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Free dance festival supports New Zealand talent

Free dance festival supports New Zealand talent

Tempo Dance Festival has produced a world-class programme of digital dance works encompassing film, live-streamed performance, dance classes and workshops, archival screenings, book readings, artist interviews and dance documentary.

Free dance festival supports New Zealand talent

Earlier this month Tempo Dance Festival became the first arts festival in New Zealand to go fully digital in response to Covid-19, and the first festival in New Zealand to ever offer a completely free programme all-year-round.After receiving 100 submissions from artists all over the world, the Tempo team did not waste time putting together their first season of works which runs from May through to July. The season includes a diverse mix of emerging and established artists. Among 31 works, Royal New Zealand Ballet choreographer Loughlan Prior will facilitate a ballet class you can do in your lounge, Arts Laureate Louise Potiki-Bryant will offer specialist Māori dance workshops, Sarah Foster-Sproull will present a new dance film, and the late Douglas Wright will be the subject of a new doco-memoire curated by Megan Adams.

Tempo’s Artistic Director Cat Ruka says, “Not only does our festival feature some of our country’s most established dance artists, we also have an amazing range of offerings from emerging artists as well, with Anu Khapung, Miriam Eskildsen and Bjorn Aslund being amongst those to look out for. This is the part that excites me the most; those who might not normally get the chance to have their work programmed in a live festival are getting their moment to be seen and celebrated. Here at Tempo we prioritise supporting artists who need it the most, and we are struck by the resilience, innovation and community advocacy that our emerging artists have demonstrated. It’s truly an honour to showcase them.”

How to watch Tempo Dance Festival

The entire festival is hosted across Tempo’s website and social media platforms and is completely free for people to access from their devices. The Tempo team have enabled an ‘artist donation’ function on their website, so audiences can make financial contributions of any size directly to the artist whilst their work is screening. “It is important to us that audiences can access the festival without cost, but it’s equally important that our artists are remunerated fairly for their hard work,” says Senior Producer Gabrielle Vincent.

For all the latest festival information, visit

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