About Movement Art Practice

A place for people with a passion for contemporary movement

MAP supports the growth and development of contemporary movement through classes, residencies and performance events in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. MAP’s programs exist to nurture movement artists, develop informed and engaged audiences and the art form itself.


Uncompromising in our commitment to excellence, professionalism and rigorous artistic inquiry.


We celebrate the ability of contemporary movement to offer informing and enduring experiences.


A flexible and informed organisation that calls for a shift in cultural perspective with movement at the heart.

Our Mission.

To nurture the study of movement from a contemporary dance perspective by:

Providing support for professional choreographic movement research through residencies, classes and workshops.

Fostering a stimulating environment that encourages a growing culture of experimentation, dialogue and risk.

Creating opportunities for dance artists to engage with a wider dance community and audience.

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 Christchurch through all that we do. If you would like to become a MAP patron,  email us at info@movementartpractice.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 ClassesMovement Labs
  • Community Choreographic Project
  • Research Exchange Artist Residencies
  • Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival

our people.

philippa cosgrove.


Philippa graduated from Unitec Institute of Technology in 1993 with a Diploma in Contemporary Dance after which she danced primarily for choreographer Sean Curham.  More recently she has performed in a number of works, both self devised and for other choreographers in Christchurch.  

She has recently trained as a Stotts Pilates teacher and has a background in a number of movement modalities.  She  is passionate above the benefits that dance can bring for both the body and brain.

aleasha seaward.


Aleasha Seaward, Christchurch based Freelance Contemporary Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer. Aleasha originally trained under the direction of the late Sheryl Robinson, continuing on to complete her three year Bachelor of Dance Performance at the Adelaide College of the Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance.
Aleasha has worked for a number of Nationally recognised artists and Companies such as Southern Lights Dance Company, Jolt Dance Company, Jolt Interactive, Oncunscious Dance Corp, Julia Harvey, Julia Mckerrow and Fleur de Their. Aleasha has also danced for International Choreographers such as Leigh Warren, Riki Von Falken, and Alex Rigg.

josie archer.


Josie Archer is a New Zealand choreographer and dancer. Her work ‘Dance Danced Dancing’ in collaboration with partner Kosta Bogievski was awarded best dance in the Auckland Fringe Festival 2018. Her solo work ‘Josie’s Solo’ won the award in 2017. ‘Josie and Kosta’s Dance Show’, also in collaboration with Bogoievski has been performed throughout New Zealand (Tempo Dance Festival 2016), San Fransisco, and Seoul (Asia Tri New Wave Festival 2016).

Josie has been an artist in residence at SpaceVac in Seoul, South Korea, Healing Hills Art collective in Morni Hills, India and The Physics Room, Christchurch, NZ. As a dancer Josie has worked most recently with Olive Bieringa on her works ‘The Felt Room’ (The Performance Arcade) and ‘Walk with me’ (Toi Art, Te Papa). In New Zealand she has worked with Michael Paramenter ‘Insolent River a Tango’, Zahra Killeen Chance ‘A Figure Exhales’, and Claire O'Neil ‘ExtraOrdinary Folk’ and internationally with Jennifer Lacey and Wally Cardona, 'The Set Up' (2016 and 2017), New York and Christine Bonansea, 'Only Human', Berlin (2017).

julia mckerrow.


Julia has danced and choreographed for New Zealand’s leading dance festivals including The Christchurch and Otago Arts Festivals, The Body and Tempo. She was awarded ‘Best Dance’ at the Wellington Fringe for her dance work MOTH. Julia has worked for Footnote Dance Company, Michael Parmenter, Fleur De Their, Body Cartography, Southern Lights Dance Co, Rebound Dance Co, The Unity Creative, Jolt Integrative Dance and Epic Entertainment.
She has undertaken professional development internationally at the Melt summer intensive in New York under dance artist Vicky Shick and with Australian based choreographers Madeleine Krenek and Sarah Elsworth. Locally Julia continues to investigate her interests and those of others through Movement Art Practice.

noelia baquero


Noelia was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina. She had her first encounter with dance at the age of 4. It was during a class in a studio close to home and since then she never stopped dancing. Noelia received her Dance training and education from the City Council Dance School and obtained her qualifications as a Contemporary and Ballet teacher in 2011 and 2015.

At the age of 18, she was accepted by the City Council Contemporary dance ballet and later on handpicked to perform with a renowned Contemporary dance company in her home city and international tours. In her last years of study and during her first years of teaching, she was introduced to Pilates.

After realizing the incredible benefits of this method of focused movement, she studied hard to receive her full comprehensive certification. This ignited a passion for teaching and learning about other styles of physical movement as well. Noelia has been teaching dance and Pilates for over ten years, spreading her passion and learning new techniques along the way. She moved to New Zealand, and today she is starting her teaching journey in Christchurch

julia harvie.

artistic director

Julia Harvie graduated from UNITEC in 2003 with a BPSA in Contemporary Dance. Julia’s particular focus is on collaboration, live music and improvisation. Her work has toured throughout New Zealand and has been presented in Taiwan and Australia. She has been awarded Most Outstanding Performer of the NZ Fringe, Best Dance at the Dunedin Fringe and Listener's NZ Best Female Contemporary Dancer in 2008.

Julia has worked for a wide range or New Zealand's foremost choreographers. In recent years she has presented works for Footnote, FESTA and the Christchurch Arts Festival. This year she led Choreolab for Footnote, presented her solo work Killjoy for EDWA and TEMPO and premiered two new full-length works, Nobody Hears the Axe Fall (Choreocoa at Wellington Fringe) and HIVE in Christchurch. She remains an important voice in the Christchurch dance scene as the artistic director of Movement Art Practice.

virginia kennard.


Virginia Kennard is a movement practitioner and live artist from Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 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 is excited to join the Board of MAP, to hone her accounting and producer skills whilst learning new skills in governance and strategic planning. She has experience working for a number of NGOs in an administrative and financial capacity, and is privileged to be part of nurturing the MAP community from a board level.

Fleur de Thier.


Fleur is a Christchurch based artist who has been working in the dance industry for the last 27 years. She trained for three years full time at Auckland Performing Arts School (now Unitec) graduating in 1991.  Fleur worked as a freelance dancer in Auckland before returning to base herself in Christchurch.

Fleur is an established New Zealand choreographer and has had works featured nationally in Arts Festivals throughout the last decade and  is known for her diversity and connections with many different companies including Jolt Dance Theatre, Rebound, Southern Lights Dance Company ,Unitec, Footnote and Lyttelton Arts Factory.  Fleur is currently artistic advisor and choreographer for Hagley Dance company.

holly chappell-eason.


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.

Preston Hegel.

board associate

As a resident of Ōtautahi for the past four years, Preston’s work stretches across the globe, building the capacity of arts communities in the USA before relocating. A practiced Arts Administrator and Community Arts worker Preston is COO & Director of XCHC (Exchange Christchurch), a multi-disciplinary production, showcase, and residency space for creative entrepreneurs and groups.
Having worked with many global partners/practitioners, Preston has injected new creative stimulus into the Ōtautahi arts community. He has engaged creative programs in youth, mental health, and disability sectors.
His roles with The World Economic Forum has given him valuable experience in governance that has contributed to strategies in the Arts and beyond; although, he believes the most valuable contribution to the Arts has been through being an active participant when possible. Preston has an Executive Diploma in Business Leadership.

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