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Student touring with acclaimed dance company

Press Release – Whitireia

Whitireia Performing Arts student Nazerene Paea will perform today with New Zealand/Samoa choreographer Lemi Ponifasios dance company, MAU, at a UNESCO event in Paris to mark International Dance Day 2016.International Dance Day: Student touring with acclaimed dance company
Whitireia Performing Arts student Nazerene Paea will perform today with New Zealand/Samoa choreographer Lemi Ponifasio’s dance company, MAU, at a UNESCO event in Paris to mark International Dance Day 2016.

Nazerene, who is in her third and final year of the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Performing Arts) programme at the Whitireia Performance Centre in Wellington, was selected by Ponifasio himself to join MAU on the group’s current tour of Europe. Whitireia Performing Arts students are expected to develop an extensive knowledge of genres and artistic endeavour in Māori, Samoa, Cook Islands and New Zealand contemporary dance. Performance and international touring are significant parts of the programme, and the experience provides Nazerene with a wonderful opportunity for applied learning. Indeed, this is yet another example of industry engagement and work-integrated learning that gives students at Whitireia a true taste of experiencing life in their chosen industry.

The tour was timed to coincide with the event in Paris, after UNESCO chose Ponifasio to be the official author of this year’s International Dance Day message, putting him in the company of such dance luminaries as Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, Maurice Bejart, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

Established in 1982, International Dance Day is promoted by the International Dance Council (CID) and is aimed at attracting attention to the art of dance. The official message for International Dance Day is sent to over 100,000 dance professionals in 200 countries and is translated into dozens of languages.

‘The UNESCO event is also chance to celebrate the amazing work of MAU,’ Nazerene noted prior to leaving. ‘We will be conducting the welcome and will hold a 30-minute performance at the end of the ceremony.’

The company will then head to St. Poelten, Austria, where they will workshop the new work ‘Hine Nui te Po’ and attend performances as guests during the Vienna Festival. From there, they travel to Hannover, Germany, where they will be part of an installation inside Marienburg Castle and perform outdoors at the Herrenhausen Gardens.

International Dance Day Message 2016

Karakia

touch the cosmos

the source of our divinity

illuminating

the face of the ancestors

so we can see our children

woven above

beside below

unite all within

our flesh and bones

and memory

the Earth is turning

humans in mass migration

turtles gather in silent preparation

the heart is injured

make dance

a movement of love

a movement of justice

the light of truth

– Lemi Ponifasio

ENDS

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