Issued 24 March 2014
For Immediate Release

For more information,
please contact:
Bridget de Launay / de Launay Enterprises

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The New Zealand Dance Company brings their exquisite choreography, dancers and design direct to the heartland in a tour de force this April and May. Launching in Invercargill at the Southland Festival on April 29, the Language of Living 2014 National Tour will then head north with one night only performances in Christchurch, Nelson, New Plymouth and Tauranga.

Language of Living is the realisation of company founder and Artistic Director Shona McCullagh’s vision to create new connections to dance. As Head Choreographer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup’s Opening Ceremony McCullagh witnessed the amazing national and international response to the spectacle that celebrated New Zealand’s creativity.

This passion for creative endeavour saw The New Zealand Dance Company founded in 2011, which has quickly established a formidable reputation for cutting-edge choreography, a commitment to high production values and dancers of fierce physicality. The company’s vision is to attract new audiences to dance by demystifying the art form and fostering partnerships with other creative practitioners in fresh and inventive collaborations.

One of the most inspirational North Island dance tours of last year, Language of Living is a diverse programme of five exquisite, earthy, witty and beautiful works by five New Zealand choreographers. In Language of Living, audiences can expect a state of the art, uniquely integrated sound and lighting experience, along with acelebration of the different cultures within the company. “It’s the diversity of styles, genre, and design approach that makes this programme so accessible. I guarantee that everyone will discover a unique and personal connection to something unexpected within the evening’s programme,” says McCullagh.

Described by 2013 reviewers as “a total triumph for all concerned….with dancers at the top of their game”, the 2014 programme premieres a brand new work by NZDC dancer Tupua Tigafua set to music by Samoan singer Sekai Mailata and Vivaldi, in addition to established ‘superstar’ of New Zealand dance Michael Parmenter sharing the billing with Arts Laureate McCullagh, Sarah Foster-Sproull and company dancer Justin Haiu.

Creative alchemy is brought to life in Language of Living through a visual feast of stunning costume, video, light and set design created by Andreas Mikellis, Gerbrand van Melle, Matthew Marshall and Sue Gallagher respectively. The rich sound design of the show includes compositions by Arts Laureate Gareth Farr, Eden Mulholland (ex Motocade), CPE Bach and South Auckland’s The Electric Boutique. The New Zealand Dance Company’s 2013 tour of the North Island played to capacity houses.

On their recent first international outing at the prestigious Holland Dance Festival, The New Zealand Dance Company received acclaim for their performances. While the Dutch press praised the rhythmic passion of thedancers, and particularly noted the theatricality of the company, the international audiences responded with standing ovations at every show.

“It’s great to be on the international stage, celebrated by European arts festival fans. But we are equally excited to be bringing our work to new audiences on our home turf and connecting with local young dancers through our Youth Engagement Programme known as YEP! In Tauranga and New Plymouth some of the region’s most talented young dancers will share the stage with us in company dancer Justin Haiu’s work, Release Your Robot, and we are holding YEP! workshops in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Te Puke, Hamilton, Tauranga and Auckland” says McCullagh.

The New Zealand Language of Living National Tour is presented by Westpac, with core funding from Creative New Zealand and sustaining support from ASB Community Trust.

Tickets on sale nationally from March 25.
Full venue and ticketing information is available at www.nzdc.org.nz

Company members are available for interview and high res imagery is available upon request.

Media Contact:
Bridget de Launay / de Launay Enterprises
Email: [email protected]
Ph: (09) 361-6600 / Mobile: 021-630-622


‘A platinum performance, sophisticated, innovative, polished and professional, and with cutting edge creativity.’ ‘Stunning works – diverse, delightful, relevant and revealing – are shown to perfection in a fascinating, all encompassing set with extraordinary lighting and a feast of music.’ New Zealand Herald

‘The combination of movement, sounds, lighting and graphics made an absolute impact, and the crowd was certainly swept away by the lush performances.’ stuff.co.nz

‘A celebration of flashy contemporary multimedia, oldschool elegance and all-out dancing. The production excelled in all aspects – stunning offbeat costumes ;remarkable lighting, audiovisual and technology ;an impressive set; New Zealand music at its best. The works were neither confronting nor experimental; rather, they were accessible, fulfilling the NZDC’s mandate to bring the considerable talent of contemporary dance to the centre stage and engage with a wider audience.’ The Listener


Arts Laureate Michael Parmenter’s duet Tenerezza works on the premise that no movement occurs without initiation by the other, beautifully danced by Carl Tolentino and Justin Haiu, with music by CPE Bach.

Release your Robot is choreographed and danced by So You Think You Can Dance star Justin Haiu. Inspired by the street dance movement known as robot and liquiding, the solo is about a robot who seeks higher truth and features an original score by South Auckland trio The Electric Boutique. In New Plymouth and Tauranga Justin is joined by the NZDC Youth Companies from those areas.

‘An electrifying meeting of street and contemporary dance, Haiu created a dreamlike dance which morphed into a vision of disco heaven.’ National Business Review

Shona McCullagh’s Trees, Birds then People is a group work set to Gareth Farr’s Mondo Rondo. This playful work is inspired by New Zealand’s unique bird life and explores shifting hierarchy in relationships.

‘All McCullagh’s zany wit and wickedness leaps to life in Trees, Birds then People featuring a cacophony of noisy natives in Gareth Farr’s Mondo Rondo…Tigafua’s indignant bird is hilarious.’ The New Zealand Herald

Human Human God, by Sarah Foster-Sproull, is a poignant and comical piece about Generation Y by a Generation X-er and features an original music score by Motorcade’s Eden Mulholland.

‘Operatic in scope… full of inventive and evocative sequences with marvellous sculptural tableaux with a small group of dancers using their bodies to create shapes and patterns which expressed personal and collective turmoil.’ National Business Review

Dreamy McFloat is a brand new piece devised by the creative vision of Samoan company member Tupua Tigafua infused with his hallmark physicality and rhythm. Inspired by a Shel Silverstein poem,Dreamy McFloat marks Tupua’s choreographic debut for The New Zealand Dance Company and features an all female cast.


Civic Theatre
Tuesday, April 29 @ 7.30pm
Bookings: www.ticketdirect.co.nz

Aurora Centre, Burnside College
Saturday, May 3 @ 7.30pm
Bookings: www.ticketek.co.nz

Theatre Royal
Thursday, May 8 @ 7.30pm
Bookings: www.ticketdirect.co.nz

New Plymouth
TSB Showplace
Wednesday, May 14 @ 7.30pm
Bookings: www.ticketmaster.co.nz

Baycourt Community & Arts Centre
Wednesday, May 21 @ 7.30pm
Bookings: www.ticketek.co.nz


A Reserve: $49 / $39 concession
B Reserve: $39 / $29 concession
C Reserve: $29 / $19 concession

A Reserve: $49 / $39 concession
C Reserve: $29 / $19 concession

Concessions apply to: senior citizens; community services card holders; the unwaged; children 14 years and under accompanied by adult ticket purchase; full time students; Actors Equity and DANZ members; and groups of 8 or more. Proof of concession must be provided.

Booking and/or other service fees may apply.


As part of the Language of Living 2014 National Tour, the company is also offering a dedicated schools matinee in Nelson and student priced tickets are available for the evening performances in New Plymouth and Tauranga.

NZDC is committed to its Youth Engagement strategy vision: ‘The New Zealand Dance Company has a leadership youth engagement role, creating access and mentoring for young people to get hooked into dance. The art form and society are fortified by inspiring the values of courage, enthusiasm, independence and contribution.’

In New Plymouth and Tauranga talented local dancers will share the stage with the company. NZDC has created a benchmark NCEA resource around the work Trees, Birds then People and workshops and school performances at primary, intermediate and secondary level are also available throughout the country including Auckland.


To book schools performances or workshops please contact [email protected]

NELSON (Matinee performance)
Theatre Royal, Thursday May 8 (60 mins)
Teachers/Students $12

NEW PLYMOUTH (Evening performance)
TSB Showplace, Wednesday, May 14, 7.30pm (90 mins)
Teachers/Students $15

TAURANGA (Evening performance)
Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, Wednesday, May 21, 7.30pm (90mins)
Teachers/Students $15

For more information on The New Zealand Dance Company, visit http://nzdc.org.nz or http://www.facebook.com/nzdanceco.