Auckland but can expand to wider Auckland if needed.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am a pākēha choreographer with a background in ecology and costume/fashion design. The focus of my artistic practice is exploring the relationship between humans and the environment using interactive practices such as somatic sensing, guided experiences, instructional or storytelling, walking practices and dance for film.
Art work produced are usually site specific, outdoor performances on coastlines, in bush environs or on boats or in parks or city streets. I also create immersive theatre experiences with digital devices, costumes, props and performance. I consider my work to be intergenerational where participants are encouraged to work together using imagination, play and humour. Accessibility and multiple perspectives influence each project that respond to specific meanings of place depending on who participates. Therefore many concepts such as Whakapapa, Tikanga Māori entwined with art-science perspectives can emerge during investigations of this creative practice.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
After studying dance in Dunedin at Otago I have worked in Dunedin, London and Auckland. I have been creating work and teaching at a tertiary level since I returned to New Zealand from London in 2008 and returned to post-graduate studies. As well as making work in the community for local festivals, I am an experienced educator co-creating work with young people and taking workshops in dance and art making. Most recently I co-curated an art walking festival, as well as being one of the twelve artists. One video work was accepted for a digital dance festival 2020, and another was an instructional video at an Experimental dance symposium. My interactive theatre piece won best intergenerational performance at an Auckland Fringe festival.
I have performed extensively and shown my live work and published writing both locally and internationally.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
Alongside my creative practice, I have worked in a range of contexts as an artist and educator facilitating workshops and performance projects in the community. One series was developed with 8 to 10 year olds. My work has featured in festivals such as the Kids Arts festival, (ages 5 up) and I was a co-collaborator in a dance architecture project for ages 10 to 11. I also ran a dance school for kids in a community hall (ages 3 to 11). Although I am experienced working with primary aged children I am particularly interested in working with high school aged young people who are working in the performing arts curriculum to encourage the crossing of performance into the visual arts and environmental awareness into dance drama and performance and art making. I will use my experience of tertiary teaching to bring critical thinking into the curriculum, challenging boundaries between art forms in an interdisciplinary practice.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I want to encourage young people to connect with their environment; teaching them ways to tell their own stories of place and the environment in creative ways, through Whakapapa, storytelling and choreographic thinking. Sharing my expertise in dance embodiment and creative artistic practice is a way to express who they are as individuals, dealing with body politics, gender issues and activism and give strategies for how they might create collectives and art projects to create change. I will be able to assist in critical thinking in performance-making and art-making that can take them into tertiary level art schools and performing arts sector. With younger ages, play and art-making can develop creative ways of relating to environmental issues. I can also teach dance-making that follows the dance curriculum for dance in schools. My creative practice always aims to make art and dance accessible and non-exclusive to all ages and demographics. Working with this programme will influence my practice in the way I create work that is more relevant to the people of Aotearoa and art and performance in the community.