Dance and politics a unique mix
3 Nov 2011
The late Rona Bailey was a Wellingtonian who studied with pioneers of modern dance in New York and founded the New Dance Group, with Philip and Olive Smithells, in Wellington in 1945.
The work of the New Dance Group will be presented in the biennial Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture on Tuesday 22 November. This will be a rare chance to see an unusual part of New Zealand’s dance history.
Auckland historian Marianne Schultz’s talk, ‘Dance is a Weapon’, will be illustrated by photographs and excerpts from Shirley Horrocks’ 2008 film Dance of the Instant: The New Dance Group Wellington 1945 – 1947. Marianne will also introduce a short live performance specially prepared by students of the New Zealand School of Dance: a reconstruction of the 1945 New Dance Group piece Sabotage in a Factory.
Marianne Schultz says: ‘The New Dance Group engaged with strong political themes in their work, an approach very much in tune with Rona Bailey’s life and values. Inspired by local and international political movements, as well as the emerging modern dance of America, Rona believed that dance “had a role to play in reflecting life and what it could be. It could be a challenge to people.”’
According to organising group member, Hazel Armstrong: ‘The lecture should appeal to people with a dance background as well as to those interested in Trade Union and left-wing history. It’s a great bonus that we are holding the Lecture in the Rona Bailey Room at the Dance School.’
The Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture is sponsored every two years by the Labour History Project (formerly the Trade Union History Project), of which Rona Bailey (1914-2005) was a long-time, active member.
The 2011 Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture will start at 5.45pm sharp, Tuesday 22 November 2011 at the Rona Bailey Room, Te Whaea, National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington. Entry by koha.
For further information, contact Marianne Schultz, (09 308 9072; 0210 23 12340) or email: email@example.com.
Alternative contact: Hazel Armstrong, (04 473 6767) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry by koha.
For information about the Labour History Project (formerly the Trade Union History Project) see www.lhp.org.nz.
Title: Rona Bailey Memorial Lecture
Venue: Rona Bailey Room, Te Whaea, National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington
Date: 22 November 2011