileen Witika, Presley Ziogas
Year 3
Gabrielle Barham, Oliver Carruthers, Michaela Downey-Macbeth, Emily Hancock, Raisedinland
Iose, Rochelle Lloyd, Atalya Loveridge, Lyncia Müller, Keana Ngaata,
Anahera Ngatai, Jhawan Raika-Morgan, Cory-Toalei Roycroft, Fenjay Sapon, Charly Thomas,
Holly Thompson


Powhiri-Interwoven Night
Choreographer : Charles Koroneho
Sound : Charles Koroneho
Dancers: Unitec Dance
Powhiri explores the Welcome Ceremony as an Interwoven Night - Po (night, darkness, underworld) - whiri (weave, plait, flock-as birds). Space and movement are engaged to form an abstract night and reveal the threshold between Te Ao Kikokiko (the physical world) and Te Ao wairua (the spiritual world).
Divisions of ceremonial space, call and response, korero, song and ac on create an evocative place for weaving together the nights of Maori cosmology - Te Po-nui (the great night) Te Po-roa (the long night) Te Po-uriuri (the deep night) Te Po-kerekere (the intense night ) Te Po-tahuri mai (the night turning towards) Te Po-tahuri atu (the night turning away).
The karanga and welcome bring together the living and the dead; in ceremony the ancestors visit us from the great night of Hine nui te Po - the guardian of departed souls.

“You are water, I’m water, we’re all water in different containers, that’s why
it’s so easy to meet, someday we’ll evaporate together, but even after the
water’s gone , we’ll probably point out to the containers, and say, that’s me
there, that one. We’re container minders. “ Yoko Ono
Choreographer: Kelly Nash
Music: Iarla Ō Lionāird – I could read the sky; Balmorhea – Stranger; Balmorhea – Constellations; Sila – A tribe called red
Dancers: Year 3 Dance 
It has been both wonderful and tension-full collaborating with the students as we have strived and pushed together to have a piece that celebrates and acknowledges all the hard work they have put in for the last 3 years! My goal was to showcase them as individuals and the strength of the group. Much of the process was driven by the dancers own material they created and the inspiration that came from the music. Thank you to the students and my friends for their me, energy and feedback with this work - Daniel Cooper, Nancy Wijohn, Megan Adams and Tamsyn Russell.

The Wind and the Wave
Choreographer: Zhao Zhibo
Director: Charles Koroneho
Assistant Director: Yiling Chen
Sound: The greedy dynamics 3’18” x2 (贪婪动力学) by Liang Yiyuan (梁奕源),
Value of Life 24’56”-29’11 by SHAO Yanpeng (邵彦棚) Remix by Liu Guanshang
Dancers: Liu Guanshang, Li Yandie, Guo Lin, Guo Qi, Hao Jiayi, Chim Yi Ning, Wang Kan, Zeng Jia
The piece was originally choreographed by Zhao Zhibo (tutor, Beijing Dance Academy), and reconstructed
by Charles Koroneho and Yiling Chen, with new movement created by the BDA
students. The work is a structured improvisation, a choreography exploring collective journeys
and the challenges of new discoveries. Within the reframing, dynamic space, and textured
movement, there is reflection of the student’s journey to new environments, dance influences
and artistic pathways.

Knee Dance
Choreographer: Douglas Wright
Music: Laurie Anderson
Dancers: Atalya Loveridge, Emily Hancock, Oliver Carruthers
This work was created in 1982 as a going away present for Kilda Northcott just before she left Limbs.

Interval – 15 minutes

Choreography by Katie Burton and Paul Young
Sound – PO HA Vistas original composition by Chris O’Connor
Dancers: Year 1 Dance
PO HA brand reworks are a childhood fixture for many people of a certain age. The brand name is perhaps onomatopoeic, bringing to mind the gunfire-like bang of the tiny (now banned) firecrackers, which rather resemble miniature sticks of dynamite. As singular missiles flung to explode mid-air, or entire strings hurled into the bonfire to detonate simultaneously in clouds of sparks, the beach on Guy Fawkes was a thrilling symphony of drum machines. PO HA challenges the year one students to explore an explosive, articulate movement dynamic, and syncopated rhythms inspired by the short explosive syllables of the title.
Congratulations to the students for your generous focused work on this, your first public project.
Many thanks to Chris for your thoughtful, inspiring collaboration.

Concert of Birds
Choreography: Michael Parmenter with the dancers of Concert of Birds and the dancers of The New Zealand Dance Company
Music: Concert de différents oyseaux by Étienne Moulinié (1599 – 1676) Performed by Le Poème Harmonique (Director: Vincent Dumestre).
Dancers: Atalya Loveridge, Emily Hancock, Fenjay Sapon, Keana Ngaata, Libby Valentine, Oliver Carruthers, Raisedinland Iose, Nea Brink, Michael Parmenter
Concert of Birds is a section of a full-length work, OrphEus – a dance opera created with The New Zealand Dance Company for the Auckland Arts Festival 2018 and the New Zealand Festival 2018. This version was created with the UNITEC students, based on early sketches created with The New Zealand Dance Company. Thanks to both festivals and The New Zealand Dance
Company for allowing us to include this section of OrphEus in Showcase 2017. Particularly, a huge thanks to the wonderful UNITEC dancers for their unique contribution to the development of this work.

Band Solo
Choreographer: Tamsyn Russell
Music: A Gain by Devandra Banhart, Thievery by Arca, 1977 by Ana Tijoux, You don’t own me
by Dusty Springfield, Bad Karma by Axel Thesle
Dancers: Year 2 Dance
Band Solo is a reflection on what it is to be an individual and an exploration of how this can be influenced by the shifting dynamics of a group. The dancers band together to form a team, which in itself provides a sense of security and group bond but within the community power plays affect the group dynamic. The challenge is to express their own personalities and negotiate the effect this has on the group. As these students are in second year of training and still learning as emerging artists, through this process we have focused on developing their technical ability, working as a team of dancers and presence while performing. This group of dancers have worked extremely hard and have been committed to make the work the best they can be as a collective. It has been a pleasure working with this group of young artists.

Choreographer: Joshua Cesan
Music: Jane by Alexander Lewis, Newno by Lophiile, Moss Kena & Nick Grant
Dancers: Abbie Rogers, Cory-Toalei Roycroft , Fenjay Sapon, Jhawan Raika-Morgan, Joshua Eliu,
Lyncia Muller, Keana Ngaata, Lavender Taale, Oliver Carruthers, Payton Woodmass,
Raisedinland Iose, Tiara Beazley
Finale showcases Unitec’s street / Hip-hop dancers in a piece which speaks to maintaining individuality within a team.


Maori contemporary dance , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

90 minutes

Energy and vitality enrich showcase of dance

Review by Brigitte Knight 16th Nov 2017

Graduation performances from tertiary dance programmes have a special energy and vitality; young dancers reaching their physical peak, a heady combination of hope and nostalgia, a turning point from student to artist-in-waiting. UNITEC Dance Showcase 17 has the added appeal of presenting all of the Year 1, 2 and 3 students, physically attesting to the remarkable progress the UNITEC journey achieves. Showcase 17 features eight works, five of them new, from  a range of top-notch choreographers.

Opening the show, Powhiri – Interwoven Night by Charles Koroneho brings an apt sense of ceremony to the performance. The work includes all of the UNITEC Dance students in a thoughtfully-arranged contemporary realisation of traditions rooted in Te Ao Māori. Koroneho’s piece is constantly moving, traversing the stage, filtered through low light, exploring themes of darkness and whiri; living and dead. Movement, karanga and song are successfully drawn together, with some clarification of formation, unison and cues yet to settle. While Powhiri is a lovely way to welcome the audience into the space and the evening’s programme, it is equally powerful as a welcome and handing-over from the graduating Year 3 dancers to the younger students following in their footsteps 

Kelly Nash’s work is presented under the unconventional title “You are water, I’m water, we’re all water in different containers, that’s why it’s so easy to meet, someday we’ll evaporate together, but even after the water’s gone, we’ll probably point out to the containers, and say, that’s me there, that one. We’re container minders”. Yoko Ono, which feels like a last-minute decision, although it has a fitting message. Nash’s work is the class showcase of the graduating Year 3 dancers, driven by their own movement material, playing to their effervescence and physical power. Raisedinland Iose and Fenjay Sapon share similar physicality, complementing one-another onstage, and are often matched in choreographic sections. Both are strong and swift, Iose with impressive control across the floor, and Sapon with striking elevation. The choreography is well-arranged, brilliantly subtle in its evolution, and thoroughly entertaining.

The Wind and the Wave, a structured improvisation, was originally choreographed by Zhao Zhibo and is recreated for Showcase 17 by Charles Koroneho and Yiling Chen. Performed by students of the highly-respected Beijing Dance Academy, the work contains new movement created by the dancers themselves, and provides a significant point of difference in performance quality from the expressive naturalism of the UNITEC dancers. Another low-lit piece, The Wind and the Wavesoftly draws the audience in, presenting a contemporary dance style with a different point of view.

The beautifully-structured Concert of Birds by renowned New Zealand choreographer Michael Parmenter is a section from a full-length work, OrphEus, currently in creation with The New Zealand Dance Company for the Auckland Arts Festival 2018 and the New Zealand Festival 2018. This version was created with the UNITEC students, and includes Parmenter himself, dancing alongside selected Year 3 dancers. The sophisticated costuming of overcoats and underwear reveals the strength and clarity of movement of some emerging standouts from this cohort. Oliver Carruthers works with control, fluidity, impressive extension and remarkable length in Concert of Birds, proving that he has thoroughly utilised the opportunities provided by UNITEC training, and is well-deserving of this featured role. Atalya Loveridge is the pick of the women dancers – equal parts warm, committed and in control of the movement material.

A collaboration between Katie Burton and Paul Young, PO HA manages the large Year 1 cohort with energy and style. The work draws inspiration from the now-banned PO HA brand fireworks, and challenges the students with explosive, articulate, fast-paced movement, structured through dynamically evolving entrances, exits and groupings. This is a highly effective Year 1 choreography; challenging and full of promise.

From the opening bar of the music, Douglas Wright’s iconic Knee Dance is always a privilege to experience live onstage. First performed in-studio in 1982, the work is much more than a museum piece chronicling the history of Limbs and New Zealand modern dance. It contains the subtle humour, physical risk, and idiosyncratic elegance of Wright’s work, and is a jewel in the New Zealand dance repertoire. Loveridge, dancing the role created for Kilda Northcott, is elegant and assured, and Carruthers showcases both his impressive flexibility and the guarantee of a professional contemporary dance career.

The Year 2 cohort dance Band Solo by Tamsyn Russell, an exploration of shifting group dynamics. The work is colourful and upbeat, and features connections with hip hop movement vocabularies. The structure of featured dancers emerging from a horizontal line is possibly overused here, and the dancers themselves have not developed the sense of individuality and identity so clearly on display by their Year 3 counterparts. There is room for Band Soloto clarify and settle during the upcoming performances.

Acknowledging the grounding in hip hop that drew many of the UNITEC students into full-time dance training, the Showcase 17  Finale is very clearly the work of choreographer Joshua Cesan. Selected dancers from across the year groups have the opportunity to enjoy a style they are obviously comfortable working in, and Finale is a lovely, light-hearted flourish to wrap up an impressive and successful showcase of tertiary dance. Audience members can expect a rich and emotional evening if they are lucky enough to have tickets to closing night.


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