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dance residency 2017 - 2018


 Connor and Toa take the floor at ReCut, November 2017. Photo credit Stephen A’Court.

Connor and Toa take the floor at ReCut, November 2017. Photo credit Stephen A’Court.

December 2017 - March 2018

After the success of the 2017 residency, Toi Pōneke is proud to offer two dance practitioners a chance to take bold risks and test something fresh in Wellington's hottest stomping ground: NZ Fringe.

Connor Masseurs and Toa Paranihi, two recent New Zealand School of Dance graduates, are developing their new work, Blueprint, which will be performed at Te Auaha, 21-24 March 2018.

The dancers are joined by producer and recent Toi Whakaari graduate Liv Chan.

Liv is under the guidance of experienced Wellington producer Adrianne Roberts, while Connor and Toa have the mentorship of DANZ Chief Executive Anton Carter.

The Toi Pōneke dance residency offers studio space, financial and practical support for the production, and access to experienced mentors. 

 

About the show

Every moment in our day is significant. We build up a web of moments that have an effect on how we live our lives. Ultimately we choose how to navigate through each of these moments and how much weight and meaning to give them. How we choose to steer through moments also affects everything and everyone that surrounds us.

In Blueprint we tease out this concept by exploring, weaving and playing with different scenarios and pathways, choosing to make moments dense with meaning and also choosing to brush them off. We investigate our decisions and how heavy the consequences are of each choice we make.

Combining our experience of hip hop, contemporary and theatre, in collaboration with Toi Pōneke this is our debut show: SUB presents Blueprint.

 

Interview with Toa

What inspires you to dance?

To narrow that down to one thing for me I think is almost impossible. Dance is movement and movement is all around us, everywhere we go. I guess that because this thing called dance is so infinite, I find myself constantly intrigued every day to explore and discover. I never really had one drive as a kid, always doing everything until I felt that I had learnt a substantial amount to understand how to be good at whatever it was. But with dance I've found that you can’t ever get that feeling of complete accomplishment which inspires me to continue to grow and push, not to reach somewhere but just a direction of endless discovery. All that being said the people I’m around and whom I work with are, and will always be, what inspires me from day to day, to keep researching and exploring this infinite movement form we call dance.

What is your favourite style and why?

Hip hop has my heart and always will. I grew up with it not only as a dance but as a culture and am now immersed in it substantially. I love what it has done for me and what it gives to people. Its growth across the world is a sight to see and being a part of that is even better. I hope to use what this culture has given to me and spread it to all that I meet. 

What is Blueprint?

Blueprint is mine and Connor’s first work as fresh graduates of NZSD. The idea sparked as all good ideas do in the most unlikely times. Both of us have strong hip hop backgrounds and always brought a piece of that culture into everything we did. We saw a gap in the contemporary world where a fusion of hip hop and contemporary styles would thrive. So in doing so, a few conversations later we decided to create a show, fusing elements of hip hop and contemporary to create Blueprint. Blueprint seemed to be the most fitting title because before any major movement, there is always a plan, or blueprint.

What’s your biggest challenge working on this show?

It’s not to look too deep into things. Creating ideas and finding things that interest us that we think will engage the audience is the easy part, but shows with things like that are commonly referred to as circus. Finding meaning and an overall thread to the piece without creating too many layers has been the most challenging. Finding balance to the intensity of what we're trying to portray to the audience, while keeping it entertaining.

What’s the best thing about working on Blueprint?

CREATING. Working with the bro [Connor] is amazing; we bounce ideas off so easily and finally getting the freedom to create, explore and develop something that has been on our minds for a while is both refreshing and relieving at the same time. The fact that we have this opportunity is crazy and we're privileged to be able to do something like this. The whole team is amazing and we all can’t wait to show something that we've all contributed to!