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School of Dance students scoop national award

New Zealand School of Dance students scoop national award

 New Zealand School
of Dance student Katherine Grange. Photo credit: Stephen
Click to enlarge

New Zealand School of Dance student Katherine Grange has been awarded first place in the National Ballet Award. Her fellow NZSD student Kase Craig was placed second. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court
New Zealand School
of Dance student Kase Craig. Photo credit: Stephen
Click to enlarge

New Zealand School of Dance student Kase Craig was awarded second place in the National Ballet Award. His fellow NZSD student Katherine Grange won the top prize. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court

Media Release
For immediate release
3 October 2008

New Zealand School of Dance students scoop national award

Two New Zealand School of Dance students have taken out top honours at the prestigious NZ National Ballet Awards.

Katherine Grange won first prize and Kase Craig was placed second in the bi-annual Christchurch-based competition. Katherine was also voted Audience Favourite.

Raised in Tauranga, nineteen year old Katherine Grange is now in her second year of training at the New Zealand School of Dance. “This is an enormous honour for me,” said Katherine of her win. “When they announced my name, I couldn’t believe it! Getting the Audience Choice Award as well as first place was fantastic.”

Twenty year old Kase Craig is originally from Christchurch, and is now in his third year at the New Zealand School of Dance. In addition to his success at the National Ballet Awards, Kase has recently gained Solo Seal, the highest examination offered by the Royal Academy of Dance. Kase has been offered a place with the Ballet de l’Opera National de Bordeaux in France, to begin in 2009.

The National Ballet Awards has been running for 18 years and is open to dancers aged between 15 and 20 years of age. Each dancer is required to perform a set variation piece and a second dance piece of their own choice. From the 29 entrants in this year’s competition, nine finalists were chosen to dance at the James Hay Theatre in Christchurch.

The competition was adjudicated by Kerry-Anne Gilberd (former principal dancer, Royal New Zealand Ballet), Leeanne Rutherford (Director of Ballet Theatre of Victoria) and Matz Skoog (former Artistic Director of the Royal NZ Ballet and English National Ballet). Matz applauded the School for presenting two such strong dancers: “I was delighted to see how well these two students performed at the National Ballet Awards. It is reassuring to know that our national dance school is doing such a fine job.”

The New Zealand School of Dance has a long history with this competition, and winners from previous years of the National Ballet Award include NZSD alumni Anita Hutchings, Marysa Dalton, Abigail Boyle and current students Natalya Thorpe and Kathryn Botica.

The New Zealand School of Dance is one of the leading dance conservatoires in the Southern Hemisphere. Entry is by audition only, and students may study either a two-year Certificate or three-year Diploma in Dance Performance. NZSD is based at Te Whaea: National Dance & Drama Centre, in facilities shared with Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.


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