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New Zealand choreographers receive major boost

New Zealand choreographers receive major boost

Creative New Zealand announces choreographic fellowship and residency

New Zealand’s professional contemporary dance choreographers have received a major boost with today’s announcement by Creative New Zealand of its annual $65,000 choreographic fellowship and a pilot $15,000 choreographic residency. Both the Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship and the choreographic residency are the result of recommendations made in Creative New Zealand’s dance strategy, Moving to the Future: Ngä Whakanekeneke atu ki te Ao o Apöpö, launched last year after extensive consultation with the dance sector over an 18-month period.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage the Hon. Judith Tizard, who launched the strategy, welcomes the new initiatives.

“New Zealand has a wonderful contemporary dance tradition and our senior choreographers richly deserve this recognition,” she says. “The new wave of talented young dancers will also reap long-term benefits from this support for key practitioners.”

The annual $65,000 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship will be awarded to a senior New Zealand choreographer with an outstanding track record. The recipient will be required to complete a project involving creative work and/or professional development within one year of the start of the project.

The pilot $15,000 choreographic residency will involve a partnership between Creative New Zealand and a host organisation such as a tertiary institution, an independent dance company, or an organisation funded by Creative New Zealand on an annual or three-year basis. Aimed at mid-career and senior choreographers, the residency must be for at least eight weeks and the institutions, not the artists, are asked to apply.

As with Creative New Zealand’s other partnership residencies, the host organisation will be expected to provide appropriate facilities, including work space and administrative support. Creative New Zealand funding will provide a stipend and a contribution towards the artist’s expenses in creating the work. Both the fellowship and residency will support choreographers wishing to develop new practices, undertake specific research, or deepen their skill and knowledge base.

Murray Shaw, Chair of the Arts Board of Creative New Zealand, says the Board is delighted to be able to be able to provide a significant boost to the sector at a time when New Zealand’s contemporary dance is flourishing.

“The dance strategy involved extensive consultation with the sector and it is gratifying to announce two initiatives that respond directly to recommendations in the strategy,” he says.

The first objective in Moving to the Future: Ngä Whakanekeneke atu ki te Ao o Apöpö highlights the need to strengthen the creative development and professional practice of dancers and choreographers.

The strategy states that both the Arts Council of England and the Australia Council for the Arts have implemented fellowship schemes for senior artists because they recognised that these artists “tend to neglect their own practice through the increasing demands of other tasks such as managing a company, creating new works, teaching or simply running their personal lives”.

Dr Tina Hong, a member of Creative New Zealand’s dance strategy reference group and Principal Lecturer at the Auckland College of Education, says the new initiatives will help address the sector’s call for a more comprehensive professional development infrastructure.

“These were key recommendations and I’m very pleased to see them being translated into such significant action,” she says. “This focussed support for professional development and the spin-offs it will have for the sector will do much to ensure the future sustainability and growth of contemporary dance in this country.”

For guidelines and more information on the 2003 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship and the 2003 choreographic residency please contact Cath Cardiff (Tel: 04-498 0736 Email: You can also download the guidelines from the Resources section of Creative New Zealand’s website (

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