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Wellington celebrates International Dance Day

Wellington celebrates International Dance Day with dance workshops, films and performances.

As part of UNESCO’s global celebrations for International Dance Day, YouthDance Education Trust is presenting a FREE programme of dance activities at Te Papa on Sunday 29th of April.

Opening, 10.45am
The day opens with a performance from Touch Compass, New Zealand’s only professional inclusive dance company. Award winning dancer Rodney Bell and Julie Van Renen premiere a new work by Sarah Foster Sproull. The duet on wheels will be performed on the Te Papa forecourt, and later in the day in the main performance on the marae.

The official welcome by Mayor Justin Lester will be followed by a warm-up of African music and movement. Pembera Marimba band play music from the Shona tradition of Zimbabwe with rhythmical patterns that invite you to dance.

Workshops, 11.10am – 2.45pm
Have-a-go and learn a new dance - with ten workshops to choose from there is something for all ages and abilities, from Hip Hop to Cuban Salsa. Grab a partner and join in the Scottish ceilidh with traditional Celtic music from Victoria University Folk Club.

Kids love to dance and this year there are workshops just for them. They can dance to the rhythms of Tokelauan music, bring out their inner musical star, or learn a medley of dance moves from around the world.

Films, 11.30am – 2.30pm
YouthDance Education Trust have partnered with Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) to present a programme of short films by some of New Zealand’s top dance/choreographic talents. The films will be screened in Soundings Theatre and include works by established choreographers Daniel Belton, Loughlan Prior and Carol Brown, alongside contemporary students from the New Zealand School of Dance and the Touch Compass Dance Box series.

Performances, 3.00 – 4.00pm
The performance on the marae is a celebration of the diversity of dance in Wellington.
Experience a fast-paced dance with spectacular costumes from Indonesian group Caraka Seni;
a contemporary Tokelauan piece developed by Selina Alefosio honouring her heritage; Danza Mia perform a selection of traditional Latin American dances and Alien Junk Monsters unique percussion will get the audience moving to their beat. Plus, performances of hip hop, Filipino dance, contemporary, Irish dance, jazz and salsa.

International Dance Day
The intention of UNESCO’s International Dance Day is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language - dance.
For dance is not only an expression of feelings, a celebration, or just entertainment. DANCE IS A STATEMENT. A statement that says more eloquently than any spoken language, that we are ONE.Georgette Gebara, Lebanon (

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