Firefighters cut Dunedin dance doyenne Shona Dunlop
MacTavish from her car and ambulance officers assist the
92-year-old after her vehicle and another collided in North
Dunedin on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Shona Dunlop MacTavish, considered the mother of modern
dance in New Zealand, is in a serious but stable condition in
Dunedin Hospital after her car and another were in a collision
She was trapped in her vehicle for about an hour after the
collision at the intersection of Great King and Howe Sts
She received chest and hip injuries.
Shona Dunlop MacTavish
A 24-year-old Invercargill man in the other car was
Mrs Dunlop MacTavish's family feared the worst on Saturday
night, her daughter Terry MacTavish said yesterday, but by
yesterday her mother was "marvellously bright".
"It was a very terrible bash for a person of any age and mum
is 92. But she is a tough old bird . . . and is doing better
than the initial prognosis."
Mrs Dunlop MacTavish's ribs were fractured but she did not
require surgery, Ms MacTavish said.
"Today, she has been teasing us [her family] about being
worried about her. But she always surprises us.
"She is very courageous. She is a dancer, and dancers recover
Ms MacTavish said she suspected her mother would be doing
"high kicks for the nursing staff" as soon as she could.
Her mother had been on her way to help a sick friend when the
collision occurred, Ms MacTavish said.
She was conscious throughout as firefighters cut the roof off
her vehicle and ambulance officers and passersby helped her.
"She is very grateful to everyone who helped. She
particularly mentioned the nice young man who was holding her
Mrs Dunlop MacTavish opened the first modern dance studio in
New Zealand and is also a choreographer, pioneer in
liturgical dance, critic and author.
Born in Dunedin, she studied dance in Vienna as a teenager
and danced and taught with the Bodenwieser Ballet for a
decade until 1948.
She married missionary Donald MacTavish and worked alongside
him in China, Taiwan and South Africa before his sudden death
She returned to Dunedin with her three young children and has
lived here ever since.
Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken said it appeared Mrs Dunlop
MacTavish had pulled out of Howe St to cross Great King St
and was struck by a vehicle travelling north along Great King
No determination of charges could be made until police were
able to speak to her, he said.