Learning life skills through movement

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A GROUP of young Southlanders are spending the week immersed in the world of contemporary dance.

About 15 pupils aged between 11 and 18 from Southland Boys’ and Girls’ high schools, Central Southland College, Wakatipu High School and James Hargest College took part in the five-day dance workshop run by members of the Black Grace dance company at the SIT Downtown campus this week.

Hosted by Miharo, the pupils and dancers from Black Grace collaborated to create a dance piece which would be performed at the Masonic Hall on Friday night for friends, family, supporters and the public.

Black Grace artistic director Neil Ieremia said the purpose of the workshop was to teach pupils basic life skills through the process of making a dance piece.

The company would also perform a section from their latest national tour 20 for 20, as part of the performance, he said.

Black Grace dancer Demi-Jo Manalo takes the class through the routine.

Based in Auckland, Black Grace had just concluded the tour visiting 20 centres from Kaitaia to Christchurch for $20 to celebrate the company’s more than 20-year history.

Miharo programme development manager Tania Carran said the Friday night performance was a free event.

“We wanted people locally to come and participate and see the arts without worrying about a charge, making it accessible to everyone, she said.

This was part of Miharo’s philosophy as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary, she said.

Miharo, formerly known as Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust, changed its name last month to better reflect its vision for the future.

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