About Movement Art Practice

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 celebrate the art form itself.

MAP offers training from the best professional contemporary dance artists Ōtautahi Christchurch 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 Christchurch 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.

Our Values:

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 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 Classes
Movement Labs
76 Hawdon Street Studio
The MAP Sessions and the MAP Publication
Community Choreographic Project
|Research Exchange Artist Residencies

our people.

julia harvie.

artistic director & tutor

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.

general manager

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.

claudia jardine.


Claudia Jardine is a writer and musician who grew up in Ōtautahi. She graduated from Victoria University of Wellington | Te Herenga Waka in 2020 with a Master of Arts in Classics and now works as a free-lance arts administrator, educator and editor.
Her debut poetry chapbook The Temple of Your Girl was published in 2020 by Auckland University Press in AUP New Poets 7, and her writing can be found in many of Aotearoa's literary journals and poetry websites. Her debut music release, North EP (2019), made it onto the national independent radio charts, and she frequently features in the local gig circuit as both a performance poet and a solo music artist. She has participated in the public programme at The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, completed residences at The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora and VERB Readers & Writers Festival, and is currently on the editorial committee for Starling magazine.

Sarah Elsworth.


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 & Stuart Lloyd-Harris & My Kin Blue, a solo work digging into personal landscapes of body memory, presented at the the first iteration of ŌtautahiTiny Festival, 2019. 

Sarah has been living and creating in Goa, India for the past two years. She taught & 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 also a qualified Pilates teacher with over five years experience, giving her a deep understanding of anatomy.Lately she 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. 





olivia mcgregor.


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.




olivia o'brien.


Olivia is a graduate of Unitec Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts Degree and has worked with some of New Zealand’s best choreographers and tutors. Olivia’s work and was selected as a finalist for Short and Sweet 2019 and won the Most Innovative Choreography Award. Olivia was the artist in residence for the DANZ and MAP residency for the inaugural Otautahi Tiny Performance Festival in 2019 creating the piece ‘Taking Residence’. In 2020, Olivia had a written work, ‘Rue’, featured in Tempo Dance Festivals- Putiputi Season which was a highly successful challenge. Most recently, Olivia has recently graduated from  the Graduate School of Education with a postgraduate degree in primary school teaching.

kereana mosen.

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.


juanita hepi.

board chair

Juanita Hepi (Kāi Tahu) is a multidisciplinary storyteller, producer, director, researcher and writer who holds a Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership with distinction, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning and a Bachelor of Arts from Toi Whakaari, NZ Drama School.

Juanita has performed on stages including; The Court Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Bats and Shakespeare’s Globe in London. She recently narrated Peter and the Wolf with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and featured in WORD Christchurch 2020. Juanita performed, produced and directed Kāwai at Little Andromeda and regularly features in podcasts, panels and presentations, she is currently adapting and directing Tūmahana alongside the CSO and Cirko Kali. 

Juanita’s passion for Indigenous storytelling has led her to communities across Canada, America, and Hawaii where movement and sound are embedded in our epistemologies and because this is the place her ancestors have walked, battled and made love for centuries, she is a staunch advocate and enabler of arts and artists in Ōtautahi, Christchurch

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.

Krista Pritchard.


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.

sarah aspinwall.


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
 as Treasurer.   

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