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New Dance Programme Defies Borders

Dance Programme Defies Borders At The New Zealand International Arts Festival In 2010

Dancers from China, the UK, France, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia push the edges of dance and the limits of the human body at the next 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Shaolin Kung fu warrior monks, hip hoppers, tap, ballet, contemporary dancers and acrobatic circus artists present a dazzling array of the latest dance that has been touring in Europe, the US, UK and Australia as well as the restaging of an acclaimed New Zealand work by New Zealand’s Footnote Dance company.

Winner of Best Choreography by an Established Artist or Company at the 2008 Tempo Awards, MTYLAND is the brainchild of New Zealand-born choreographer Claire O’Neil who is based in Belgium. Inspired by random events, journeys of survival and the practice of defence and attack, O’Neil has created a physical and vocal pandemonium with six dancers that highlight how some unexpected collisions can result in the most beautiful transformations.

Direct from London’s acclaimed Sadler’s Wells Dance House, award-winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui brings his latest work Sutra that has sold out two seasons in London since it opened in May 2008. Sutra has wowed audiences and critics alike wherever it has toured. Twenty Shaolin monks will fly directly from China for the performances in Wellington. Sutra is inspired by the unwavering skill, strength and spirituality of the Buddhist Shaolin monks with whom Cherkaoui lived for several months when making this breathtaking production.

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France’s contemporary dance visionaries José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu bring their high energy dance fusion from Paris to New Zealand for the first time with Good Morning, Mr. Gershwin.

Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu salutes the great American composer George Gershwin and his signature American sound, blending cultures and dance genres including hip-hop, ballet, tap and contemporary dance with Gershwin’s signature Broadway musicals, Hollywood movies, scores and jazz standards and excerpts from his opera Porgy and Bess.

Also from France, the Arcosm company makes its New Zealand debut with the exuberant Echoa. Arcosm has travelled extensively in Europe and the US. Described as an unexpected dance experience where “we see the dance with our ears,” Arcosm is two percussionists and two dancer-choreographers who all studied together at the Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon. Percussion, including large marimbas, are arranged on multi-level scaffolding in a space that is filled with rhythm and movement. Gold Partners: New Zealand Post Group, TV3, Clemenger BBDO, Pacific Blue. Funders: Absolutely Positively Wellington, Creative New Zealand

Happy As Larry is the latest work from award-winning Australian choreographer Shaun Parker that premieres in 2010 before coming to the New Zealand Festival. Happy As Larry features nine dancers’ interpretations of nine distinct personality types performing a mix of break dance, ballet and contemporary dance. An emerging talent on the world stage, Parker won the 2008 Australian Dance Award for outstanding achievement in independent dance. His reputation combines a “fat dose of funny” with a visionary dance aesthetic.


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