Putting a shimmy into sum­mer

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

Dance tu­tors Louise Baker and Ge­or­gia Berg­er­son could be hop­ing for slightly cooler tem­per­a­tures next week. If not, the Mau­reen Ax Dance Stu­dio in Roxburgh Cres is re­ally go­ing to cook – in a good way. The stu­dio’s two for­mer pupils have re­cently re­turned from work­ing in Europe, and are hold­ing a sum­mer dance school em­brac­ing a range of mod­ern dance styles.

‘‘It’s jazz, con­tem­po­rary, mu­si­cal theatre, hip hop, act­ing, com­mer­cial – for mu­sic videos, and lyri­cal. Not bal­let.’’ Ge­or­gia ex­plains. ‘‘It’s show­ing all the styles, and also that you can cross­over by be­ing open to new things.’’

Both are look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to pass on their ac­cu­mu­lated ex­pe­ri­ence, joined by two other Palmer­ston North raised dancers, Brooke Par­sons and Ria Sim­mons, and UK dancer, Ed Hall.

Ge­or­gia has spent the last five years in Ger­many. Her break came when at 18 and liv­ing in Palmer­ston North, she was cast in the New Zealand tour­ing pro­duc­tion of An­drew Lloyd Web­ber’s roller­skat­ing ex­trav­a­ganza,

Starlight Ex­press for Stet­son Pro­duc­tions. That led to an au­di­tion for a Ger­man pro­duc­tion, and she stayed a mem­ber of that cast for two-and-a-half years.

‘‘I then worked on a TV soap – a bit like Short­land Street, only dance based. It was awe­some; I loved that. It was quite dif­fer­ent to the the mu­si­cal theatre scene.’’

The 25-year-old’s last role was as an ape in Tarzan – the Mu­si­cal with sea­sons in Ham­burg and in Stuttgart.

‘‘There’s a lot of aerial work, swing­ing on ropes and bungee har­nesses.’’

Louise is back from Lon­don where she taught dance for two years at the fa­mous Pineap­ple Stu­dios’ Stu­dio 68. Along with the life ex­pe­ri­ence and new friends, she picked up on many new dance styles. Be­fore Lon­don, she was in Mel­bourne and also en­joyed a six­month dance con­tract in the

Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic where she per­formed in shows ev­ery night.

‘‘We’re old friends,’’ Louise says, ‘‘and we have a lot to of­fer. It’ll be an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for young dancers to come and learn from the best.’’

PHOTO: FAITH SUTHER­LAND/FAIRFAX NZ

Leap­ing into 2016, dancers Ge­or­gia Berg­er­son (left) and Louise Baker both bring ex­ten­sive over­seas ex­pe­ri­ence to the sum­mer dance school or­gan­ised to pass on their knowl­edge and give back to their home town.

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