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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.

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Theatre and dance reviews since 2006.

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04/07/2024 - 04/07/2024

"An important work, a voice we need to listen to..


Wellington, Auckland

08/03/2024 - 12/04/2024

"The dislocations of contemporary life..

"Questions identity and ties to land...

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The Way We Wilt


05/03/2024 - 09/03/2024

"The temporary nature of all things..

"An exploration bravely taken and staged..

Manage Your Expectations


27/02/2024 - 02/03/2024

"Very very good indeed..

"Just dead hands left and one dancing naked body..



16/02/2024 - 17/02/2024

"Certainly an hour of escapism..

NZ School of Dance Performance Season 2023

Paraparaumu, Wellington

16/11/2023 - 02/12/2023

"Young and optimistic mood..

"Classical season: a joy to see their talent..

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Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland

27/07/2023 - 12/08/2023

"Dancers dancers dancers you are symbolic and meaningful. ..

"Entering its eighth decade the company is clearly in good heart..

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Romeo and Juliet 2023

Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, 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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Wellington, Auckland, Napier, 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...



26/02/2021 - 28/03/2021

"Special, clever, charming and mesmeric..

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