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Subtle Dances is the debut project from New Zealand’s newest dance company, BalletCollective Aotearoa, bringing together some of NZ's most exciting choreographers and classically trained dancers. For Subtle Dances, BalletCollective commissioned Cameron McMillan, Loughlan Prior and Sarah Knox to create new works, to be performed by some of the country’s leading dancers including Abigail Boyle, William Fitzgerald and Medhi Angot, alongside top new talent.
The added excitement of the work is that the music is not only played live, but that the musicians, NZTrio, are right on stage with the dancers, so that they become part of the piece, rather than the soundtrack in the pit. A NZTrio performance is like a chorography in itself, with three musicians so in synch with each other that their performances are as much a joy to watch, as they are to listen to.
The final component is the music itself, with NZTrio performing pieces by three of New Zealand’s leading contemporary composers – John Psathas, Claire Cowan and Rhian Sheehan (arranged for NZ Trio by Ryan Youens.
“We’re focussing on collaboration and seeing what comes out of that creativity.” The company is also about creating opportunities, especially in the current climate where travel is restricted, and the immediate impact this has on young dancers who would usually be seeking overseas placements to further their careers. Having a contemporary company based here in New Zealand also makes for an environment for senior dancers to share their skills.
Subtle Dances already has an intrinsic New Zealand voice, through its collective of choreographers, dancers, musicians and music – all the better for expressing our own uniqueness in the world.
Subtle Dances is premiering at Auckland Arts Festival before it comes to Dunedin.
Regent Theatre, April 16