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Tizard launches NZ Dance Industry Strategy

Hon Judith Tizard
Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

9 September 2008 Media Statement

Tizard launches NZ Dance Industry Strategy

Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard launched the Dance Industry Strategy, in association with DANZ (Dance Aotearoa New Zealand), in Parliament's Grand Hall tonight.

The launch included a talented array of short dance performances by NZ School of Dance, Wellington’s leading hip hop crew Legacy, Java Dance Company, Empress Stiltdance and more.

"It was great to see the energy of dance brought into Parliament's Grand Hall," said Judith Tizard. "Dance is a fundamental form of human cultural expression and a great way to have fun and to keep fit."

"I commend DANZ for taking on the challenge of finding out where the dance sector sees itself, where it wants to go, and how it wants to go forward.

"The Labour-led government promotes cultural expression through writing, dance, theatre, music and the visual arts."

These activities are supported through funding from Creative New Zealand, who fund many of DANZ’s activities, as well as many festivals around New Zealand, and direct funding to national institutions like the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Te Matatini. These organisations preserve and promote traditional forms and contemporary dance.

"Culture doesn’t stand still - reassessing those organisations and funding strategies as well as New Zealanders needs has to be an important aspect of the work of any arts organisation," said Judith Tizard.

"No doubt finding out where the dance sector needs to head has led to even more questions, but the New Zealand Dance Industry Strategy is a brave and useful start.

The Strategy would not have happened without the participation of people across all sectors of the dance industry, said the Associate Minister.

"Perhaps because it is such a fundamental form of expression, the community has not caught up with the need to support dance to the same extent as some other sports," said Judith Tizard.

"But this will change. Now that dance is being integrated into education, health and recreation, there will be a new generation of New Zealanders who will see dance in a new way.

Judith Tizard hoped the launch of this strategy would herald a new era of strategic thinking and cooperation between organisations working in the dance sector.


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