Footnote Dances Into 2006
26 October 2005
Footnote Dance Company dances into 2006 with an exciting new programme announced today, that builds upon the success of its 20th anniversary this year and sees a coming of age for the much-loved New Zealand contemporary dance company.
2006 will be marked by two touring seasons - a first-time presentation of dance works by a single, stand-out New Zealand choreographer, Raewyn Hill, during March-April; and a body of new repertoire from five New Zealand choreographers in June-July.
Other highlights of the year will include Choreolab, Perforums to complement each tour, a refocussed education programme around the country, and partnerships with other major arts organizations - the Vector Wellington Orchestra and Capital E National Theatre for Children.
"Following on the heels of such a wonderful celebratory year, we're looking ahead to 2006 and the next 20 years with renewed vigour and innovation!" says Deirdre Tarrant, Footnote Dance Company Artistic Director.
Kick-starting the year is Choreolab - a highly successful Footnote initiative now into its fifth year. Choreolab enables professional dancers from around the country to participate in intensive workshops in contemporary dance under the tutelage of expatriate New Zealand contemporary dance choreographer, Jeremy Nelson. Held in Wellington during February, several works from Choreolab will form the basis for Footnote's new dance repertoire that will tour New Zealand later in the year.
For the first time in 2006, Footnote will present a body of dance work from a single choreographer. Raewyn Hill is now widely recognised as one of New Zealand's most innovative contemporary dance choreographers and over several years has developed intriguing one-off dance pieces that have featured as part of Footnote's repertoire.
However a single programme dedicated to her work and created especially with the Footnote dancers in mind, is a significant move for the company. The programme which will tour Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, will include revisiting a popular key piece of Hill's work, as well as a new work.
"Featuring a single choreographer's work in an entire programme that is specially created for the Footnote dancers is a strong signal that we've come of age," says Tarrant.
"This group of current dancers have been together for three years, and Raewyn's work has been part of our company for five. Footnote's philosophy has always been to nurture both emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers, so we're delighted to be able to commission a significant home-grown choreographer in Raewyn.
Her work has grown and matured and it is exciting for us to present an entire programme specifically for our repertoire. It's exciting to see Raewyn's journey as a choreographer as part of this programme, as we revitalise a favourite dance piece "In Time of Flight" from 2003 featuring Nic McGowan's amazing music, but will also explore fresh territory with a new work. This is sure to be a highly sophisticated and stimulating programme of contemporary dance."
Heading around the country in June-July, Footnote will tour new dance repertoire from leading expatriate New Zealand choreographer - Jeremy Nelson, and from popular current choreographers including Malia Johnson, Deirdre Tarrant, Moss Patterson and Lance Riley. Scheduled performances will be held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as well as some regional centres and festivals.
During 2006 outreach and education continues to be key among Footnote's activities and philosophy. Choreolab - a three-week intensive time bringing freelance dancers together to explore composition processes - will start the year and be led by Jeremy Nelson.
Both touring seasons will be complemented with Perforums, which give contemporary dance lovers an opportunity to participate in discussion and outreach workshops involving the Footnote dancers and some key choreographers.
However Footnote's heavy performance schedule next year will mean the company will refocus its schools programme around the country, to those with an established and strong commitment to dance.
"We've a big year ahead in 2006 with a lot of new repertoire to learn and take around New Zealand," says Tarrant. "So we've had to rethink our outreach work somewhat to focus the expertise of the company and interface with our dancers, to those who are serious about contemporary dance."
However, Tarrant points out that young dance lovers will still get to taste contemporary dance through Footnote's partnerships with other organizations. In 2006 these include the Vector Wellington Orchestra in a programme combining dance and orchestral music that will head to Wellington, Masterton and Palmerston North in May; and a dance-theatre piece being created by Capital E National Theatre for Children and performing in Wellington, Hamilton and Manukau.
"We have a wonderful strong team of full-time professional contemporary dancers and choreographers who have a long association with Footnote and who continue to take contemporary dance to new heights," says Tarrant. "Providing an environment and infrastructure that continues to do this into the future is what Footnote Dance Company has and will continue to be about."