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Talk, dance and be honest
41-year-old Sacha has choreographed more than 20 full length dance theatre works and now she wants to talk. Sacha also wants to dance. Sacha will try to be honest while she dances and talks. Throughout 2023 seven conversations will take place, each with a different chatty dance artist. They will all try to be honest while they dance and talk. Each conversation will only ever happen once.
Dancer/choreographers Braedyn Togi, Loughlan Prior and Stela Albuquerque have already been brave enough to commit to a conversation and to mix things up, dancer Bjorn Aslund will host two of these conversations. Bjorn is a prolific artist who lives in many different worlds.
Sacha, Bjorn and these fearless artists can’t make any promises but they will try to dance, talk and be honest.
LAST CONVERSATION FOR 2023:
Sun 26 Nov (7pm) with Jess Johns and Emma Cosgrave!
‘Somewhere between stand-up comedy, a physical competition, an intergenerational back-and-forth and a celebration of mauri / life force’ — Audience Member
‘the audience loved it, the terrain of the conversation and the honesty exhibited was compelling’ — Theatreview
Final show Sun 26 Nov
$16 – $25
Runtime: 1 hour (no interval)
Sacha Copland is the artistic director of Java Dance Theatre & founded the company in 2003. She was recently awarded Wellingtonian of the Year in the Årts Category. Sacha is Pakeha (Polish, English, Scottish) & grew up in rural NZ. Sacha has choreographed prolifically for 20 years, developing Java’s distinctly immersive theatrical style in 23 full length dance works, garnering critical acclaim, box office success & international touring. She has been commissioned by Dance4 (Nottingham UK), Wellington Orchestra, NZ School of Dance, Capital E (2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2023) & STAB/BATS. In 2019-21
Sacha became a CNZ Choreographic Fellow, in 2016 a TEDx speaker/performer & in 2017 an alumni of the ASSITEJ International Next Generation. In 2012 Sacha became a Distinguished Graduate of the NZ School of Dance. Sacha has produced & performed ‘Back of the Bus’ throughout NZ, Australia, the UK & Asia. As a dancer and actress, Sacha has toured nationally to critical acclaim.
Björn Aslund is a multidisciplinary freelance perförmer and dancer, based in Wellington. A 2019 graduate from the New
Zealand School of Dance, they have worked with Legs on the Wall, Primarily Dance, Loughlan Prior and the Ballet
Collective Aotearoa. Björn became a core member of Java in 2021. Björn also creates their own work, including the award
winning Sublime Interludes with Tabitha Dombrowski for the 2022 Fringe Festival, “An Excess of Fruit”, a full length
improvisation for Play_station and “Plato’s Atlantis”, a duet with Barbara Paterson for “Situations in Play” in the 2020
Fringe as part of the Toi Poneke residency. They regularly work in the cabaret scene as their drag persona The Ever
Changing Boy and they are currently hold the title of Mr Burlesque Åotearoa as well as regularly collaborating with the
Wellington Drawing school. Björn was born in Karlstad Sweden and raised in Northland New Zealand. Their heritage is
Malaysian Chinese, Swedish Norwegian, English and Scottish.
Anita Hutchins is a dancer, writer, and visual artist, who likes to make art through play. She trained at the Royal Ballet School in London and spent 8 years performing in professional ballet and contemporary companies in Europe and NZ. Anita graduated from Avalon Film and TV School, and has a BA majoring in Philosophy from Victoria University.
Currently, she is passionate about collaboration and visual installation – creating light art, and writing lyrics. Since 2020 Anita
has been in the cross-disciplinary collaboration “Jake & Anita” with guitarist Jake Church. Together they created “Scrúbi” which was first performed in “What If A City Was A Theatre” in 2021, and in 2021/2022 they performed their music/dance gigs under the name “Hey Becky”. www.jakeandanita.co.nz
Described by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand as ‘a creative tour de force’, Loughlan Prior is an award-winning choreographer and creative director working between stage and screen.
He is the Artistic Director of Lo|Co Arts and Choreographer in Residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Following his training at the New Zealand School of Dance, Loughlan joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2010 and rose to the rank of Soloist, performing landmark works by Forsythe, Balanchine, Kylián, Cranko and Ekman. Established as an emerging voice in 2015, he became the first recipient of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award, and received Creative New Zealand’s Tup Lang Award in 2016.
Prior’s cinematic and unifying approach to music, choreography, concept and visual storytelling is a key feature within his works. Notable productions include Hansel & Gretel (2019, RNZB), The Appearance of Colour (2019, Queensland Ballet), Transfigured Night (2021, Chamber MusicNZ, BalletCollective Aotearoa), The Firebird (2021, RNZB), Cinderella (2022, RNZB), Half | Life (2022 Lo|Co Arts) The Sound was our Ocean (2022, Singapore Ballet), Inklings (2022, Ballet Unleashed – Australian Ballet School, New Zealand School of Dance, Canada’s National Ballet School, The Ailey School) and Woman of Words (2023, RNZB). Loughlan has produced a number of dance/art films which have enjoyed screenings at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, New Zealand International Film Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center, BalletX Beyond, #60secondsdance Denmark and the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival.
FB. Loughlan Prior / Dance + Visual
Stela Dara Albuquerque
Meu nome é stela. The thing I value the most about myself is my open mind and drive. The thing I dislike the most about myself is my inability to make decisions. I am full Brazilian with a German pinch as I lived in both places.
Lesley resides on this planet for dance and theatre. Age 71. Keeps thinking up weird dance performance ideas and loves picnics far from other people, and talks out loud to her pretend friend Julian.
PHOTOS: SACHA – TOM HOYLE; BJORN – CARISSA CORLETT