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Oromahoe School

Region: Tai Tokerau

Art form: Dance

Project name: Hari UP!

Creative name

Project information: Hari UP! introduces students of four schools in the Bay of Islands rohe to the world of dance and movement through creative workshops and a performance in April 2022. This performance will form the showcase of UPSURGE 2022 – the Bay of Islands Festival. This 10-week tailor-made residency during Term 1 2022 is a collaboration between Oromahoe School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumārere, Moerewa School and Kerikeri Primary School. This residency programme will give over 100 primary school students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds the opportunity to embrace the joy of dance and movement, and work with their national ballet company. It will also give them the opportunity to create a dance work about the place where they live and be part of the centrepiece of the biggest arts festival in their region. 

As well as presenting the final work in their own communities, students will perform as the first half of a programme in the 400-seat Turner Centre in Kerikeri during UPSURGE 2022. The second half of the programme will be a New Zealand work featuring professional dancers. Weekly workshops, led at each school by dance educators, will offer a learning experience to both students and their teachers. These workshops are designed to develop understanding of the core elements of classical and contemporary dance and associated choreographic techniques. These are tailor-made for each group of students and take into consideration their age and level of dance experience. Each residency includes some introductory dance sessions then intensive work where the students explore the choreographic process to create the piece that will be performed at the end of the project. 

The kaupapa of the work will be Whenua/Place. Students will be encouraged to think about the significance of where they live. Initial questions will be: Where do you come from? What is special about where you live? What are interesting things that happened here in the past? This kaupapa may further extend into concepts of whakapapa, tūrangawaewae, and identity. The dance educators will help the students create a dance vocabulary to choreograph their work. Each school will develop their own short 5 or 6 minute “mini-work”, then all schools will come together in the last two weeks to make the work whole, with a finale in which all students participate. This will be a work that reflects the diversity of the Bay of Islands/Pēwhairangi rohe and will be one that could only be made in this region. The main goal is to make dance accessible and recognise that well-being is built through participation. We want to encourage as many students as possible to get healthy, active, and artistically engaged, and to celebrate the place they live. The focus of this residency programme is also to develop the students’ knowledge and skills in collaboration and creative thinking, as well as encouraging expression, communication, and a deeper appreciation of dance.

Project starting: February 2022

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