Auckland Arts Festival: Virtuosi: A dance documentary

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Virtuosi is a feature-length documentary by Sydney-based Kiwi filmmaker and choreographer Sue Healey that is showing at film and arts festivals around the world. It makes a welcome appearance here as part of Auckland Arts Festival and runs until tomorrow night at Q Loft.

The film's focus is on eight New Zealand dance artists who for the past decade or two (or even three) have made their careers overseas with regular forays home to teach and choreograph: Jeremy Nelson in London, New York and Copenhagen; Lisa Densem in Berlin; Mark Baldwin in Sydney and London; Claire O'Neil in Brussels; Craig Bary and Sarah-Jayne Howard in various Australian cities; Ross McCormack in Adelaide and Brussels; and Raewyn Hill in Hong Kong, Paris and Townsville.

The film explores their relationships to dance - the reasons for it being an essential part of their lives, the aspects they are most passionate about, and which give them the most satisfaction and delight, and their philosophies about embodiment, performance and virtuosity.

Each dancer speaks openly to camera, generously sharing much of themselves and their responses to the topics broached by the invisible interviewer.

Each person displays some of the New Zealand objects which mean the most to them, and a favourite room in their homes, and each muses on the ways in which New Zealand has influenced their development as an artist and person.

The most exquisite footage is the extraordinarily eloquent sequences of each of them dancing a solo in the city (or cities) where they live now, with beautiful music by Australia-based Kiwi musician Mike Nock.

A three-channel format for gallery installation is available and it would be great to see this version in an Auckland gallery later this year.

Review

What: Virtuosi: A dance documentary.
Where: Q Loft 20-22 March, 6.30pm.

- NZ Herald

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