Our Lotto NZ Story
Nga Kaitiaki Taonga Kanikani O Aotearoa
The National Dance Archive of New Zealand
The National Dance Archive of New Zealand (NDA) is a charitable trust formed to encourage the preservation of New Zealand’s dance heritage.
We are a voluntary body which develops resources to support our dance community in preserving New Zealand’s dance scene and culture. We commission oral history recordings of prominent New Zealand dance personalities. We are not a repository for archive material, but we want to point people in the right direction.
The National Dance Archive of New Zealand (NDA) has initiated several oral history projects since its inception in 1982. These recordings are deposited as part of the National Dance Archive Oral History Project with the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington (ATL Ref: OHColl-0208). Permission to listen to these recordings is required from the National Dance Archive and in many cases from other related parties. To find out if an item is available please consult the Turnbull Library catalogue or contact the Library on https://natlib.govt.nz/questions/new.
Projects have covered various aspects and communities related to dance in New Zealand. This current project, A Dance Picture, is recording the life-long commitment of four women to dance and the arts in New Zealand. Although they have all been dancers in their own right, they are best known for their roles of teaching, administration and promotion of dance in New Zealand.
These four women have based most of their dance career in New Zealand. Through their work they have expanded opportunities for New Zealanders in dance education and performance, and ultimately increasing audiences and dance appreciation within New Zealand.
With previous oral history projects completed by the National Dance Archive having largely focused on dancers and dance teachers, this oral history project helps to broaden the spectrum of dance that has been recorded. This project is a fitting complement to the project that focused on Māori and Pasifika men in contemporary dance, as well as the celebration of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
The project is of both regional and national significance, as each of these people has had a major impact on the cultural life of New Zealand, both at a regional and national level. Through teaching, mentoring and fostering the next and current generation their influence on the recognition, promotion and growth of professional dance in New Zealand has been profound.
The interviewees chosen for this project A Dance Picture and generous Lotteries grant are: Carla van Zon, Jenny Stevenson, Jamie Bull, Shona McCullagh
These interviews will be conducted by Lyne Pringle.
Lyne has considerable experience in oral history interviewing. As dancer, choreographer, teacher, dance writer and researcher, she has a professional understanding of her subjects, a curiosity about their lives and work, and a researched knowledge of this area in New Zealand’s dance history. Since her training under oral historian, Judith Fyfe, Lyne has been the primary interviewer for five oral history projects commissioned by the National Dance Archive. In 2009, with the help of a grant from the Sesquicentennial Oral History Fund, she recorded the stories of dancers from Limbs Dance Company and Impulse Dance Company, and in 2011 interviewed Māori and Pasifika men influential in New Zealand contemporary dance. More recently, in 2013 Lyne recorded interviews with five people covering a broader perspective of the dance industry in New Zealand.
The Dance Archive are extremely grateful to the Lotteries Commission for the grant that made the continuance of oral histories possible at this time.
Images left to right:
Dancer, Choreographer, Writer
Photo: Peter Molloy
Carla van Zon ONZM
Dancer, Executive and Arts Administrator
Photo: Carla van Zon
Dancer, Choreographer, Director
Photo: Sally Tagg
Carla van Zon
Carla van Zon has been involved in the arts in New Zealand and internationally for over 40 years. Having been involved in the festival since it started in 1986, Carla was both the Executive Director (1996–2000) and Artistic Director (2000–2006) of the New Zealand International Arts Festival. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of the Auckland Arts Festival and again in 2015–2017). Between her two directorships at festivals Carla was the International Manager for the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.
Carla grew up in a dance family. Her mother, Boukje van Zon, ran a creative dance school from the 50s in Auckland for over 40 years. Carla went on to study dance, gaining an MA in Dance and Arts Administration from George Washington University in the USA as well as a broad range of professional experiences in the arts.
She has worked with a variety of theatre & dance companies, venues, the New Zealand Film Commission, producing New Zealand work and Co-Directing the New Caledonia New Zealand season for the Government of France, managing Te Kanikani O Te Rangatahi (which became Taiao) and Douglas Wright, and managed New Zealand’s presence at Venice Biennale 2009. Carla has initiated and produced commissioned works by many NZ choreographers, including Michel Parmenter, Raewyn Schwabl, Sue Jordan, Warwick Broadhead, Peter Te Tau, Jamie Bull and Ali East.
As well as leading and mentoring many other artists, and challenged, enriched, educated and excited audiences. Carla is currently on the board of the New Zealand Dance Company.
Carla has received the following:
• Awarded ONZM in the 2000 Queens Birthday Honours for services to the arts
• Voted Arts Wellingtonian of the year 2005
• 2016 awarded a life time achievement award at the Auckland Theatre Awards
• Next Woman of the Year Arts and Culture 2017
• Over the period she was Executive Director and Artistic Director for the NZ International Festival of the Arts, the Festival won four national tourism awards and was the winner of the Gold Business Award for best Business in the Wellington region.
NATIONAL DANCE ARCHIVE OF NEW ZEALAND
NGA KAITIAKI TAONGA KANIKANI O AOTEAROA
Report from the Chair
17 June 2021
After the great uncertainty of last year, this year, in comparison, has seemed relatively straight forward. While oral history projects continue to progress the biggest excitement of the past twelve months has been the publishing of the National Dance Archive’s website: http://www.dancearchive.org.nz/
Our trustees remain the same this year: Geordan Wilcox in Auckland, Philippa Pidgeon in Christchurch, and the rest of the trustees mostly based in Wellington – Peter Boyes, Kim Crawford, Debra Harris, Katherine Lancaster, Brigitte Knight, and Sue Nicholls. It will be good to now look at ways a more national focus can have the greatest effect on the creation and keeping of dance archives in and relating to New Zealand.
Drawing on her past experience of web design, Brigitte has produced a stand-alone website for the NDA. While traffic to the website has been steady, it is a great starting point and it has already proven useful for referring people to on occasions.
It is still the intention to have a NDA presence on the DANZ website and that will link to the NDA website for further information.
Archiving Resources Subcommittee
The Archiving Resources Subcommittee’s careful planning of disseminating information has finally been brought to fruit in the form of a website. The subcommittee are now looking at where to next with their efforts.
Oral Histories Subcommittee
The NZ Lottery Grants Board funding that we received in November 2019 for an oral history project to interview Jamie Bull, Shona McCullagh, Jenny Stevenson, and Carla van Zon, is nearing completion. We are very thankful for Lyne Pringle once again being the interviewer for this project and appreciate the effort that she has put into conducting the interviews and preparing them for archiving.
Jennifer Shennan, who has also received training as an oral history interviewer, offered to conduct an interview of Patricia Rianne. This was a ‘top-up’ of the oral histories Hugo Manson conducted with Patricia Rianne in 2005 and 2007. Jennifer has offered to do this for the Trust at minimal cost, which is very much appreciated.
Jennifer Shennan’s own oral history, interviewed by Michelle Potter in February 2019, is still to be completed. Hopefully this will be able to happen in the next twelve months with travel between Australia and New Zealand starting to free up.
Sponsorship and Funding Subcommittee
With having a website comes an annual expense that we must budget for. The sale of NDA cards in the National Library Shop, as well as at the Russell Kerr Lecture in February this year, continues to provide a small but steady revenue stream. Other avenues of fundraising have been investigated and will need to be followed up on. With social and cultural events a bit more stable now than they were last year it is hoped this will allow to happen some of the fundraising ideas we have had.
The NDA was very eager to offer support to DANZ when the opportunity presented itself for funding rounds. It is a very unpleasant situation with DANZ having its funding cut, given the vital role it plays in the cultural, social and educational aspects of dance in New Zealand.
The Year Ahead
Building on the efforts of the past twelve months it is hoped to see a growing awareness of NDA in the New Zealand dance community. Developing a closer, stronger working relationship with DANZ will help this, as will the growing awareness and interest in, and the use of the NDA website.
With the ever-growing list of oral histories commissioned by NDA, it continues to grow the research resource the Trust is creating. This is now able to be promoted through the website.
Once again I offer my sincere thanks to all the Trustees for the time you have volunteered to serving on the NDA committee. Your work, enthusiasm and ideas for the Trust has sustained the progress that was spurred on by the high points of receiving funding and launching the website. I hope you have all found reward to some level through your involvement with NDA over this past year.
Thank you once again to our Treasurer, Carolyn McKeefry, for faithfully managing our accounts throughout the past twelve months. And a big thank you to DANZ for offering the meeting room at Toi Poneke gratis. We look forward to closer associations the DANZ team in the coming months.
15 June 2021