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Creative NZ Applauds New Dance Qualification

Creative New Zealand Applauds New Dance Qualification

To: Arts Reporters/ Chief Reporters
Date: 4 May 2004

Creative New Zealand Applauds New Dance Qualification

A new postgraduate diploma in dance studies, offered by Massey University and the New Zealand School of Dance, has been applauded by Creative New Zealand.

The new course, which is still open for applications, is aimed at mid-career dancers, dance teachers, arts administrators and event managers seeking to enhance their entrepreneurial and academic skills. It was launched in reponse to Creative New Zealand's professional contemporary dance strategy, Moving to the Future: Ngä Whakanekeneke atu ki te Ao o Apöpö, which identified the need for dance practitioners to develop skills in marketing, arts administration and business.

Murray Shaw, Chair of Creative New Zealand's Arts Board congratulated Massey University and the New Zealand School of Dance on taking the initiative and responding to one of the recommendations in the strategy.

"The strategy involved extensive consultation with the dance sector," he says. "It's pleasing that two tertiary institutions are working together to provide this much-needed qualification."

Garry Trinder, Director of the New Zealand School of Dance says, "This unique qualification offers dance practitioners a pathway into the next phase of their career. It is targeted to provide leadership in education and arts administration."

Last year, Creative New Zealand also developed two initiatives in response to the strategy's recommendations. The inaugural $65,000 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship was awarded to Auckland choreographer Shona McCullagh. And a $15,000 pilot choreographic residency, in partnership with the University of Otago, was awarded to Dunedin choreographer Daniel Belton.

Shona McCullagh, who is currently undertaking her one-year fellowship, said when she was awarded what is the largest choreographic fellowship or award available in New Zealand: "This fellowship allows me to feel totally supported and encouraged to continue pursuing my craft and develop my identity as a New Zealand artist. For the first time in my career, I will have adequate time and resources to investigate new directions in my work, while researching and developing a live work with global potential."

Daniel Belton, who has just completed his residency, says: "The residency surpassed my expectations. I made three dance films and am delighted by the results. The access it gave me to the staff and resources of Otago University has been invaluable to my work.

"Of particular note is the opportunity the residency gave me to work in a digital environment and collaborate with extraordinary Dunedin-based 3D artist Jac Grenfell. This was the first time I had the opportunity to work with an animator and combine human kinetics with language and 3D digital animation."

Ralph Buck, lecturer in the Dance Studies Programme at the University of Otago, believes the University has benefited from the residency as much as Daniel has. "We have benefited from having a different view of movement and the human body. A number of my colleagues found the films that Daniel made during his residency cutting-edge and inspiring."

Creative New Zealand is still calling for applications from senior New Zealand choreographers for the 2004 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship. The deadline for applications is 30 June. For guidelines and more information on the 2004 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship please contact Grace Hoet Tel: 04-498 0702, Email:

You can also download the guidelines from the resources section of Creative New Zealand's website (


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