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Creative Capital Hosts Footnote Choreolab

24 January 2006

Creative Capital Hosts Footnote Choreolab

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Footnote Dance Company's dancers get into the mood as Footnote Choreolab begins this week. 30 dancers from around New Zealand will converge on Wellington and over the next three weeks immerse themselves in contemporary dance workshops by a leading international dancer-choreographer and expatriate New Zealander, Jeremy Nelson.


Wellington's Footnote Dance Company plays host to exploration and excellence in the Capital over the next three weeks with Footnote Choreolab - a gathering of 30 dancers from around the country, immersing themselves in contemporary dance. Now into its fifth year, Footnote Choreolab 2006 welcomes back expatriate New Zealander and leading contemporary dancer-choreographer, Jeremy Nelson as Master Class tutor.

Footnote Choreolab began as a direct response to needs identified by practitioners in the contemporary dance sector. Instigated by Deirdre Tarrant, Footnote Dance Company's Founder and current Director, the project has established itself as a key event in the calendars of dancers and choreographers from all over New Zealand and overseas.

"Footnote Choreolab is unique in that it creates the opportunity for a professional contemporary dance company to host and work alongside freelance dance artists for an intense and extended period," says Tarrant. "It provides dancers with the opportunity to explore dance and challenge themselves in ways they would not normally be able to do. It is a very exciting and inspiring time for them especially when exceptional teachers with international reputations, such as Jeremy Nelson, lead them in this process."

The three-week programme incorporates a series of Master Classes across a variety of dance and allied topics. The primary focus, however, is to facilitate the exploration of choreographic process without the objective of performance. While some of the dance work will ultimately go towards the development process for Footnote Dance Company's 2006 repertoire, the emphasis is also on mentoring and a professional interface with a variety of broader industry professionals.

Nelson will work closely with all the dancers during the programme teaching both technique and composition skills, while also looking to develop a new choreography for Footnote's June touring season, Feats of Fancy.

Now based in New York, Nelson is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dancer and choreographer, and a recipient of the 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Contemporary Choreography. He grew up in New Zealand then trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and went on to dance for Siobhan Davies and Second Stride Dance companies in London, before moving to New York in the mid-80s. He is a member of the teaching faculty at Movement Research in New York and he has taught as part of the American Dance Festival and at various universities including New York University Tisch School of the Arts and Bennington College. He has been invited to give classes to several internationally recognized companies including Anna Terese de Kerrsmaaker's ROSAS (Brussels), Sasha Waltz Company (Berlin), Siobhan Davies Company (London).

He will be joined by other highly regarded New Zealand artists and dance practitioners over the three weeks for workshops and mentoring: Jo Randerson (theatre); Nick McGowan (music); Stephen Bain (physical theatre); Fergus Aitken (mime and movement); Fenn Gordon (production) and Jane McDermott (pilates). Mentors for Footnote Choreolab 2006 also include Justine Cooper, Deirdre Tarrant, and Jenny Stevenson.

"We're delighted to have Jeremy Nelson back, as well as the involvement of other tutors who bring important and practical aspects to the programme," says Tarrant. "Our aim is to nurture and give these young dancers as much assistance as possible to support their career choice. This continues to support Footnote's long-held philosophy of sustainable careers and the development of a national identity for New Zealand dance by working with as much kiwi artistic talent as possible. To do this, we need to look after our upcoming dancers and choreographers and give them room to grow. Choreolab has become an established vehicle towards helping them to do this."

Following a successful celebratory year in 2005, Footnote Dance Company breaks new ground in 2006 by touring two programmes of contemporary dance. The first in April is "Here Lies Within" - a choreographer profile programme by Raewyn Hill that will premiere in Christchurch, and tour to Dunedin and Wellington.

In late June "Feats of Fancy" will feature new works by Jeremy Nelson, Moss Patterson, Malia Johnston and Deirdre Tarrant, touring to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

An informal public showing of some of the work emerging from Footnote Choreolab 2006 will take place on 9 February, 5.00pm at Tarrant Dance Studios, Cuba Street. Entry is gold coin donation.

Footnote Dance Company receives major funding from Creative New Zealand. Footnote Dance Company and Footnote Choreolab is proudly supported by DANZ (Dance Aotearoa New Zealand), Museum Hotel and Les Mills.


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