Our Footnote New Zealand Dance annual choreographic seasons are supported by a range of outreach programmes; Dance-in-Education (workshops and performances in schools); Choreolab (an annual professional development workshop); Perforum (studio performances); Watch This Space – Maatakitakihia Mai Tenei Waahi (performance in galleries); and collaborations with other arts partners such as the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, Capital E, City Gallery Wellington, Auckland Art Gallery and Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

NOW Season

Brand new  in 2014, Footnote New Zealand Dance NOW is a season of new original works, presenting a number of short works by home-grown talent.

Now 2014 was divided into three different performances from choreographers Olive Bieringa and Otto Ramstad, Craig Bary, and Lyne Pringle.  These pieces featured music by renowned New Zealand musicians including Gareth Farr and Nigel Collins, as well as tracks from Brazil, USA and Europe.

New Zealand Works

Following on from Footnote’s Forte Season tradition, each year we commission a New Zealand choreographer, based either overseas or here in Aotearoa, to make a full-length work on the company.

In 2014 we welcome Berlin-based New Zealand artist Alexa Wilson to make her new full-length work The Status of Being – touring the North Island in October 2014.


Footnote has had the honour of travelling internationally in the past few years to represent New Zealand. This has included Shanghai 2010 EXPO (Perlieu, Malia Johnston), The City of London Festival 2011 (Roll Out the Red Carpet, Deirdre Tarrant, Francis Christeller, Malia Johnston), The Frankfurt Book Fair 2012 (Hullapolloi, Kate MacIntosh & Jo Randerson). In 2013 Footnote travelled to San Francisco to perform at the America’s Cup Pavilion with works by Deirdre Tarrant, Merenia Gray, Maria Dabrowska, Anita Hunziker, and Malia Johnston.

Working in an ambassadorial role to show New Zealand work to international audiences has meant that work has been seen in a wide and very public arena.

Residencies at WPZimmer (Antwerp), Pianofabrique (Brussels), and Mousonturm (Frankfurt), have been great experience and professional development for the company dancers, and a real opportunity to network and share practices.

Dance in Education

Footnote Dance-in-Education programmes were born in 1985 as an opportunity for children to experience live performance as part of their cultural experience. Founding Director Deirdre Tarrant felt that the experience of dance needed to be specially developed for the learning and physical environment of school as a chance to not only watch but also actively participate in kinetic learning…dance!

BP sponsored the early years and ‘energy’ was the theme. Fossil fuels and the principles of action and reaction were part of a widely toured science programme. Coal, oil and gas were ‘discovered’ and visual images added much to the students’ perception and study.

As part of the then QEII Arts Council’s Performers-in-Schools programme Footnote Dance moved on to develop a programme series specifically designed to give movement opportunities to all students.Accessibility and innovation in learning have always been important ingredients of all that the company does and now the new Arts curriculum is in place, Deirdre Tarrant’s dream of ‘the chance to dance’ for every child is a reality in New Zealand.

Equally important is the opportunity for students to see contemporary dance as an expressive and relative art form. All choreographies used are made on the company dancers by New Zealand choreographers and are part of the company’s Made in New Zealand repertoire touring season in theatres throughout the country. The chance for students to meet and to work with ‘real’ professional dancers is a very important ingredient in the ‘magic’ of a visit by Footnote Dance.

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Cuba Mall becomes the centre for networking and making dance. There are master-classes led by guest tutors, lab spaces for individuals to work, allied arts workshops, industry Spotlight talks, and all with the focus on process and exploration of moving and thinking in contemporary dance.

An exciting time and the connections and liaisons continue into the year as projects are conceived and ideas are discussed.

An identified need for an interface between the dancers of the company and the freelance and wider dance community has resulted in Choreolab. A three week intensive event that allows exploration and development specific to the field of choreography, without the pressure of an end-product.

Choreolab is now the most significant professional development event for contemporary dance in the year, and attracts dancers from here and overseas to work in an intensive series of workshops over a three week period in the summer in Wellington.


ChoreoCo. is a new initiative by Footnote New Zealand Dance in 2014 to provide an opportunity and short term contract for a small company of dancers.  These dancers are selected from the renowned three week intensive Choreolab held in yearly January.

ChoreoCo.s debut performance of Straight Laced was presented as part of the 2014 New Zealand Fringe Festival at BATS Theatre, Wellington. Choreography was by Craig Bary who was the masterclass tutor at Choreolab and followed on as guest choreographer for this production project.

Watch This Space

 — Maatakitakihia Mai Tenei Waahi —

Arising from a two-fold objective to develop audiences and reach a wider arts interested audience in their own space has seen the evolving of a strong partnership programme with art galleries and their programmes.

A physical and dance response to exhibitions of art, sculpture, or installations give another perspective to the way that art connects and responds to our lives.

Essentially an improvisational ‘happening’, Watch This Space occurs in gallery spaces and has had a varied number of approaches from an on-the-spot response to dialogue between dancers and the artists about their processes and work.

Partnerships with Dunedin Public Art Gallery and City Gallery Wellington have been significant, as well as other galleries around New Zealand including Tauranga, Auckland, Hastings and Christchurch. The Museum Art Hotel in Wellington has also been a consistent supporter of Footnote dance and especially identifies with this outreach initiative.


An opportunity for an audience to get up close to the process of a choreography. Perforum brings the dancers and choreographer to show work-in-progress as a new choreography is evolving.

Movement material is performed and comments shared about the ideas and inspiration for the work being made. The forum is a chance to talk with those who will be the audience when the work is shown.

An informal and invaluable experience, Perforum generates debate and dialogue that truly feeds the process of the choreography.

Past Programmes



Made in New Zealand

Made in New Zealand was the touchstone annual Footnote Dance programme which ran for 7 years – beginning in 2007 – with a specific objective to develop, present and tour new New Zealand works by Kiwi choreographers with New Zealand music. Each year Footnote commissioned New Zealand Choreographers to make work on the company, and toured nationally as well as taking works from the  Made In New Zealand repertoire to students in communities and schools as part of their Dance-In-Education programme.

Footnote New Zealand Dance has a long history with the local music scene and a real commitment to working alongside composers – in the early days Footnote used to tour and present contemporary works at rock concerts around the country.

Their passion for New Zealand music hasn’t changed with a long list of musicians who have written for them over the years including Eden Mulholland, Nic McGowan, David Downes, David Long, Stephen Gallagher, Chris Winter, The Black Seeds and many more.

Strong associations were nurtured and choreographers for the Made In New Zealand programmes had ongoing opportunities to evolve works. There is currently a strong and fascinating ‘stable’ of Footnote choreographers working in New Zealand, who make their own work as well as making dance for the company. Emerging and established, these are the very now and happening makers of dance in Aoteoroa, and include Malia Johnston, Maria Dabrowska, Michael Parmenter, Sarah Foster, Lyne Pringle, Kristian Larsen, Ross McCormack, Sarah Knox, and Lucy Marinkovich.

2013 was the seventh and final Made in New Zealand season created, with choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull developing and touring COLT with the company as Acting Director. With a full-length score of music by Eden Mulholland, COLT had a second national tour in early 2014.

In  2014 with the arrival of new General Manager Richard Aindow and a new direction for the company, the format of this annual season was revised to become the NOW season.



Forte Series

Forte Series was a programme that evolved as dance with a difference in the alternate years of full length Forte programmes, and gathered its own following and impetus to become a more frequent season. There were usually five or six short works linked by a theme, to form a site-specific series of works that reflect some specific aspect of what it is to be a new Zealander and to call this country ‘home’.

Footnote invited choreographers to explore and devise their ideas and there is a flexibility to perform in alternative spaces and ‘out-of-a-theatre’, including galleries, bars, and hotel foyers.

Inspiration from Kiwi personalities made up the first series in 2008. In 2009 inspiration came from New Zealand’s social environment, and in 2012 that quintessential Kiwi trait – ingenuity and curiosity – gave the starting point for the series of works.



Forte Season

Footnote Forte was an initiative to bring outstanding Kiwi dance artists home to New Zealand to make a full length work that will be seen by a wide local audience, and to give us a chance to share something of what has made these Kiwis successful away from ‘home’. The development processes are important and have often taken place both home and away, as the company travels to perform off-shore and to spend time in the artistic environment that these outstanding creators inhabit.

The result is a unique and very special experience that engages in actively inviting and bringing these voices to our stages and industry.

Forte works have provided real artistic challenges for the company, and this is now a key initiative in the world of contemporary dance with international interest. Forte works have included  Here Lies Within (Raewyn Hill), Miniatures (Malia Johnston), Mtyland (Claire O’Neill), Hullapolloi (Kate MacIntosh & Jo Randerson ) and in March 2013 Lisa Densem and Footnote Dance presented We have been there (Cloud in Hand), touring from Wellington to Dunedin, Auckland and Nelson.

In 2014 Footnote New Zealand Dance welcomes Berlin-based New Zealand choreographer Alexa Wilson to develop and tour a full length work The Status of Being with the company.