A Century of Dance in Aotearoa | Now is the Hour – 26/04/2016


Join us at Audio Foundation for a diverse screening of insightful dance films curated and introduced by Dr Marianne Schultz (DANZ Advisor) and presented in association with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. A historical survey compilation showcasing the history of dance in New Zealand will be screened alongside one full-length dance performance. These films will delight dance and general audiences during New Zealand Dance Week 2016.

A Century of Dance in Aotearoa (50min) considers the important role dance has playing in New Zealand’s film history. In 1896 the brilliantly hand-coloured film Serpentine Dance appeared at the first public screening of motion pictures in Wellington. This magical apparition of a spinning, solo dancer with enormous fabric wings, captivated audiences with its’ larger-than-life qualities of movement on screen. In 1901 a mass gathering of Māori assembled in Rotorua during the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to New Zealand. This event was filmed, allowing us to witness performances of haka and poi at the beginning of the twentieth century. This gathering provided a platform for tribes to come together to display the best of their performers. Modern dance and ballet also have been captured on film from the mid-twentieth century, and these films show the variety of forms and styles practiced in New Zealand from this time period.

Now is the Hour (55 min) shines a spotlight on a key archival dance performance fist performed at the St James Theatre in 1988, as part of the Festival of the Arts, Main Centres Tour. The production, choreographed by Douglas Wright, was highly praised by critics, with one describing it as “a dance work of momentous importance exemplifying the coming of age of contemporary dance in New Zealand” (Sunday Times, 6 March 1988, p. 9).

For more information, please see http://www.ngataonga.org.nz/blog/film/now-is-the-hour/

Tuesday 26 April @ Audio Foundation, doors 6.00pm
$5 on the door // no presales.