News Article

Students get artistic state of WW1 battle
By Sonya Bateson
In Bay of Plenty Times
Published on: 12 March 2015
Sunday Start Times
Photo credit: John Borren

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A group of dance students emulated World War I soldiers during a workshop with the New Zealand Dance company.

Tauranga Girls’ College student Pip Artus said she loved learning a dance from the New Zealand Dance Company’s show Rotunda, which will be performed at Baycourt tomorrow.

Pip, 17, was one of more than 40 students who took part in the workshop at the college yesterday and learned parts of the show which commemorates Gallipoli and the Anzac spirit.

The dance they learned mimicked a soldier on the field.

“I loved [yesterday’s] lesson. I did the workshop with them last year when they visited and they did it a bit differently this time around.

“It’s about performing dances they do and we can see them perform it at the matinee. We love seeing them dance the dances we’ve learned.”

Pip, the arts director at the college this year, said she had been dancing since she was 4, but had to give up private lessons when the workload got too much for her. This workshop gave her the opportunity to get lessons in a different dance style.

Gareth Okan, a dancer with the company, said the workshops synched in with one of the girls’ NCEA papers.

“We’re doing a tour of our latest show, Rotunda, and we’re doing this workshop alongside it.

Click here to see Tauranga Girls’ in action with the New Zealand Dance Company.

“We teach them a bit of repertoire from the show. This kind of stuff is great, when we get to see someone fully involved and enjoying the work. It’s really nice.”

Mr Okan said the company would also be teaching the workshop at Mount Maunganui College.

Caroline Gill, teacher in charge of dance at Tauranga Girls, said the students loved being able to work with the professional dancers.

“I think it’s great that New Zealand Dance Company offers these opportunities for our students. Some of our students will use this dance work for their NCEA assessments.”