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World Leading Dance Festival Launches Final Wave For 2020

Press Release – Tempo Dance Festival

Work: LungSong by Carol Brown (AUS) Tempo Dance Festival presents PUTIPUTI As part of Tempo #GoingDigital 2020 9 November – 5 December Tempo Dance Festival have always pushed boundaries as Aotearoas only professional dance festival, but 2020 has …

Work: LungSong by Carol Brown (AUS)

Tempo Dance Festival presents
As part of Tempo #GoingDigital 2020
9 November – 5 December

Tempo Dance Festival have always pushed boundaries as Aotearoa’s only professional dance festival, but 2020 has seen them become world leaders as the global pandemic took hold. Creating #GoingDigital to support artists and provide audiences with the same outstanding calibre of dance works from their homes, Tempo are proud to announce their third and final season – Putiputi, runs free and online from Monday 9 November – Saturday 5 December.

Tempo became the first arts festival in the world to offer a year-round programme entirely free of charge, as well as being an early adopter of the shift online as New Zealand’s first arts festival to go fully digital in response to COVID-19 on 4 May. Regardless of the immense challenges faced by the performing arts sector throughout 2020, Tempo has produced a world-class programme of digital dance works encompassing film, live-streamed performance, dance classes and workshops, archival screenings, book readings, online dance photography and painting exhibitions, artist interviews and dance documentary.

Artistic Director Cat Ruka says, “The kaupapa of putting on the digital festival this year and having it continue all year round was about keeping the home fires burning for dance communities at a particularly precarious time. We wanted to make sure that there was always a home base for artists to turn to and see themselves reflected in whilst in isolation, and we wanted to be reflective of the resilience and determination of our sector. What has come from this very simple intention of wanting to nurture community is a one-of-a-kind festival that will have platformed the digital works of 80 local and international dance artists.”

Since putting the call out to artists during the first lockdown, Ruka received 180 submissions from artists all over the world. Throughout the year, the festival programme has included the work of both local and international artists, ranging from recent graduate work through to work by artists who are well established. Featured artists range from ballet superstars Fredrick Davis (NY) and Loughlan Prior (NZ), to Limbs Dance Company national treasures Marianne Schultz (NY) and Douglas Wright (NZ), to disability dance pioneers Suzanne Cowan (NZ) and Sarah Houbolt (AUS). The third and final season, Putiputi, includes the work of Head of Victorian College of the Arts Carol Brown (AUS), Artistic Director of Performance Art Week Aotearoa Sara Cowdell (NZ), Queensland artists Courtney Scheu and Itamar Freed (AUS), and Melbourne-based Māori artists Irihipeti Waretini and Bella Waru (AUS).

The entire festival has been hosted across Tempo’s website and social media platforms, accessible entirely for free via devices. In addition to ensuring that all artists are paid, the Tempo team have enabled an ‘artist donation’ function on their website, so audiences can also make financial contributions of any size directly to the artist whilst their work is screening.

As part of Tempo #GoingDigital 2020
9 November – 5 December


Carol Brown (AUS) – LungSong
Dance video work
Established artist, contemporary dance
A 22 minute art-sci Screen Dance work shot at the National Weather & Atmospheric Research Institute in 2018. Through corporeal connectivity and weather science, three women – Maryam Bagheri Nesami, Neža Jamnikar & Emilia Rubio – express the urgencies of climate change justice and horizons of hope & despair through a feminist quest.

Kimi Young – Title TBC
Dance video work
Emerging artist, street & contemporary dance
Translating the stories, experiences, voices, and narratives of Chinese New Zealanders into choreographed stimuli, this video explores the racial impact of COVID-19 on this community.

Irihipeti Waretini and Bella Waru (AUS) – Bats, Moths & Centipedes: What we lose in the dark…
Dance video work
Emerging artists, contemporary dance
Three generations of Māori artists explore the natures, states and lessons of their experiences in Te Pö. Shot and produced throughout the first COVID-19 lockdown (March-May) in Narrm (Melbourne), offering insight into their shared home and culture, with differing perspectives, experiences, practices and stories.

Hijinx Youth Company – Little Black Boxes
Dance video work
Rangatahi, circus
Four films and accompanying Q&As, collecting the stories of primary school children during Auckland’s second COVID-19 lockdown, recounting their experiences and exploring the themes of connection and friendship.

Courtney Scheu and Itamar Freed (AUS) – Plastic Belly
Dance video work
Emerging artist, contemporary dance
Plastic Belly explores human connection, at a point in history when this topic is more relevant than ever. Recent experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic have traversed the emotional and mental impact of isolation, the fear of the unknown, and a deep desire for connection.

Sara Cowdell and Kyah Dove – Green Witches Stare
Dance video work
Emerging artist, performance art & experimental dance
A series of performance/dance activations of an embodied spell against the patriarchy, drawing on traditional ‘witch’ aesthetics in combination with uniquely New Zealand scenery to present a engaging dance meditation. In collaboration with editor Robyn Jordaan.

Inplay Dance Collective (AUS) – Sessions InPlay
Workshop Series
Emerging artist, contemporary dance
To survive the boredom of lockdown, they developed a Play Practice to help bring more vibrancy to the sameness of days spent in lockdown. In each practice (approx. 1hr), participants will immerse themselves in a guided exploration involving creative play with the body and at times, other mediums.

Each play is holistic in its approach and incorporates themes of wellbeing, awakening of senses, mindfulness and connecting to the world outside you.

Lucy Lynch and Holly Finch – What Kinda Music
Dance video work
Emerging artist, contemporary dance
‘What Kinda Music’ is a creative collaboration between Holly Finch, Lucy Lynch and videographer Alexandra Page.

Vito Prasasta Adipurwanto – By The Way… (Ngomong – Ngomong)
Dance video work
Emerging artist, contemporary dance, Indonesian
Created for Distance Parade in Indonesia, in response to COVID-19, using dance and animation to respond to trauma and stress.

Emma Murray (EUR) – A Live Encounter with my Archive
Live-streamed performance
Established artist, experimental dance
Developed during the Digital and Distanced Dance Potentialities Residency with MAP Ōtautahi in August 2020 in exchange with the critical theorist, Giulia Palladini. Exploring questions about how to perform a live co-operation between archival sources and the present, using an online annotation tool to write over or rewrite a rehearsal archive.

Cypris Afakasi (COVEN) – Metatronic Mu* (working title)
Dance video work
Emerging artist, Vogue
Exploring new understandings of the flower of life and sacred geometry through vogue movement (old way [lines], vogue femme[roundness])

Sarah Elsworth – Bones of Heart
Social media takeover
Mid-career artist
Showcasing a video dance work, created by a diverse collection of female artists in Goa, India who found solace through creative outlet during lockdown.

Olivia O’Brien – You are not a terrible person for choosing to protect yourself from things that you know might hurt you (working title)
Dance article/essay/journal
Emerging artist
Writing accompanied by stop motion dance clips focused on the idea of rest and recovery after traumatic experiences, acknowledging the feeling of guilt and new realisations of growth, development, and nourishment.

Jhawan Raika-Morgan – Nocturnal
Dance article/essay/journal
Emerging artist
Journal entry ideas of making a dance film developed during the lockdown, accompanied by photography.

Jareen Wee (AUS) – By the citrus tree
Dance article/essay/journal
Emerging artist
By the citrus tree is a whimsical collection of poems inspired by nature, love, the body, travels and time in isolation.

Tia Sagapolutele
Emerging artist, in Residency
Details of work to come

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