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“Groundbreaking” Jolt Interactive dance to tour

7 Dec 2015

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


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A show featuring dance, puppetry, music and theatre, performed by Jolt Interactive and two musicians from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, will tour to Wellington and Auckland next year.

Jolt Interactive, which creates and presents work for audiences with diverse and complex needs, is a branch of Christchurch integrated company Jolt Dance. Called Fish, the touring work is directed by Lyn Cotton.

“The tour is about showing the power and possibilities of engagement through dance, and offering equal rights and accessibility for people with disabilities to participate, view and perform dance in authentic ways,” Lyn says.  

Fish was first performed with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s harpist Helen Webby and principal timpanist Mark La Roche in August 2015 in the orchestra’s rehearsal space – a converted warehouse on the fringe of Christchurch.

“Having Helen and Mark work with us provided a new opportunity to explore the connection between music and the audience in a new and more immediate way,” Lyn says.

The music includes Carlos Selzedo’s Song of the Night and adaptations of two pieces from Jack Body’s Rain Forest.

“Jolt Interactive are genuine leaders and innovators in this field and I learned a huge amount about working with the disabled community through being involved in Fish,” Mark La Roche says.

Jolt Dance first collaborated with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in 2014 with Shorelines, a project involving Jolt Youth and a junior class, as well as Helen Webby, harpist, Anthony Ferner, flautist, and Cathy Irons, violinist. 

Fish audience numbers are limited to 30 people per show, and all audience members are welcomed. The show is interactive and collaborative, involving and including audience members as much as possible.

The hour-long show includes a stingray floating above the audience, a crab scuttling along the seabed, buckets full of sea creatures, a seaweed rope, an iridescent fish and a regal salmon.

On stage, the fisherman casts his net into the sea. The ends of five ropes are caught by audience members, who are slowly pulled in. From then on, the audience members are participants in the show.

The touring production, which includes Renee Ryan, Sam Stevens, Nylia Tamati and Michael Leota, will also offer workshops and teacher training. Cameron Boot and Rochelle Waters performed only for the Christchurch shows.

The musicians will tour with the show, thanks to funding from the IHC Foundation.

Funding from Creative New Zealand has supported the creation and presentation of Fish. “We’re really grateful for Creative New Zealand’s ongoing support. It’s funded Jolt Interactive since its inception in 2012 and has meant we can continue this groundbreaking work and bring it to wider audiences,” Lyn says.

In 2009, Jolt Dance received the Arts Access Creative Space Award and in 2014, Lyn Cotton won Attitude TV’s Making a Difference Award. 

Fish tours to Wellington from 16 to 20 May and Auckland from 13 to 17 June 2016.