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A Little Dance

And do the things/Ah, do the things/That we like to do

Performance: Colette Arnold, Rosey Feltham, Georgie Goater, Desmond Gul, Annabel Harrison, Ambrose!, Monisha Kumar, Mandy Leckie, Xiaohui Lu, Lucy Miles, Shannon Mutu, Janine Parkes, Tracey Purcell, Emily Rose, Christina Solomona, Tupua Tigafua.

Choreography: Simon Ellis with the performers

Audio Samples: KC and the Sunshine Band (“Get Down Tonight”), Hans Zimmer (“Air”, Sit Back and Relax”), and Benjamin Bitten (“Libera Me”)

Sound: Simon Ellis

Light: Brad Gledhill

Costume: Vicki Slow

Thanks: Chris Jannides and the Unitec PASA Staff, Chuck Jackson, Mark and Lucy Gibson, James Mellsop, Susan Peterson, Elaine and Rod Ellis-Pegler.

Choreographing work for dance students is a tricky prospect: I feel caught between wanting to explore specific ideas whilst at the same time ensuring that the dancers are given some physical and performative challenges. It is small tug of war between choreography and pedagogy. In A Little Dance the dancing is not so much an embodied and/or abstract expression of an idea, but simply another part of these young performers lives; dancing is the subject more than the medium. But it is the role of dancing in their lives that provoked memories of my beginnings as a dancer, in my late teens, studying Physical Education at Otago University. Dancing became another way of feeling good”, screeching into the air, throwing caution to the wind and beyond. I was confident, strong, and fearless, but also more than a little ignorant, and my unselfconscious yearning for pleasure has left a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

This work is for these 16 very special young men and women. They have embraced and smiled at my idiosyncrasies and fallibilities, and committed themselves to the (very short) process with enthusiasm, integrity, and strength. Thank you Colette, Rosey, Georgie, Des, Annabel, Ambrose, Monisha, Mandy, Xiaohui, Lucy, Shannon, Janine, Tracey, Emily, Christina and TJ — good luck to you all in carving out a place for yourselves as performance makers, dancers, artists, and people.

Première: 1 September 2005, Auckland New Zealand

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