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Dance emBODY-ed: The Body Festival '06

Dance emBODY-ed: The Body Festival ‘06

The schedule for this year’s Dance and Physical Theatre Festival is circulating the streets. With an exciting mix of national and international artists, expect to see Christchurch transformed into a hive of activity over 17 jam-packed days, from September 15th to October 1st.

An annual festival now in its fifth year, THE BODY showcases professional performers and companies, and delivers public workshops for people interested in trying out a range of dance styles.

The focus this year is firmly on raising the profile of dance in the South Island, which will also be the topic of a debate hosted by Dance Aotearoa NZ (DANZ). And with legendary UK Hip Hop duo—Robert Hylton and DJ Billy Bizzniz—the city can look forward to fresh, global perspectives from the world of professional street dance. Young dancers and DJs have the rare opportunity to workshop with them, and then see them put it all into practice when they push musical and physical boundaries with the collaborative Verse (see

THE BODY’S trans-Tasman connection is also now firmly consolidated with six stunning selections from Sydney’s ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival leading the extensive film programme, including both top awards given to Kiwi films. Black Grace’s “From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow” was announced Best Dance Documentary, while Shona McCullagh’s “Break”—currently touring the country as part of the Telecom International Film Festival—has been honoured with the prestigious People’s Choice Award, voted by audience members around Australia (see

The Festival’s film component kicks off on Saturday 16th September with a special outdoor screening of ReelDance #07 ‘Classic Music Dance Videos’ at Massive’s outdoor Spring Equinox Dance Party (see

Closer to home, renowned Rotorua poi authority, Ngamoni Huata (Te Arawa, Mataatua, Tainui) will lead the New Zealand contingent. Judge, tutor, performer, composer, and author of the acclaimed “The Rhythm and Life of Poi” (2000), she will treat us to a two-day technique workshop at Te Matauranga Maori.

The performance lineup includes the best of contemporary NZ talent with the national débuts of works from contemporary Maori artist Jack Gray (Ngati Porou/Ngapuhi), and Christchurch dance/theatre company, Scrambled Legs. Local choreographer Julia Sadler presents her experimental Moth—a contemporary work created specifically for an underground space in the historic Arts Centre complex. Fresh young Wellingtonians, Java Dance Company, hit us with explosive physicality in Rush Hour, while two sexy chicks tease down to the underbelly of the mature dancing body in Bipeds Productions’ Fishnet (see Plus mixed-ability theatre from A Different Light and much, much more...

With a wide array of 9 performance works, 43 workshops, and 52 films, THE BODY ‘06 still aims to celebrate dance in all its diversity. “As always, our strength lies in presenting the best of New Zealand contemporary dance alongside a myriad of community workshops that encourage all to have a go,” said Festival Director Adam Hayward. “We are proud to be participation-oriented; that is what distinguishes us from festivals in other centres.”

These are just some of the highlights: for more sessions and detailed information on THE BODY’s 80-plus events please refer to the programme. Print A5 copies are available from various inner-city locations (collect all 6 combinations!). The programme is also online at

Tickets are on sale now! For booking information, contact the Festival office (03) 366 7709, email, or go online

The Body ’06 Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre
September 15th to October 1st ::


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