Choreographer’s architectural leap
It has taken internationally recognised choreographer Jeremy Nelson only 31⁄ weeks to craft his latest piece.
Nelson, who formerly lived in Lower Hutt and Wellington, returned home to choreograph Bridges and Doors for Footnote New Zealand Dance, to be performed at Massey University’s Tea Gardens July 6 to 7.
He arrived at the end of May with not much more than an idea, but over the weeks it has developed into a fully choreographed 25-minute performance.
The original idea came from New Zealand’s unique housing architecture. It questions the relationship between the structural design buildings and the internal architecture of our bodies.
‘‘Because it’s so distinctive, I had this idea to try and do something that related architecture on the outside with our architecture on the inside,’’ he said.
Nelson, who has spent 20 years living and working overseas in cities such as London and Copenhagen, studied at Victoria University. He is currently an associate arts professor in the dance department of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Coming back to New Zealand to craft the piece was a natural decision, he said. ‘‘You have a lot of the material right in front of you as you walk around the city. You’re certainly not going to get those types of houses in New York City.’’
He wanted audiences to feel physically connected to the performance. ‘‘[I hope] that in some way the viewers are taken to another place.
‘‘When I watch dance I feel that I connect on a physical and intellectual level with what is going on, so it’s not just about what I see but what I feel viscerally. I think that’s a really important part of dance – that unspoken connection that you make with someone watching it.’’
The performance is a part of Footnotes’ Transfer show, which also features a piece by Berlin based New Zealand choreographer Joshua Rutter.
Footnote New Zealand dancers, from left: Lana Phillips, Emma Dellabarca, Jeremy Beck, Brydie Colquhoun, Jared Hemopo rehearse ‘Bridges and Doors’ as choreographer Jeremy Nelson looks on.