About Movement Art Practice
MAP supports the growth and development of contemporary movement through classes, residencies, and performance events in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa New Zealand. MAP’s programs exist to nurture movement artists, develop informed and engaged audiences, and celebrate the art form itself.
MAP offers training from the best professional contemporary dance artists Ōtautahi has to offer in a safe, fun and friendly environment.
MAP is privileged to be led by local arts leaders with the energy and passion to ensure MAP provides high quality and current programmes to keep contemporary dance in the conversation. We're working together to put Ōtautahi arts on the map.
Kaupapa - Purpose:
MAP exists to develop artists and audiences for contemporary dance and performance in Ōtautahi and beyond.
Moemoeā - Vision:
We believe in an Aotearoa where contemporary dance and performance are woven into the cultural fabric of our community.
Kaupapa Mātāmua - Mission:
MAP nurtures the growth and development of contemporary dance and performance through leadership, community engagement, education, and innovation.
We are Audacious
We support and encourage performance makers and audiences to be daring and experimental.
We are Inclusive
We embrace all people, all bodies, and all forms of movement practice at MAP.
We are Collaborative
We believe in creating enduring connections with the local arts sector, wider community, and iwi.
We have Integrity
We uphold the mana of contemporary movement as a professional practice.
We build Legacy
MAP will position Ōtautahi as a sustainable creative hub for emerging and established movement practitioners.
MAP is a social enterprise with charitable status governed by a board of directors. We exist to build and strengthen a community for contemporary movement artists in Ōtautahi through all that we do. If you would like to become a MAP patron, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All donations go directly towards our running costs as a non-profit arts organisation, or supporting the community through one of the following programmes:
Weekly Community Classes
Movement Labs and Community Workshops
76 Hawdon Street Studio and In House Artist Program
The MAP Sessions and The Map Publication
Community Choreographic Project
Research Exchange Artist Residencies
meet our people.
general manager [interim]
Virginia Kennard is a movement practitioner and live artist from Pōneke, and trained in commercial and contemporary dance at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre (now Whitireia Performance Centre) and UNITEC. She holds a Master of Arts Performance from Leeds Beckett University, UK, and creates feminist performance live art works within a queer framework.
Virginia has been part of MAP since 2019, first joining the Board of Directors, taking on the role of Producer for the inaugural Tiny Fest, and now is a permanent part of the Ops and Creative team as the Business Manager. She has magic money and spreadsheet skills, and is stoked to be part of nurturing the MAP community, and continuing to hone her management and artistic skills.
Virginia is an experienced AJDA Jazz Dance teacher is an integral art of the Tiny Fest team alongside her MAP mahi. She teaches Friday Grooves and leads creative movement workshops for MAP. Britney Spears is her favourite musical artist.
Research Exchange Artist Liaison
Janaína Moraes is a Brazilian dance, research & performance artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. Working with dance improvisation since 2012, she delves into the notion of invitation poétics as a making-thinking of ways to reconfigure time and space for coexistence. Interested in relational practices and dance in other contexts, she researches art residencies as manifestation, sustaining and fostering invitations for hovering in togetherness. Founder of the art Gathering Abre Salas, she invites and collaborates cross-disciplinarily, cross-culturally, cross-abilities, cross-species, cross-matter in the pursuit of poetics of co-dwelling.
She is currently a PhD Candidate in Dance Studies at the Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland) in Aotearoa. She holds a Masters in Performing Arts by the University of Brasília (UnB); a Specialisation in Dance’s Contemporary Studies by the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA); and a Bachelor of Dance Teaching by the Federal Institute of Brasilia (IFB), Brazil.
In addition to her achievements in the performing arts, Kat has also developed a strong visual art practice. Her creative journey as taken her beyond the boundaries of a single discipline, allowing her to explore ideas from different angles and find where each artistic discipline informs and enhances the others, fostering a holistic and expansive artistic practice.
A skilled dance and improvisation artist, Jess has worked within the dance industry since graduating in 2010. She also has diverse skills and experience within the industry, and administration. She has worked for over ten years in tertiary libraries, where her duties included consulting and leading on various operational projects as well as assisting with research. Jess has worked in an administration role at The Auckland Arts Festival Toi O Tamaki and is currently employed at Auckland Live as an Event Coordinator. During her career as a freelance artist, Jess has consistently self-produced and co-produced shows, and in 2022 she was employed as producer for the Tiny Fest commissioned work Permanent Distraction. She has reviewed semi-regularly for both DANZ and Theatreview and is a dedicated advocate for the development of dance within Aotearoa.
Denesa Chan is a critically acclaimed, award-winning dancer, actor, singer, filmmaker from Los Angeles who has toured internationally on five continents and taught homeless youth, professional dancers, and students at major universities. Her movement background is varied and includes athletic forms, (such as contemporary/release techniques, Aerial dance, circus adagio duo, Contact Improvisation and West African dance), dance-theatre (including Butoh, Delicious Movement, Suzuki, improvised performance), and mind-body approaches (including Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Body-Mind-Centering, Somatic movement). She believes that good teachers not only inform technique but also nurture each student’s unique creative voice.
Savanah is a passionate creative, a māmā of two beautiful tamariki, and a proud wāhine Māori. Her passion for movement and dance comes from her upbringing in te ao haka. She is a member of Te Ahikaaroa Kapa Haka (est.1993) who have represented Te Waipounamu (The South Island) consecutively since 2012 at Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Competition.
Savanah has worked in creative collaborations with the CSO; Sparks and He Ngākau Aroha as well as Ngāi Tahu Stories with Mo Ete at the Court Theatre. She has been working with MAP behind the scenes on a Classes Feasibility Study and is joining the team as a community workshop leader and a future class tutor.
creative kids movement tutor
Dana Dawson [she/her] started off her dance training at Hagley Dance Company before completing a BPSA qualification in contemporary dance at Unitec. She has recently graduated from the University of Canterbury becoming a secondary school dance and health teacher at Ashburton College. Dana is most interested in facilitating safe spaces for young people to discover their creative side, explore movement, and have fun.
Kereana Mosen (Ngāti Hauā & Ngāpuhi) is a New Zealand Dance Artist. She grew up in Ōtautahi and has recently returned from Tāmaki Makaurau as a graduate of the Unitec Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts Degree. She has worked with an extensive range of New Zealand choreographers who have taught and informed her dance practice. Te Ao Māori is the base of her research as a choreographer and dancer which influences the conceptual framework of her practice. Alongside two recent graduates of Unitec, Kereana will be contributing to the Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Ōtepoti and will also be in residence for the MAP residency in 2021.
Olivia McGregor is a dance artist currently based in Ōtautahi (NZ). After graduating from the New Zealand School of dance in 2010, Olivia joined Footnote Dance Company (2011-2014) performing in works by choreographers Lisa Densem, Kate McIntosh, Jo Randerson, The BodyCartography Project and Ross McCormack among others. Since moving to Berlin in 2016, she has been working around Europe in film, performance art installations and dance works with artists including Jeremy Shaw, Julian Weber and Constanza Macras (Dorky Park). In the past year Olivia has been part of Experimental Dance week Aotearoa, The Performance Arcade, and the New Zealand Dance Company under the direction of Josie Archer and Kosta Bogoievski.
Sarah Elsworth is a freelance dance artist and movement teacher originally from Ōtautahi. Since graduating from UNITEC, Auckland in 2012, with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, she has been a key collaborator and performer in the creation of many experimental & innovative works. Recent credents include HIVE by Julia Harvie and Stuart Lloyd-Harris & My Kin Blue, a solo work digging into personal landscapes of body memory, presented at the the first iteration of Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival, 2019.
Sarah has been living and creating in Goa, India for the past two years. She taught and facilitated residencies and workshops, movement directed & performed in music videos and continued to create many of her own choreographic works in collaboration with local Indian and international artists
As a teacher, Sarah strives to empower all bodies in movement, facilitating space for unique creative expression to thrive. She is a qualified Pilates teacher with over five years experience, giving her a deep understanding of anatomy. Lately, Sarah has been inspired by rhythmic structure, Indian classical and African music as well as house dance. She is excited to share her recent accumulation of movement inspirations and the simple joy of dancing together.
Robyn is a dancer, performance artist and filmmaker based in Ōtautahi. She has a Bachelor in Fine Arts Honours where she majored in performance, dance and film. Working within these mediums, Robyn has performed throughout Aotearoa (NZ), Europe, performing in Germany and Iceland. Her work has been shown in the NES international artist residency of Iceland, ROAR (Radical dance journey Berlin) and PAWA (Performance art week Aotearoa). She has also been developing new choreographic work at residencies ROAR (DE), NES (IS), Ponderosa (DE) and Betonest (DE). Most recently working alongside Josie Archer, Kosta Bogoievski, Olivia Mcgregor and David Huggins in a CNZ funded research project in Ōtautahi .
Her most recent solo work includes: Otolith 2019 and Detta I 2019. Robyn draws on traditional scores and dance technique, exploring a range of approaches such as somatic exploration, liquid reality, absurdism, release technique and queernique developed by Shannon Stewart
Krista is a strategist, business analyst, mentor and coach. She is a fan of connecting, of doing work that matters and having a laugh too. She is a navigator and happiest when solving problems or finding an answer to a burning question. She genuinely enjoys helping and enabling others to do this too. She cares about people and the planet and see them being just as important as profit.
Holly has a Master of Theatre Arts in Directing from Victoria University and Te Kura Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa: NZ Drama School. She is the co-artistic director and producer of Two Productions. She has directed for The Court Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Red Leap Theatre and The Fortune Theatre. She is the Artistic Director of Little Andromeda, having programmed their 2019 and 2020 seasons.
She is head of acting at NASDA: The National Academy of singing and dramatic arts, has taught acting at Original Scripts Theatre School for ten years, had a successful high school teaching career and worked as a director and tutor for Toi Whakaari and Whitireia Polytechnic.
Previously based out of Tāmaki Makaurau, Molloy is well known for their uncanny ability to make the impossible happen, from rallying technicians to organising equipment, to repairs on set once the house is open. They’ve been jokingly referred to as “the don of the Auckland theatre technician mafia” by more than one artist, and have a name for themself as a defier of physics in the pursuit of art. Molloy is known for their professionalism, drive and dedication to the art of live performance. They have a solid grounding in all aspects of technical production, with a plethora of production credits across a variety of key production roles. With a background in people management and event management, combined with practical experience as a technician on festivals, tours, and local productions, Molloy’s experience and technical versatility makes them a tremendous asset to any creative team.
Sarah Aspinwall is currently the Office and Administration Manager at CoCA Toi Moroki. There she is responsible for the day to day running of the gallery, volunteer management, public programming and event delivery. Previous to this role she has worked 25 years in specialist retailing as the co-owner of Canterbury Cheesemongers. In recent years she has also been involved in The Christchurch Arts Festival and Nostalgia Festival in hospitality vendor management. Governance roles have included Treasurer of her children’s primary school board and six years with the New Zealand specialist Cheesemakers Association. While not a practicing artist Sarah is very active supporter of both visual and performing arts in Ōtautahi.
Sarah brings her extensive small business and event management skills and financial acumen to the Board of MAP
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