Hero photograph
HDC Graduation group shot 2020
Photo by Darin Young photography

Celebrating Dance at Hagley

Naressa Gamble —

“Dancers performed with passion, virtuosity and camaraderie.”

2020 has been an unusual year to say the least. Dance students were lucky to be able to perform at the annual 'In Motion' Hagley Dance Showcase at Christchurch Girls' High on October 28th, with most of the rest of the world still in lock down. It was our first year performing at this venue due to the demolition of the beautiful Open Stage. We had over 70 performers from Year 11, 12, and 13 NCEA Dance, Hagley Dance Company, Theatre Company and Hagley After 3 dancers. It truly was a wonderful celebration and the culmination of a year of challenges and hard work by all. The dancers performed with passion, virtuosity, and camaraderie. We wish the graduating Year 13 dance students all the very best for their future endeavors.

A special mention and thank you to Laura Currie who took over the reins of the Dance department in late August due to Naressa injuring her leg. Thank you for your support and vitality you have brought to the Dance department, Laura.

The Hagley Dance Company’s annual ‘Insitu Project’ was postponed in April due to Covid and was redeveloped for the Company’s graduation show on 17th November. For the first time ever, we took the graduation show outdoors! This year we were fortunate to be offered the wonderful outdoor spaces at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora as a venue for free (thank you Arts Centre). This allowed for opportunities to activate creative movement in the beautiful spaces.

The Company of 2020 were Jana Correa, Laura Giffels, Phoebe Hazard, Kyla Higgins, Tiana MacDonald, Aubrey Uri, and Jenna Wadsworth, who can be congratulated for their resilience this year. They performed with a beautiful sense of joy and generosity towards the audience. Tiana and Laura both auditioned for the UNITEC Performing Arts degree majoring in Contemporary dance. Laura received the top of the course and Jana was the most improved.

It is with great sadness that we farewell Fleur de Thier as the Artistic Advisor for the Hagley Dance Company this year. Fleur has been advising since Sheryl Robinson established the Company 21 years ago and has been a valued and respected member of the team. This year's graduation show was a humble farewell to the Hagley Dance Company as we know it and to Fleur's advisor role. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Fleur for her inspiration, support, and generosity over the years.

However, this will not be the last we will see of Fleur. She will still be a regular invited specialist guest tutor on the Hagley dance programmes, and we are excited to launch the redeveloped Hagley Dance Project for 2021. Applications are still open. Please email: naressa.gamble@staff.hagley.school.nz

or apply here: https://www.hagley.school.nz/enrolment-form-hagley-theatre-and-dance-company/

Insitu Project Photo Credit: Darin Young photography