2017 Harry Haythorne Award

2017 Harry Haythorne Award

2017 Harry Haythorne Award Winner Announced

The finals of the 2017 Harry Haythorne Choreographic Awards were held at the Royal New Zealand Ballet studios in Wellington on Saturday night with five emerging choreographers – Jo Funaki, Laura Saxon Jones, Shaun James Kelly, Sarah Knox and Loughlan Prior – presenting new works created on the company.

The annual awards were established in 2015 by the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand, with the support of the RNZB, in memory of former RNZB Artistic Director Harry Haythorne MBE. They are funded each year with a grant from the Ballet Foundation.

The judging panel was mad up of New Zealand School of Dance Director Garry Trinder, Black Grace Founder and Artistic Director Neil Ieremia, dance writer and critic Jennifer Shennan, and RNZB Executive Director Frances Turner.

2017 Harry Haythorne – Sarah-Knox Between There and Now performed by RNZB dancers.

First place went to Auckland-based choreographer Sarah Knox for her work Between There and Now, which featured nine dancers and was set to music by Rhian Sheehan.

Sarah is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance and lectures on the Dance Studies Programme at the University of Auckland, where she is studying for a Doctor of Philosophy. She described the RNZB as an “aspiration place” for her as an undergraduate and described the company dancers as “divine to work with”.

The audience choice award was won by Japanese choreographer and former RNZB dancer Jo Funaki for his work So Ko Ka Ra Na Ni Ga Mi E Ru?, featuring eight dancers and the music of Lajkó Félix És Zenekara.

RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker is immensely supportive of the Harry Haythorne Choreographic Awards: “Providing a platform for choreographers is what the award is all about. The work and inspiration is what continues to drive our art form. Congratulations to all that participated – you are all winners in my eyes.”

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Soloist Katherine Skelton and Artist Madeleine Graham in The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty, 2020. Photo: Stephen A’Court.