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Next Generation Of Dancers Kick-Start Careers

14 DECEMBER 2007

Next Generation Of Dancers Kick-Start Their Careers

2008 Todd Scholar Rory Fairweather-Neylan joins the Royal New Zealand Ballet next year. His fellow New Zealand School of Dance graduates are also being snapped up by dance companies both nationally and internationally.

To top off a stellar year for the New Zealand School of Dance, thirteen students from the School have recently secured professional contracts with prestigious professional dance companies. This places the School well on the way toward reaching its impressive 2006 employment rate of 85% within six months of graduation.

New Zealand School of Dance director, Garry Trinder said: “This is a wonderful achievement for both the students and the School. Each of the students has something unique to offer and for them to have been snapped up by such prestigious companies is acknowledgment of both the dancer’s talent and the training we have provided them.”

Classical student Rory Fairweather-Neylan has been awarded the Todd Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an outstanding New Zealand School of Dance graduating student. The scholarship, provided by the Todd Corporation, will cover his first year of employment with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, whom he toured with in September and October during their season of Cinderella.

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Emma Johnston will join Java Dance Company in 2008 under the direction of NZSD graduate Sacha Copland. The Wellington-based contemporary company is now in its fifth year, and recently collaborated with the Vector Wellington Orchestra on a national tour.

Ginny Gan joined Singapore Dance Theatre just days after the Graduation Season performances at the New Zealand School of Dance. She is currently in rehearsal for the company’s December season of the magical ballet, Swan Lake. Fellow NZSD students Alison Carroll, Haruka Tsuji and Sharni Spencer are also dancing in the season of Swan Lake, supplementing the SDT’s corps de ballet. Sharni will then travel from Singapore to Melbourne, where she will join The Australian Ballet full-time directly after the final performance of Swan Lake.

Courtney Poulier has been snapped up by choreographer and NZSD graduate Daniel Belton for a Good Company project in early 2008. Courtney performed in Daniel’s contemporary piece Stitchbirds earlier this year, which was included in the Body Festival in Christchurch.

Australian-born Alexander Koszarycz has been offered a position with Queensland Ballet, which will perform such audience-favourites as Swan Lake, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carmen next year.

Also taking their place within the Australian dance scene are Nicole Chadderton, Cara Szabo and Allan Anderson, who are embarking on short-term contracts with TasDance this month.

Following his stint with Tasdance, Allan Anderson will be demonstrating his adept pointe-work when he joins Les Ballets Grandiva: Men in Tutus in New York. It was during the company’s recent tour through New Zealand that Allan auditioned and was invited to join the company for a twelve-month contract.

Lauren Langlois has been offered a full-time contract with renowned contemporary dance company, Australian Dance Theatre. She recently worked with the Artistic Director of ADT, Garry Stewart, during the build up the New Zealand School of Dance 40th Anniversary Graduation Season. Garry Stewart is currently creating a full-length work called G, in which Lauren is to play a pivotal role. Wellington audiences will see Garry Stewart’s energetic choreography in Honour Bound, presented during the International Arts Festival in early 2008.

Contemporary student Liz Fong has undertaken a project contract with Singapore contemporary dance company, Dance Horizon.

“The high employment rate of the New Zealand School of Dance students stems from our commitment to sustaining relationships and networks both in this country and internationally,” says Garry Trinder, adding that many employment offers for the students have been generated from international guest teachers visiting the School and student secondments to various dance companies.

“These young dancers’ careers will be followed with much anticipation.”

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