A dance between two people in mid-air will take place in the Dinosaur Park on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 at 7:30pm, as part of this year’s Festival of Colour.
Critically-acclaimed choreographer Chloe Loftus and award-winning disabled artist Rodney Bell will perform an outdoor aerial duet between the trees to explore our innate ability to live in harmony, with each other and with the environment.
Bell, who will perform in his wheelchair, is an internationally renowned dancer and performer of Maori descent, having danced professionally since becoming a founding member in 1994 of Touch Compass Dance Trust, an integrated dance company based in Auckland, Aotearoa.
Alongside Artistic Director Malia Johnston, he created and developed Meremere: a powerful autobiographical survival story focusing on his time of living on the streets of San Francisco and dealing with the physical and psychological challenges to survive, which will also be shown at this year’s Festival.
Bell said he was always seeking new ways of accessing movement vocabulary in order to express these movements in ways which support the wellbeing of all communities.
He will be joined in the performance by dancer, choreographer and director Chloe Loftus, who called the performance “a celebration of our differences.”
“Rodney and I come from such diverse backgrounds and experiences - professional, personal and cultural. We inspired each other’s practice, so were excited to see what we could create together,” said Loftus.
“The development of this work has certainly been a process. On a shoestring budget, we rigged between trees in Rodney's hometown of Te Kuiti, sharing the work with his close friends and whanau. Thanks to Creative New Zealand support we've been able to realise the potential of the work and tour it across Aotearoa.”
Loftus said ‘The Air Between Us’ had premiered at the Auckland Art Festival and been well received by “epic crowds” at Cubadupa in Wellington in March.
Read edition 1021 of the Wānaka Sun here.