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Dance Luminary Picks Up The Tempo

Dance Luminary Picks Up The Tempo

Mary Jane-O’Reilly celebrates her first successes as Artistic Director of the tempo° dance festival.

In a career spanning 25 years, Mary Jane O’Reilly has earned a reputation as one of New Zealand’s most respected and revered dance practitioners. Co-founder and director of the legendary Limbs Dance Company, Mary-Jane has inspired NZ dance in her roles as dancer, choreographer, teacher, director and producer.

O’Reilly applied for the highly sought after role of tempo° director, with an ambitious proposal to expand the programme and festival infrastructure, increasing the potential audience for dance. The trust, impressed by her vision, awarded her this esteemed position, and set the new festival dates for October 2006.

In the short time of her directorship, she has facilitated a Creative NZ grant (surpassing previous years funding by a staggering 63%) and held a successful public fundraiser (private screening the of the dance film RIZE), at which PPS Hairwear were announced as a key festival sponsor. Renowned for their development of creative ideas into creative product, General Manager, John Myers stated that “supporting tempo° gives us the opportunity to encourage creativity in a broader sense”.

Successful in her first initiatives as festival director, O’Reilly continues to choreograph and teach, and is currently in rehearsal with dance students to perform some of her classic Limbs works. “I’ve been enjoying bringing Reptile and other works to life again in the young bodies, but I’m now really looking forward to focussing on facilitating and supporting the next generation of dancers and choreographers in Tempo 06” – says O’Reilly.

tempo° is a unique festival, which offers a wide range of dance opportunities to all dancers; and for dance artists, the rare opportunity to mount work with the support of festival resources, reducing the huge financial risk associated with independent seasons. As festival director, O’Reilly recognised that her first priority was to begin to secure these resources, through fundraising initiatives leading up to the 2006 dates.

With only ten months to go until the next festival, determined director, Mary-Jane O’Reilly, is sure to make the 2006 programme an outstanding success.

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