Dancer steps it up for residency

Olivia O'Brien (fifth from left) has created her own dance work at The Arts Centre.
Olivia O'Brien (fifth from left) has created her own dance work at The Arts Centre.
A dancer who grew up in Rolleston created and choreographed her own work at Christchurch's iconic Arts Centre.

Olivia O’Brien, 21, trained at Sockburn's Garmonsway School of Dance and the Hagley Dance Company. She was the first to be selected for the 2019 DANZ Dance Residency.

The programme was delivered for the first time in the city by DANZ, in partnership with The Arts Centre and Movement Art Practice.

O’Brien said the residency, which finished last week, was a chance for her as a choreographer to grow and develop her skills as a dance artist.

“The residency has given me time and space to experiment with ideas and processes to see how I create as freelancer,” she said.

DANZ executive director Sheryl Lowe said The Arts Centre was an exciting place to host its third dance residency.

“We hope this residency will contribute to the reinvigoration of the arts and dance community in Christchurch and help to build on the wonderful progress already being made.”

In an exciting new collaboration between DANZ, The Arts Centre and Movement Art Practice, the residency was hosted over two weeks in Christchurch.

At the end of the residency, O’Brien presented the work she created and facilitated a workshop at The Arts Centre.

She is in her final year at Unitec, Auckland, and is studying for a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance).

“I am excited for the opportunity to return to my hometown, Christchurch, for this residency to develop my practice," she said.



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