Participation: Footnote New Zealand Dance at The Dowse

This event has already taken place

Footnote New Zealand Dance is returning to The Dowse with a special performance of Participation performed in our exhibition Māori Moving Image: An Open Archive.

Continuous and collective movement: shared experience across defined space, this is the joy inherent in Participation by Footnote New Zealand Dance. Choreographed by Swiss based New Zealander Emma Murray, Footnote will present a special gallery performance of Participation at The Dowse. Combining Participation with an additional improvisation by dancers throughout the gallery, this unique experience provides a different perspective on the way that art-forms connect with and respond to our lives.

Participation adopts an approach to movement that explores transformation, through repetition and over duration. In Participation, a partially improvised structure and simple movement strategy demand the performers interact with one another through accumulative pattern, formation, tempo and rhythm. It is through these conditions that they experience themselves, and each other, as being simultaneously entwined and separate.

Every time it is performed, the performers enter into a complicit and subtle negotiation with one another to evolve their movement toward uncharted territory. This hyper awareness and never-still approach to movement drives the performing bodies toward ever-morphing states of physical entanglement.

Participation champions and challenges our notions of individuality, observing how ‘being one’ arises out of the composition of many. It is by putting into practice a concern for others that we stretch the economy of the self and reveal political implications for our collectivity. What emerges reveals a surprising sense of connectivity, especially when experienced through the moving body and asks us to consider what is needed to ‘take part’.

Emma Murray is a New Zealand performer and choreographer living in Bern, Switzerland. After graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1992 she danced as a soloist with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company, before moving to Europe in 1997. She then danced with the Konzert Theater Bern in Switzerland for 8 years, leaving in 2008 to establish herself as a Swiss-based choreographer and performer. She was appointed Associated Artist at the Dampfzentrale Bern between 2013-2015, where her work is regularly co-produced. Since 2013, and in recognition of her emerging presence in both national and international settings, she has been the recipient of support from the City of Bern and ProHelvetia Switzerland, to aid in the distribution and artistic development of her work. As well as performing and producing her own work she continues to teach, act and assist in choreographic and theatre projects throughout Switzerland.

As New Zealand’s longest running contemporary dance company, Footnote has been at the forefront of contemporary dance in New Zealand for over 30 years. Continually pushing the boundaries of the artform through commissioned works by New Zealand’s most interesting choreographers, Footnote delivers high quality and accessible dance works that delight and challenge audiences across New Zealand. Footnote’s five full-time dancers are highly experienced performers at the top of their game.