Each year, Dance Australia reviews the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) end-of-year show in person, where it is traditionally held in its home theatre at Te Whaea: National Dance and Drama Centre. This year, however, the school is breaking with tradition and will instead hold its performances in the studios, providing the audience with an informal, first-hand experience of the school and its dancers.
The season is running from November 18 - 28. It opens with Here & Now, an anthology of newly-created and current contemporary dance works. This is followed the next evening by the classical ballet programme, There & Then, a collection of much-loved ballet repertoire. Performances will alternate throughout the season.
Here & Now includes the established contemporary work, Be Yourself, by Garry Stewart, artistic director of Australian Dance Theatre. NZSD is the first tertiary institution to be granted permission to perform this work. One of its highlights is the creation of four new works by local choreographers including School alumnae, Victoria Colombus and Holly Newsome, along with awarded choreographer, Elijah Kennar, and NZSD tutor, Daniel Jaber (previously Australian Dance Theatre).
There & Then includes popular favourites such as the Pas de douze from Swan Lake, Act I and the Pas de deux from Concerto, coached by Stuart Cassidy. Highlights of the classical programme are the commissioning of a flamenco work by Catarina Mora of the John Cranko School, Stuttgart, and a performance of La Sylphide, Act II, coached by Sir Jon Trimmer and re-created by NZSD tutors, Turid Revfeim, Nadine Tyson and Qi Huan.
For a sneak preview, watch the video above. Details and tickets are available here.
The New Zealand School of Dance 2020 Performance Season is made possible with support from The Australian High Commission, The Lion Foundation and The Four Winds Foundation.