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Young Jolt dancers to perform in Dunedin

22 August 2011

Christchurch integrated dance company Jolt Dance remains strong despite the earthquakes that have rocked the city. Now, eleven members of its youth company, Jolt Youth, will tour to Dunedin and perform in a show called Humble Me from 3 to 5 September.

Youth Jolt dancers Claudia Cassin and Hannah Proctor in rehearsal with Lyn Cotton, Artistic Director Jolt Youth is made up of 13 young dancers with and without disabilities. Created in 2007, it has produced four sell-out seasons for the Body Festival in Christchurch featuring the work of well-known children’s authors.

Lyn Cotton, Artistic Director, says this is the first time that Jolt Youth has toured. The young dancers will perform with Jolt Dunedin in two public performances (3 and 4 September), and in a performance for schools and day centres (5 September). A free workshop will be held on 4 September.
Despite the earthquakes, Jolt Dance has lost none of its momentum. “After each earthquake, we’ve become more resilient and people value the classes even more,” Lyn says. “We’ve worked really hard to keep our company buoyant, making sure the space is safe and that everyone is well.

Youth Jolt dancers Hannah Proctor and Janelle Olley in rehearsal“Everything has changed in Christchurch and there is real uncertainty. But there is also a strong desire to keep things going and to value the things we have. I’ve had wonderful support from the dancers and their parents, who are determined to look forward rather than back.”

Jolt Dance has been offering classes to people of all ages and abilities since 2001. In 2009, it received Arts Access Aotearoa’s Big ‘A’ Creative Space Award.

The show’s title, Humble Me, comes from one of the pieces that Jolt Youth premiered in Echo & Bounce as part of the 2010 Body Festival. A devised work, it was inspired by the dancers’ lives and is a collaboration with Christchurch filmmaker Rick Harvie. It integrates film, dance and physical theatre, reflecting the spirit and energy of the company.

“The show has evolved since last year and has become a more intimate reflection of our dancers,” Lyn says. “Humble Me stood out as one of the most powerful pieces in the original show. It captures the truth, beauty, simplicity and integrity that the dancers bring to their performances.”

The show also features a performance by 20 Jolt Dunedin dancers. Established by Nylla Ah Kuoi in 2008, Jolt Dunedin runs two classes offering dance training and performance opportunities for disabled youth.

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