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Free Feet Deep


Fringe Festival Show: Free Feet Deep
Dates: 2-4 March, 2006
Times: 7.30pm every night and 3.00pm matinee on 4 March.
Venue: the Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee St, Wellington
Tickets: $16 waged, $13 unwaged/student, $10 Fringe Addict, $8 children under 10, $12 Group of 5+
FERN Booking line: (04) 383 5303,

The FERN DANCE THEATRE (Freedom of Expression to Rejuvenate and Nurture) presents their fourth show, Free Feet Deep, featuring a wide range of dance styles (contemporary, jazz, lyrical, tap) true-life stories and extraordinary videos. Choreographed and Directed by Jill A. Menard.

A dynamic cast of children and adults realistically portray this era of modern human life and struggle to avoid descending into the black abyss of non-existence and monotonous routine. There is pain and sorrow as these expressive performers try to find a reason to the madness and chaos of their everyday activities. It is the battle to keep from falling into a robotic lifestyle where all laughter, fun, and creativity are forsaken and an overworked, hedonistic society is all too real. But the journey to freedom, happiness and radiance prevails as these performers are determined to find a way to make their lives full of integrity and meaning.

In the enigmatic show, Free Feet Deep, ancient tribal cultures are compared with modern society as a way of depicting how removed life is from living in tune with Mother Earth. This is the age of over-consumerism and many are unaware of today’s effects on the environment and future generations. This show is a way of awakening society to the behavioural patterns of life and trying to find a way to stay sane in such a fast-paced society.

Performers (ages 6-36) in the Free Feet Deep show include Director/choreographer Jill A. Menard (residing in Island Bay but originally from the USA), Assistant director Wendy Kearney (residing in Wilton but originally from the USA), Stephanie McKay (Hataitai), Sarah Dickson (Wellington), Rachel Segall (residing in Kelburn but originally from the USA), Joanna Lees (Porirua), Sharn TePou (Porirua), Michelle Cox (Porirua), Lara Jupp (Miramar), Ella Blake (Pukerua Bay), Ebony Sushames (Porirua), Alana Pilcher (Porirua), Ngaere Jenkins (Newtown), Catherine Prujean (Melrose), and Romy Tennent (Strathmore).

The FERN DANCE THEATRE began in 2003 with the show Hypnotized, Mesmerized at the BATS Theatre as part of the Fringe Festival. The next show, Sway, premiered at the Gryphon Theatre in the Dance Your Socks Off Festival in 2003. The third show, Hopgrasers, was a big hit in the 2004 Fringe Festival at the Gryphon Theatre. All of the shows combined various styles of dance with theatre and videos, creating a diverse multi-media experience. The FERN DANCE THEATRE uses performers of all ages and backgrounds and also performs at community events, including schools and rest homes.

Praise for the FERN DANCE THEATRE show, Hopgrassers:

“We think you achieved a great balance between all the elements of dance, music, video and film and created an exciting and energetic show which crackles with life. Congratulations!”
-Marei Bollinger and Adrian Webster

“I just wanted to…say congratulations and ‘well done’ on your “Hopgrassers” dance show. I came away very inspired and feeling very good. You and [your] dancers put in a lot of work, dedication and skill. The combination of the older dancers with the [younger] dancers was just fabulous. All in all, a very professional, inspiring and ‘feel good’ show – which really did express your vision of ‘Freedom of Expression to Rejuvenate and Nurture.’
I wish you all the best for your future contribution to dance, life and movement.”
-Puspa Nana


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