FireDance: The Show Where Ireland Meets The Islands
FireDance is different to anything else seen in New Zealand. It brings diverse and geographically distant cultures together, presenting an ethos of cultural cohesiveness through dance that is inspirational to a multicultural country like New Zealand.
Auckland’s Aotea Centre was mesmerized last night with FireDance a show presenting some of New Zealand’s best classical, traditional, modern, and cultural dancers in New Zealand.
FireDance introduces by degrees elements of culture to spacious artistic interpretation. As the performance progresses it draws from divergence to successfully display a union between classical ballet, Irish dance, modern jazz, hip hop, the power of Kapahaka, richness of Pacific Islands dance, and ethereal limits of gospel… all building toward one breathtaking finale.
Starring a cast of 140 world-class dancers, FireDance on many levels, not the least sheer enjoyment, is a show not to be missed.
Throughout the performance the dancers had the Aotea Centre opening night audience tapping and clapping to ancient rhythms in a timing and precision showcase of international standard. FireDance’s Irish hard shoe dancers were spectacular – led by Irish Dance troupe is Principal dancer Adrian Murphy and Emma Tennet.
Adrian Murphy was born in Kilkenny Ireland and has been dancing since four years-of-age. He is now based in New Zealand where he teaches dance with the Irish Dance Club Inc to over 100 students. Adrian has taught, choreographed, and performed dance in Ireland, Europe, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Emma Tennet has been dancing also since the age of four. She has mastered various dance styles, including classical ballet, modern and American jazz, ballroom and Irish dancing. Emma is a junior associate of the New Zealand School of Dance.
FireDance’s soft-shoe dancers brought grace to the performance, drawing huge applause for their classical Ballet repertoire and brow-raising hip hop renditions, and modern jazz routines to Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust, and a marvelous solo to The Show Must Go On.
Te Kapahaka O Waipapa made one proud to be from Aotearoa New Zealand. The power of this Kapahaka performance on its own was reward enough, but when brought together with the Irish hard shoe dancers in one brilliantly choreographed routine – it was synchronicity to raw rhythm at its best.
Interwoven within this Kapahaka performance emerged a highlight. OLIVIA TENNET is a star of this FireDance show. She weaves a fiery when-young-meets-the-ancient theme with brilliant technique, energy and character.
The promoters wrote: “When Liv is not acting or at school she can usually be found dancing because acting and dancing are Liv’s greatest passions in life. Liv has been dancing since she was four years old and enjoys classes in tap, ballet, jazz and hip-hop.” All this and more is to the fore in Liv’s performance. Brilliant talent.
FireDance is showing at the Aotea Centre with shows today, Thursday November 13 through to Sunday evening November 16.
About The Cast:
TE KAPAHAKA O WAIPAPA
Founded in the 1970’s the University of Auckland Kapahaka group was initiated by the Maori students of the time with the intention of providing a support network for cultural and academic pursuits. Today this legacy lives on. Te Kapahaka O Waipapa encourages and supports Maori students in their pursuit of higher learning within mainstream education, and believes in fostering the nature of creativity and innovation found within Maori performance art. This was reflected in their performances in the ‘Feet of Fire’ production choreographed by a gifted team led by their tutors Valance Smith and Parehuia Nepe. Te Kapahaka O Waipapa hope that ‘FireDance The Show’ will pay tribute to their supporters, and realize the dreams of those early visionaries
Marian Burns leads FireDance The Show Band – The Band is made up of hand picked musicians from all over the world. The Band features two fiddle players, sax player, flute player, tin whistle player, bodhran player, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboardist. The combination rocked the Aotea Centre.
MT EDEN BALLET ACADEMY has been directed by Heather and Melinda Palmer for 15yrs and is based at the Auckland College of Education in Epsom. The School teaches RAD ballet, NZAMD contemporary, jazz and tap and AJDA jazz MEBA puts on a show at the end of Nov each year with 5 performances and are also regular performers at Celebration of Performing Arts, Shake A Leg, Howick in the Park and others. Heidi Martin (Ballet soloist) has just been accepted into the prestigious Australian Ballet School in Melbourne.
VICTORIA PHILLIPS ACADEMY OF JAZZ
Corrine established the Victoria Phillips Academy in 1998. the St Johns studio is home to over 500 students who learn American Jazz and Hip Hop. Students from the Victoria Phillips Academy have consistently achieved some of the top American Jazz examination results nationally.
PACIFIC TAMURE Carrying on the ancient dance of the Cook Islands handed down from our forefathers from generation to generation, from the beating of the drums to the slow rhythmic movements of our truly experienced drummers and dancers with a passion to share their musical rhythm of the Cook Islands.
AUCKLAND PACIFIC GOSPEL CHOIR
New Zealand’s first and only professional Polynesian Choir. Under the leadership and management of Ben Taule'ale'ausumai and the music direction of Wilmasen Jensen, the Choir has grown and developed in its sound, repertoire and image. The Choir has been blessed in its development with the contribution and commitment of many talented people. The Choir has now become popular amongst its many audiences for it’s unique rich “Pacificness”.