Whitireia Commercial Dance Showcase 2016

Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington

02/09/2016 - 04/09/2016

Production Details

The Year 1 Commercial dancers have put together a fabulously entertaining showcase that you will not want to miss! Filled with Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary and Tap. This family friendly show is bursting with variety and talent.

Featuring works choreographed by Ange McKellar, Anne Anderson, Leigh Evans, Emma Martin, Brianna Coughlin, Abbie Gale, Charis O’Connor, and students’ own choreography.

Fri 2nd and Sat 3rd at 7pm, Sun 4th at 4pm

Tickets $20/$14/$10

Bookinga at http://www.thetheatre.co.nz

Programme Order:

Item                                   Cast                                                                         Choreographer

1. Be Italian                      Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise,              Ange

                                            Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,


2. At Last                                       Emma Clavis                                                                 Emma C

3. Wicked                                      Dionesia, Emily, Emma.T, Hannah, Alex, Chelsea, Shae      Brianna

4. Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag   Jasmine, Ricki Jane, Annalise, Summer, Nikita                        Ange  

5. Mothers Eyes                           Shae                                                                                                  Shae

6. Swan Lake Audition              Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise,              Anne

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,

                                                         Chelsea, Shae

     Black Swan solo                     Emma Thompson

     Grey Swan solo                      Piimio

7. Creep                                         Emily Jepson                                                                                   Emily J

8. Chills                                         Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise,              Esther

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,


9. Rhythm Nation                        Nikita - Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C,                  Ange

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia,  Jasmine, Piimio, Chelsea

10. River Won't Flow                Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C,Annalise,               Charis

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,


11. Tribal                                      Hannah, Dionesia                                                                          Ange

12. Famous                                   Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise, Ricki-Jane,          Emma Martin

                                                         Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T, Chelsea

13. How You Like Me Now?     Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Annalise, Ricki-Jane, Dionesia,    Abbie

                                                         Emily, Jasmine,

14. To Build a Home                  Emma and Shae                                                                             Emma and Shae

15. Run                                          Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise,              Leigh

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,


16. Controlla                                Hannah, Summer, Nikita, Alex, Emma.C, Annalise,              Brianna

                                                         Ricki-Jane, Dionesia, Emily, Jasmine, Piimio, Emma.T,

                                                         Chelsea, Shae

Dance , Commercial dance ,

From dramatic cabaret to vaudeville style comedy

Review by Tania Kopytko 03rd Sep 2016

The impact is there from the opening minute of the Variety Showcase – with a dramatic cabaret Style “Be Italian” number, costumed in classic red dresses, heels and with chairs as props.

This is the graduation performance for the Year One Commercial Dance programme at  Whitireia Performance Centre. These young students have to pack in a lot of training and polishing  in one or two years, to prepare for a commercial dance sector that is highly competitive and requires precision, timing, strong technique and focus, skill in a variety of dance styles plus acting and singing skills. The Showcase demonstrates that they have all worked incredibly hard on these essentials. The fourteen dancers clearly love every minute of their performances and a very vocal audience are with them all the way, unlike a more restrained ballet or contemporary dance audience.

The hour long programme of sixteen items is a mix of tutor and student choreography.  All is slick, smart, confident, non-stop and high energy and demonstrates that the cadre has the required skills in tight ensemble work and excellent timing.  As befits the commercial sector, the programme covers a variety of dance styles: contemporary jazz often with a hip hop feel, tap and rhythm, old school Charleston and classic cabaret, lyrical and more aggressive hip hop and a vaudeville-type comedic poke at ballet. The latter allows acting skills to come to the fore as the ballerinas compete for attention, but the dance shows a weaker ballet technique. Developing softness in the arms and hands and more expressive plasticity in the upper body would be one area that many of the dancers could work on, as well as more varied, softer facial expressions, to balance a frequent pouty look that only suits some dance styles. This would add to the repertoire of expressive skills needed in the range of work they might encounter.

What will these young people do with this training? Many will continue to complete the second year and achieve the Diploma, though they can leave with a Certificate at the end of year one. Hopefully some will get overseas work in as performers on cruise ships, or in shows like Stomp or Cirque de Soleil.  With the popularity of these styles nurtured in the hundreds of dance studios across New Zealand, it would be lovely to see some of these young people form small performance groups, perhaps reaching out to the regional areas they hail from. There is a market out there, as this is part of a well-established New Zealand private dance studio sector. Performance may not be full time or hugely financially viable, but it would give them more performance and choreographic experience and allow them to develop business and management skills that would add to their skill portfolio. Sadly commercial dance is not such a strong employment area in New Zealand, particularly because we do not have the professional (with paid dancers) musical theatre scene found in other countries.  I hope most, with further dance teacher and business training, will eventually become dance teachers in studios, for community recreation, or in our schools and thus pass on their skills and enthusiasm to the young. The desire to learn dance never stops growing.

Hearty congratulations to all the performers and their tutors. The Showcase continues on Saturday evening  (3 Sept) at 7pm and Sunday 4th at 4pm and is well worth going to.


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