Double success for dance in AMP's Do Your Thing Scholarship programme
Since 1998, AMP have been helping Kiwis do great things! With more than $2 million awarded across the country, 130 plus Kiwis have been able to do outstanding things in their fields. This year dance has had double success in the AMP Do Your Thing scholarship scheme.
Tanemahuta Gray, Peoples Choice winner
The People’s Choice Scholarship is awarded to one applicant selected by AMP Judging Panel from the five applicants who received the most votes from members of the New Zealand public. Tane is the very first AMP’s People's Choice scholarship for a dance project and first recipient of Maori descent.
The $10,000 from this scholarship will be used towards his next show, "Tiki Taane Mahuta".
Tanemahuta says, "This project is to create bi-cultural, aerial dance-theatre productions to be staged in NZ and overseas. Tiki Taane Mahuta combines “a strong narrative with a dynamic fusion of Māori martial arts, contemporary dance, hip hop & aerial theatre to the music of Tiki Taane."
Tane will build the full length version of Tiki Taane Mahuta to be staged at the Isaac Theatre Royal from May 7-9, through his new dance theatre company “Aotearoa Aerial Theatre Company”. Tanemahuta is a highly respected dance artist and practitioner in the NZ dance industry and his expertise in Mau Raakau and Kapa Haka in combination with the introduction of hip hop, a genre that is fast growing in popularity in Aotearoa, will provide a unique movement voice in NZ. To present the first season of this work in Christchurch, where Tiki Taane grew up brings a top quality and fresh performance production for the newly rebuilt Isaac Theatre Royal, providing local audiences, who have had limited opportunities to see new works due to venue closures since the earthquake. This is the first major work undertaken by Tanemahuta to be presented in Christchurch since his production of Maui – One Man Against the Gods in 2006 and no doubt there will be many people in the arts arena interested to see his next major work.
Tane is also one of DANZ’s LEOTC tutors providing workshops to schools in Maori contemporary dance. See more.
Olivia Russell - Advicefirst Canterbury regional recipient
Olivia is using the $5000 scholarship to help set up Dance Outreach NZ. Dance Outreach is a semi-professional dance company that will be taking dance to rest homes and the elderly, to fundraisers for the Christchurch rebuild and the community. 200 applicants were shortlisted down to eight, with Olivia winning for her passion, focus and ability to engage with the community.
Olivia's goal is to create a touring company that is focused on performing works infused with emotive narratives to those whom would otherwise not have access.
Olivia says, "Dance Outreach NZ is a dance company for the community. It's primary objective is to create a touring company focused on performing works, infused with emotive narratives that are culturally diverse enough to cross international barriers."
Dance Outreach NZ will provide talented NZ dancers with local employment and apprenticeships and perform for those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience the art form, such as the elderly, disadvantaged, the hospitalised, imprisoned, and the full spectrum of school students. Access to classes and scholarships for further training will also be available.
"Dance can be used as a vehicle for hope, an expression of living life to its fullest, an extension of love and an opportunity to bring communities together. We will not rest until we see this opportunity made possible for everyone to experience . The mentors I have chosen have between them a seemingly limitless experience with dance in the communities of the world, and know how to reach an audience in a relational and approachable way," says Olivia.