20 Dec 2022

Contemporary Class round up!

Touch Compass Saturday Class year-end performance, with people standing and kneeling on the ground, wearing black tops, their arms up in the air, with huge grins.Touch Compass Saturday Class year-end performance, with people standing and kneeling on the ground, wearing black tops, their arms up in the air, with huge grins.

Wow what a year.

The Saturday Contemporary class began 2022 adapting to the changing world we live in by continuing with the online platform of Zoom. We stayed connected and danced in our bedrooms, living rooms and sometimes outside. We experimented with a variety of different dance content and ways of working. A success was giving a movement word score to dance, then to develop in small groups in break-out spaces online. The groups produced inventive, quirky movement sequences for all of us to view and respond to.

We then adapted again to working both face-to-face and online. This dual way of working is much trickier but allows for all to be present, whether online or in person. The large screen gave those at home a larger presence in the face-to-face class in Grey Lynn Community Centre. Regular class rituals of greeting all individually through dance at the beginning of class, checking in and ending class with a united dance activity and goodbye helped to sustain our connections and care for one another.

In the latter part of this year, we met in person predominantly much to the joy of all, with our kinaesthetic and embodied learning to the fore. At the end of our third block of classes we celebrated and farewelled Emilia Rubio who has been an expert, valued dancer support for this class for many years.

Due to Covid it had been a while since we had performed out in the public arena. However, this changed with the performance opportunity of being invited to be part of Star Jam’s 20th anniversary celebration, to which many in the group have had a connection. Contemporary Class dancers Ariel, Annalise, Hayley, Jaz, Emilia, Manon, Mike, Sophie, Abigail, Lusi, and Sue were very excited to collaborate together to build and perform a dance piece especially for this occasion in the beautiful setting of the Glasshouse. The piece, called Tekau Mahi Tahi - 10 Performing Together, was based around connections, greetings, boot camp, relationships and being united in dancing. Much of the content was crafted from the dance activities taking place in class each week. This group were very pleased to be back performing in public as evidenced by these comments: “proud of this successful achievement”, “performing powerfully”, “superb in a beautiful setting”, “fantastic - loved the responses to the piece including the crowd’s enthusiastic, loud reception of the piece”.

At the event, we revisited this piece and performed it again with the addition of Caroline and Helene replacing Lusi and Emilia, who came back as audience. In revising the piece, we made adjustments to the choreography to suit the new performers. This was performed and filmed at our end of year celebration, in addition to an activity we discovered in dance class some weeks earlier – a dance version of musical chairs, creating some spectacular connected shapes on a single chair. It was a great way to finish the year with a dance celebration of who the Saturday community group are to family, friends, support workers and TC staff.

Our thanks to Touch Compass for making this possible and we look forward to an exciting 2023 of dancing together and performance opportunities.

Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou!

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