Creative New Zealand releases contemporary dance strategy

10 May 2002, New Zealand

Creative New Zealand recently launched Moving to the Future: Ngä Whakanekeneke atu ki te Ao o Apöpö, its strategy for professional contemporary dance, part of the broader ‘Future Strategies’ policy initiative.

According to a news release from Creative NZ, the most recent strategy is illustrative of the views of the professional dance sector, with staff working for the past 18 months with representatives of the dance profession on the strategy's development. This practice has aided the formation of a strategy aimed at encouraging the artforms long-term growth and development, as a segment of Future Strengths: a vibrant and sustainable professional arts infrastructure in New Zealand.

Moving to the Future focuses on strengthening the creative development and professional practice of individual dancers and choreographers, while making more visible the contribution of Mäori contemporary dance within the sector. The preservation of existing, and development of new, audiences for NZ-made professional contemporary dance is also a key objective of the strategy, highlighting structures for the growth, promotion and presentation of professional contemporary dance nationwide.

Meanwhile, Creative NZ’s Arts Board is also tendering for a feasibility study to investigate the concept of a national ‘dance house’. The independent study will examine issues raised by the sector regarding administration, production, marketing and touring support, while exploring the space and resources required for dedicated choreographic research and development.

Creative NZ believes that it is vital that the future of New Zealand’s dance sector remains secure and strong. The organisation’s CEO, Elizabeth Kerr, noted that contemporary dance has played a pivotal role in showing how the cultures of her nation can work together. 'Our dance practitioners have provided us with a wealth of original work which is now embedded in our culture, and many of New Zealand’s talented choreographers have put our unique style of contemporary dance on the international stage,’ she affirmed.

Moving to the Future: Ngä Whakanekeneke atu ki te Ao o Apöpö also includes individual written perspectives on contemporary dance in New Zealand by six practitioners: Douglas Wright, Lemi Ponifasio, Stephen Bradshaw, Tina Hong, Sean Curham and Helen Winchester.

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