In commemoration of the ANZAC centenary, the internationally renowned New Zealand Dance Company will present Rotunda - a breathtaking theatrical experience of contemporary dance featuring a live 20 piece South Australian brass band and choreography by award-winning choreographer, Shona McCullagh. The show will make its Australian premiere at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide before touring nationally.
Rotunda brings to life in a haunting snapshot of our history, the world of the band rotunda - an iconic symbol of early 20th century community, where troops were farewelled with pride and welcomed home in grieving. This extraordinary performance will celebrate and commemorate the ANZAC spirit and explore themes of loyalty, suffering, kinship and ultimately a desire for peace.
More than 400,000 Australians enlisted for service in The Great War, representing almost 40 per cent of the total male population. The Australian casualty rate was the highest of the conflict. The Rotunda performance draws from the extraordinary courage and indomitable spirit of these ANZAC men, and the women who set about running the country with aching hearts and dread that their men might not return.
This spirited performance combines an earthy, free-flowing mix of styles and highly physical contemporary dance with an unmistakably New Zealand style of choreography. Renowned for its rhythm and expression, ROTUNDA also integrates a fusion of Maori tradition with the traditional dynamic of brass band salutes which were integral to the seeing off and welcoming home of troops at war.
New Zealand Dance Company focuses on delivering the highest quality performing arts by integrating choreographic forms, storytelling, diverse musical styles and theatrical invention. Co-Founder and Artistic Director Shona McCullagh is one of New Zealand’s outstanding cross platform artists and is an innovative choreographer for dance, theatre and film.
Shona McCullagh said, “The New Zealand Dance Company is very excited to be coming to Adelaide as part of the company’s inaugural Australian tour. This is a beautiful opportunity to acknowledge the ANZAC spirit that exists between NZ and Australia. Rotunda acknowledges the birth of this ANZAC partnership and the long standing camaraderie that exists between the two countries.”
McCullagh has previously worked with leading arts companies including Limbs, Douglas Wright Dance Company and The Royal New Zealand Ballet. Her cross-platform career has seen her creating choreography for several New Zealand production companies with works including, Hurtle (1998), Mad Angels (1999) Fly (2001), Break (2004) Verge (2005), Mondo Nuovo(2007) and Tethered (2009). She has also developed an international reputation as an award-winning and innovative filmmaker with all of her dance films being screened at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival (France). McCullagh has been the recipient of many awards including Metro Magazine’s Best Dancer (1988) Arts Foundation Laureate Award (2002) and a New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to dance (2007). She was also granted the role of Head Choreographer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony. Her works have toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim.
“…..a troupe of terrific dancers, as interesting as they are talented…another fierce and fabulous strike for professional and profound contemporary dance in New Zealand…” Bernadette Rae, The New Zealand Herald