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Pioneering Dance Company Celebrates 20 Years



2 June 2005

Pioneering Dance Company Celebrates 20 Years “Footing It” Around NZ!

Celebrating the way they know best, Footnote Dance Company’s current dancers and founder-director, Deirdre Tarrant this week started getting into the birthday spirit ahead of the opening of their 20-year celebration tour, HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS - at Auckland’s Herald Theatre 13-14 June.

Home is Where the Heart is features a collection of fresh New Zealand dance works celebrating the passion of a life in New Zealand dance, as the much-loved contemporary company marks 20 years of creation and advocacy of New Zealand dance. The show tours Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin between June-September.

In true Footnote Dance Company style, the company has marked its 20-year milestone by commissioning a body of new works by leading New Zealand choreographers who have a long association with the company.

Home is Where the Heart is features six diverse works by Raewyn Hill, Moss Patterson, Moana Nepia, Jeremy Nelson, Katharina Waldner and Tarrant. In keeping with Footnote Dance Company’s long-held philosophy of supporting kiwi artistic talent, all the works are performed to New Zealand music – from the pulsating dub of Auckland’s Pitch Black, to the techno groove and urban hip-hop of Audiosauce, Gramsci, a Nic McGowan soundscape, and the distinguished classical sound of Douglas Lilburn.

“Home is Where the Heart is captures the values the company has pursued since day one – fostering a strong connection to New Zealand dance, music, artists and community,” says Tarrant. “It’s like a homecoming for those who have a history with us, as if they are returning to their dance roots – where the heart is – to give something back through these special works that go out to the wider community.”

In a world where contemporary dance is widely regarded as a volatile artform and companies notoriously rise and fall, Footnote’s survival and growing success is admirable. Internationally, this is rare, and in New Zealand it is unique. Over 20 years, Footnote has been renowned for nurturing the talents of choreographers, dancers and teachers who started out with the company and have gone on to forge successful careers both here and overseas.

“It all began in 1985,” recalls Tarrant. “The Rainbow Warrior was bombed, New Zealand established itself as the world’s first anti-nuclear country and in true kiwi pioneering spirit, Footnote took to the road - the start of a journey putting contemporary dance on the map in New Zealand!”

This spirit hasn’t diminished. Over 20 years the company has always toured extensively, taking performances and education programmes to small towns and cities from Keri Keri to Invercargill. It has been instrumental in making contemporary dance accessible to thousands of New Zealanders with its commitment to delivering an innovative and all-round Kiwi dance experience.

“Dance plays a defining role in every culture and Footnote has been unique in its mission to provide the opportunity for dance to have a voice here in a country renowned for its competitive physicality,” says Tarrant. “Dance about our environment, about our daily lives, our relationships, spirit and colours that define us have consistently emerged over this time, and will continue to inspire us for the next 20 years!”

Home is Where the Heart Is on at:

Auckland: Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, June 13-14;

Wellington: Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, August 18-21;

Upper Hutt: Genesis Energy Theatre, Expressions Art & Entertainment Centre, August 22-23;

Christchurch: James Hay Theatre, August 26-27;

Dunedin: Regent Theatre, September 9-10


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