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NZ School Of Dance Announces Graduation Season 08

NZ School Of Dance Announces Graduation Season 2008 Programme

<I>NZSD student
Jessica Jefferies - New Zealand School of Dance Graduation
Click to enlarge

The sky’s the limit: NZSD student Jessica Jefferies is one of the promising young dance talents performing for audiences in the New Zealand School of Dance Graduation Season.
Photo credit: Stephen A’Court

24 September 2008


The New Zealand School of Dance’s thrilling new programme of dance works is set to delight audiences this spring. The Graduation Season promises to be a magical evening of classical ballet and contemporary dance performed by students of the New Zealand School of Dance.

The programme comprises seven contrasting works, taking the audience on a tour around the world and through the history of dance.

Among the season highlights are world premieres by Ross McCormack and Sarah Foster, two New Zealand contemporary choreographers sustaining highly successful careers internationally. Foster and McCormack are NZSD graduates and their creations reflect the School’s ongoing commitment to commissioning fresh New Zealand choreography.

Rich in nuance and sensuality, Un Ballo is choreographed by Czech dance world genius, Jiri Kylian and is set to sublime music by Maurice Ravel. Un Ballo (meaning ‘a dance’ or ‘a ball’) is an exercise in musicality and sensitivity between male and female partners.

Jabula, choreographed by Natalie Weir, is a highly theatrical and explosive display of athleticism. This piece is set to a syncopated choral and percussive score originally composed for the film ‘The Power of One’. Jabula is an African word meaning ‘joy’ and the work is a celebration of the dancers’ energy and spirit.

Concerto pas de deux was choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, well-known for creating lyrical and sensitive partnering work. Sculptural, cool and effortlessly elegant, this piece takes its mood from Dimitri Shostakovich’s score.
Graduation Season audiences will get the rare opportunity to see the soft classical grace of Flower Festival in Genzano; originally choreographed for the Royal Danish Ballet in 1858 by the company’s choreographer and Ballet Master, August Bournonville. The piece is considered one of Bournonville's most perfect compositions, a charming love duet between two young people where the steps express both their joy and their teasing playfulness.

This piece sits in contrast to the architectural beauty of the Pas de Dix from Raymonda, in which the dancers put on a sparkling display of technical virtuosity with a strong Hungarian flavour. The story, a medieval tale set in Hungary during the crusades, tells of the battle between a Christian knight and a Saracen warrior to win the heart of the noble maiden Raymonda. The Pas de Dix is a rich divertissement from the marriage celebration at the end of the ballet, and is hailed as Petipa’s last true masterpiece.

“We have been extraordinarily fortunate to host several international guest artists this year. The wealth of knowledge that these luminaries bring is a gift, both to the students and also our audience,”says Garry Trinder, Director of the New Zealand School of Dance. “This is a great opportunity for New Zealand to see a new generation of dance artists imbuing this wonderful choreography with fresh dynamic energy.”

These performances represent the culmination of the students’ studies – either a two-year Certificate or three-year Diploma in Dance Performance – at one of the leading dance conservatoires in the Southern Hemisphere. NZSD is based at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, and its students regularly progress to full time employment as professional dancers and choreographers.

NZSD Graduation Season will be at Te Whaea Theatre from 19 – 29 November 2008 at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Sunday 23 November at 2.00pm. There will be no show on Monday 24 November.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children age 12 and under. To order tickets, call 04 381 9254.


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