Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

US dance academy performs at Takitimu Festival


PRESS RELEASE Thursday, September 1, 2011

US dance academy performs at Takitimu Festival

An international dance company dedicated to African-American traditions will give New Zealand audiences a sneak preview of its latest production, ahead of its US viewers, at the Takitimu Festival in Hawke’s Bay this month.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is based in Colorado and is a cross-cultural, dance arts and educational institution and it will make its New Zealand debut at the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings during the five-day festival.

The group’s Kiwi connection came a few years ago when it hosted teachers from the Hastings-based Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre at its International Summer Dance Institute.

Director of Operations Mary Hart says the group is thrilled about its first New Zealand tour.

“The Ensemble has toured internationally in years past but the political and economic circumstances in recent years have made that more difficult, needless to say we are delighted to be back on the international stage.”

The group was also the first American company to be invited to perform at the Takitimu Festival.

“Not only will we have the opportunity to share our company's signature work, Raindance, but also we are giving people the very first look at a new choreographic work by Cleo Parker Robinson called Dreamcatchers, The Untold Stories of the Americas.

“Our New Zealand audience will see excerpts of this new work, even before our US audiences. We have also been given the opportunity of collaborating with Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre to create a unique piece in celebration of the harvest season.

“We believe this is the first time such a unique, on-site, creation and performance will have ever taken place between our two cultures,” Hart said.

Raindance has been performed around the world in a range of settings from the open air of a Masai village in Africa to some of the most magnificent performance venues of Europe and the US.

“The piece was created for us 25 years ago and is a celebration of the universal connection of all peoples to the elements of earth, sky and rain,” Hart said.

Dreamcatchers, The Untold Stories of the Americas is a production which marks the unheard stories of indigenous, brown and black people in America.

It was created by the company’s founder, Cleo Parker Robinson, and aims to put some balance into the often misrepresented views in literature and film on the “true richness and diversity of the history of the Americas”.

Robinson will bring nine members of the group to New Zealand, they arrive on September 10 to begin their work with Kahurangi for their performance on September 18.

While in New Zealand, the group will offer workshops with the community and hopefully have time to “saturate ourselves in the beauty of the terrain and the culture of New Zealand and its varied peoples”.

“All of us with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance hold to the hope that this will be only the first step to building bridges of art and cultural education between the United States and New Zealand,” Hart said.

“We are proud to be ambassadors for that relationship and hope it will continue to become even more vital in years to come.”

EXTRA NOTES: Cleo Parker Robinson is the founder, artistic director and choreographer of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. She is a native of Denver and a graduate of the University of Denver, in the field of Dance, Education and Psychology.

She began teaching college level dance at 15 at the University of Colorado, taught dance throughout high school and started her own company by the time she graduated university. Robinson’s most influential mentors were Rita Berger, a former dancer with George Balanchine and soloist with the Metropolitan Opera, and the legendary choreographer and humanitarian Katherine Dunham. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is now 36 years old with its internationally renowned Ensemble, a year-round dance school, an in-school lecture/demonstration series, an international summer dance institute, a three-hundred seat theatre. It also has an outreach programme for youth in Denver to provide the arts as an alternative to gang activity, peer pressure and substance abuse

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland