2 and a half days of diverse genre, culture, dance and movement workshops with exciting and skilled professional tutors. Enjoy dance films, panel discussions and performances while connecting and sharing with mature movers from all across New Zealand and Australia. Our kaupapa for 2023 is around building and developing ongoing opportunities to take back to your communities.
Meet the Tutors
Keep your eye out for more tutors as they join our team.
Mary Jane O'Reilly
Masterclass Tutor, Ballet & Burlesque
Mary Jane O'Reilly has had a professional career spanning over 40 years both in New Zealand and internationally. She has received numerous grants and awards including the $30,000 Allen Highet Award (1984) for outstanding achievement by a mid-career artist and was awarded a Queens Service Medal for her services to dance in 1990. She was a co-founder, dancer, teacher and choreographer with the Limbs Dance Company (1977 – 86) and held the position of Artistic Director from 1979 to 1986. Her choreography of the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (1990) involved a cast of 6000 amateur performers and was viewed by over 500 million TV audiences worldwide. It was also in 1990 that she choreographed the 3 act 'Jean Batten' ballet about our most famous aviatrix for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. From 1996 to 2001 she directed the Auckland Dance Company, culminating in an outdoor event in Gisborne for the Millennium Dawn event with Kiri Te Kanawa January 1st 2000 and a Limbs Retrospective show in 2001. From 2001 – 2004 she was a founder and lecturer for the Dance Programme at the University of Auckland. As Artistic Director of Tempo, New Zealand's Festival of Dance, she was instrumental in building Tempo Festival into a substantial recognised event - creating and overseeing five dance festivals from 2007 - 11 Currently she teaches ballet to adults, is the ambassador for the NZ Royal Academy of Dance’s Silver Swans for the older learner and was commissioned in 2021 to create a contemporary ballet version of Giselle Act 2 – Ballet Noir for the Auckland Elemental Festival. MaryJane and Phil have recently re-created their burlesque/cabaret show In Flagrante as Mouthfeel with whisky tasting and an MC - to be performed at the Auckland Cabaret Season at the Civic Wintergarden 21,22,24 September 2022. CLASS INFO: - Ballet Basics - a class for people new to ballet or revisiting after a long time away. Focussing on dancing and musicality - Open Ballet - a class for people familiar with ballet to a certain extent. A spirited but easy, very dancey / musical class, reminding us of the lovely aspects of this form - Cabaret/burlesque - drawing from the saucy, provocative choreographic vocabulary of MJ's In Flagrante, this is a class offering a soft jazz dance style class as a basis, with her ironic approach and wry, edgy humour at the forefront.
Fleur de Thier
Site Specific Tutor
Fleur has been working professionally in the dance industry for the last 29 years. She trained for three years full-time at Auckland Performing Arts School (now Unitec) graduating in 1991. Fleur worked as a freelance dancer in Auckland before returning to base herself in Christchurch in 1993. Fleur is an established New Zealand choreographer and has had works featured nationally in Arts Festivals throughout the last decade. Fleur is known for her diversity and connections with many different companies including Jolt Dance Theatre, Rebound, Southern Lights Dance Company, Unitec, Footnote and Hagley Dance Company. Fleur has most recently been exploring collaborations with visual artists presenting works with sculptor Robyn Webster and Puppet Maker Simon van den Sluijs. CLASS INFO: Fleur will lead a choreophic session that will result in a piece being created and performed on the final night. The focus will be on site specific exploration so dancers will be working outside in various locations. Dancers participating need to feel comfortable about making a piece quickly to perform, and will need to be available both working days of Seasoned. Those just wanting to observe the process are more than welcome.
Dance Exercise Tutor
Jan is a performer, choreographer and director of Wellington’s popular 45-strong dance company for mature women, Crows Feet Dance Collective. She has created more than 25 works for Crows Feet over 20 years. The Collective has performed at events all around the country. Their latest production The Witch Project was staged in 2019 at Te Papa, the Globe Theatre, Palmerston North and Nga Purapura in Otaki. As a Fulbright scholar Jan studied cross-cultural dance in the States, and this led to three seminal bicultural dance theatre works, Wahine Toa, Takitoru and Sing Whale! He Apakura Tohora that she co-created in the 1990s with Keri Kaa and Sunny Amey. Takitoru won a Chapman Tripp Theatre Award in 1995. After experiencing breast cancer in 1998, Jan began writing plays.. Her solo play Here’s Hilda was nominated for a Chapman Tripp Theatre Award in 2006. In March 2018 at the Dunedin Fringe Festival Jan premiered Once Upon a Dance co-written with Mona Williams, a Guianese professional storyteller and dancer. In August 2019 Jan presented her popular solo play about her grandfather in WW1, Bill Massey’s Tourists as part of Tahi, the inaugural Festival of Solo Performance at BATS. In November 2019 Jan premiered her latest play, Welcome to the Death Cafe at BATS theatre, Wellington. CLASS INFO: Jan will lead a dance exercise class she created in partnership with a physiotherapist. The session includes warm-up/down pilates-based floor exercises and some simple dances which emphasize balance, strength flexibility and spatial awareness. Dancers need to be able to work on the floor. Gym shoes are worn and yoga mats will be provided.
Stretch and Release Tutor
Mana has enjoyed learning Tai Qi, Pilates and Yoga to the point of being able to teach. Her background is in youth work, community development and more recently Chinese medicine. She has worked teaching at Pioneer Stadium and Taiora QE2 for many years. CLASS INFO: Her class is focused on functional stretching using points of tension to open and access the core muscles (in this instance core means the muscles closest to the bones and joints). Moving through to using the breath to create the stretch.
Contemporary Dance Tutor
Ekaitz began his dance education at the Conservatory of Vitoria in his hometown in Spain. He then completed his training at the London Studio Centre in England, receiving a Diploma in Dance Performance. Ekaitz has had a long and successful career in dance including engagements with Gavina Ballet (Barcelona, Spain), the European Ballet (London, England), Santamaria Compania de Danza (Madrid, Spain), Halberstadt City Theatre (Germany) and Ballet Pforzheim (Germany). He has also produced several successful choreographies for Ballet Pforzheim. Since moving to Aotearoa in 2009, Ekaitz has been teaching dance in Ōtautahi. CLASS INFO: The class will consist on a few short combinations that will explore the use of momentum and different movement dynamics as well as the use of different body parts as instigators of movement. Intermediate/advanced level.
Physical Theatre & Viewpoints
Annie is a director, actor and teacher. She was Director of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, 1997-2011. In 2011 she was honoured for her work in drama with Membership of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM). Annie is a dancer and actor with Crows Feet Community Dance Company. In 2017 she directed Taking the High Ground by Jan Bolwell and in 2019 appeared in Welcome to the Death Cafe at BATS. In COVID disrupted 2020, she and Jan created a screen version called The Euthanasia Debate under the auspices of Bats Theatre. She also appeared in Circa’s The Older the Better with ‘The Many Ages of Annie Ruth’ 2020 and in 2022 as an actor in The Burrowers with Knot Theatre at Bats. Current work: Dancer in Requiem with Jan Bolwell’s Crows Feet. Dancer in Show Ponies, Verb Festival, Wgtn. Director of Jan Bolwell’s solo work Silent Spring Revisited. Actor, writer and producer of The Book Addict, New Athenaeum, Dunedin Fringe 2022, Bats 2022 with further venues planned for 2023. CLASS INFO: Brief Description of Viewpoints for Seasoned Dance The workshop will introduce Viewpoints as an approach to working choreographically in creating work. Annie Ruth studied Viewpoints in America with their creator, Anne Bogart, (American director and playwright) and they have become a major part of her directorial approach. Bogart drew on the work of dance choreographer, Mary Overlie, using Viewpoints as a way of both training performers and creating movement and space on stage. They are points of awareness that a creator has while working. They are a way of paying attention to what happens in the world and using that understanding to enable performance.
Kerry-Ann Stanton, a dance ‘aficionado’ of long standing, dancing for personal re-creation since birth and keen audience forever. Committed to creating safe, joyful and intentional space for movement exploration. A Registered Open Floor Dance Teacher, since 2012 Kerry-Ann has led seniors creative contemporary dance classes; Dancing Doyennes, Sit Walk Dance and InSpirited Aging. Post-Graduate of the Creative & Performing Arts - Dance Studies, Auckland University and a practising Funeral Celebrant and Educator. DANCING DOYENNES - A Creative Contemporary Dance Class No previous dance experience necessary. Session will include a light warm up, creative activities and relaxed movement sequences before we ‘dance like no-one is watching’, warm down together and sit in relaxation. Dance your way into physical well-being and confidence in older age – fun, social and safe class!
Lacey Susan was born out of Rebound Dance Company’s 2012 show Table for 12. Based on a pair of white platform boots and built from the ground up, Lacey has evolved into a larger than life camp goddess – her words! - who regularly hosts drag events at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetū and is always somewhat humbled to be invited to perform at Christchurch Pride events. Lacey is an alternate persona of Christchurch contemporary dancer Andrew Shepherd. Despite - or perhaps because of - a late start in dance (his first formal dance class was at the age of 21) throughout the years Andrew has eagerly embraced the opportunity to work on multiple projects with local contemporary dancers Fleur de Thier and the late Sheryl Robinson, and even worked at Southern Ballet for a period of 3 years. A founding member of Rebound Dance Company, Andrew stepped back in 2022 to pursue individual projects, but was honoured to perform alongside the company in two of Fleur’s projects during that year. Over 30 years into his ‘career’ as a passionate amateur, Andrew continues to teach contemporary dance to adults as part or Hagley College’s After 3 programme. DRAG OUT YOUR TRUTH - CLASS INFO: How can a fictional character help you find your inner truth? Why does imposing limitations allow such freedom? Facilitated by Lacey Susan, Drag Out Your Truth will help you develop movement to celebrate your inner Diva, and explore the stories you never knew you needed to tell. Gentle contemporary improve exercises demonstrate how one Christchurch drag performer creates choreographic content designed to illustrate her internal narrative, and help her heal. Wear comfortable dance clothing, but feel free to bring along any item of clothing that will help to inspire your unique drag deity, wherever they may sit on the gender fabulous spectrum: king, queen, or fluid no-binary hero.
DETAILS TO BE CONFIRMED
DETAILS TO BE CONFIRMED