Body Festival 2015

The Body Festival is Christchurch’s annual event of dance and physical theatre. This year it runs from 25 September to 11 October. Participation is an important part of the festival which gives everyone an excuse to give it a go and get their body moving!

As always this year’s event offers a broad range of dance workshops and beginners’ classes as well as performances and exhibitions.

The opening night event, No Lights No Lycra was energising (and sweaty) with the kind of upbeat playlist sure to get a body moving, but there are plenty of other opportunities to “trip the light fantastic”.

Dance o mat, 2012
Dance o mat, 2012, Flickr CCL-2012-03-21-IMG_0499

Don’t miss these highlights of the festival –

Speed dancing at TedX
If you’re not sure what kind of dance style suits, you can try out a range of them in quick succession at the Dance-O-Mat.
Library leotards
Body Festival 2008, Flickr CCL-2013-01-15-DSC09707
Retro Aerobics
Flash back to the 1980s and “feel the burn” with this homage to the workout videos of Jane Fonda. Bring your legwarmers and leotards!
Outstanding Feet
A celebration of the diversity of dancing talent sourced from the high schools of Canterbury.
A day of hip hop
Watch a dance movie and become inspired before you join in on one of the hip hop workshops, or all three of them: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Feeling inspired and want to know more?

2012 Body Festival

Image: DancerChristchurch is currently hosting the 2012 Body Festival of Dance and Physical Theatre.  The programme attracts a large number of people, with a steadily increasing participation every year.  It showcases a variety of dance performances ranging from classical to contemporary, as well as other performance arts such as puppetry and circus.  The Body Festival is being held from 21st September to 14th October at various locations – check out the events calendar on its website.

One of the dance performances in the classical genre which I am particularly looking forward to is the Bharatanatyam, a highly intricate Indian dance requiring several years of practice to perfect.  The dancers, Vivek Kinra and the Mudra Dance Company, will be performing  a piece called Satvika, narrating stories of the romances and battles of Hindu gods and goddesses. In the dance, the performers truly use the body as a medium of communication,  depicting the stories’ various characteristics through subtle expressions, gestures and emotions.

If you are inspired to learn more about Bharanatyam, you can find the details about the Bharatanatyam Group of Christchurch in CINCH, our database of community information.

Christchurch City Library also holds a number of informative books on the physiological, anatomical and emotional aspects of dance, which can help you gain a general understanding of the biomechanics of movement and body-mind conditioning, and learn exercises to attain flexibility and control of movements.

Cover: Conditioning for Dance     Cover: The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement     Cover: Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology

Hornby Library

Back of the bus

BodyFestivalLast night I went and saw the Back of the bus show presented by Java Dance Company as part of the Body Festival currently under way in Christchurch. This dance work is highly innovative in the way that it dissolves the boundary between performers and the audience found in the conventional theatre setting. It does this by taking the audience along for the ride, on the bus and beyond, always intimately close to the lives of the characters being portrayed.

The show consists of a number of scene specific pieces danced solo or as a group by several very different characters. The dancing is performed with astonishing physicality and intensity by the Java dancers Rosanne Christie, Sacha Copland and Natalie Hona. There is also a humorous cameo by local dancer Jessica Kennedy.

The choreography is principally by Sacha Copland but with pieces contributed from the rest of Java also and is wonderfully varied but always intense and physical. It makes clever use of the bus and other props.

This show contains some wonderful moments but I don’t want to give away the special surprises involved. Let’s just say its a unique experience and a rare opportunity for Christchurch audiences to see such innovative and high quality contemporary dance. The show is emotive and moving but also a lot of fun and is well worth the ticket. Don’t miss it! There are two performances per night for the rest of this week with the final show at 8pm on Friday 9th. You can make bookings at the Body Festival site.

More dance related links: