TCDC <br>Taranaki Contemporary Dance Collective
TCDC <br>Taranaki Contemporary Dance Collective
  • © 2021 TCDC 0

Taranaki Contemporary Dance Collective

TCDC is a group of professional contemporary artists in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. With an innate need to move and express, we met, we recognised – now this!

TCDC aims to produce high-quality professional contemporary dance works, working to create a base for our art form here in Taranaki - in a local, regional, national and international context. It is important that we, the artists who live and work in our environment, apply a local perspective and contribute to research and gain knowledge on our common history and interest, also across the geographical boarders and cultural expressions and practices. We need to further develop our ideas and projects to initiate and present new experiences for our audience. Through our collaboration, networking and creative practices we aim to strengthen the ties between the people that live in our region. Through this work we contribute to create viability for the artists that reside in our region and work for a more sustainable practice for our artform. Our artistic aim is to further embed ourselves into our expression of dance, searching for the authenticity in human expression and movement both in the development of work and in presentation to an audience. We are working with a sensory and inward approach to create both choreography and new experiences. Our bodies are our voices, our movements are the stories – and we would like to explain.

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Marie Hermo Jensen was born and raised in Northern Norway and studied dance at School for Contemporary Dance in Oslo (Norway) and has a BA from London Contemporary Dance School.

Marie works for Stellaris DansTeater (NO) and Stellaris Dance NZ, working alongside many collaborators. In 2004 she debuted as a choreographer and has since then worked as a dance and film artist around the Barents region and in New Zealand.

Marie works in many parts of the arts industry, as a a dance artist, film artist and project collaborator, as well as in administration and marketing. Marie was Director of DanseFesival Barents (NO) in 2016 – 2018, where she also is a collaborator today.

Having moved back to New Zealand in 2018, Marie ´s drive is to establish more opportunities for contemporary dance in Taranaki.

Foto: "Sphere" - Presented at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
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Evgenia [Jin] Plotkin Mikhailov is a professional dancer, contemporary dance teacher and a choreographer. Was born in Minsk, Belarus 1987.

In 1991, moved to Israel. Showing promise from a very young age, her training continued through primary and high school, after which, she completed the dance-training programme in Kibbutz Ga’aton to Join the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC2) and later the Vertigo Dance Company.
She has collaborated and worked with choreographers Odelia Kuperberg (Israel); Elad Schechter (Israel); Rina Wertheim (Israel); Nimrod Freed (Israel); Gil Carlos Harush (Spain) and more.

Graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, B.A Dance. Taught Masterclasses, performed and choreographed in Israel, USA, Russia, Germany, France, New Zealand and Australia.

Now resident in New Zealand, Jin continues to pursue a diverse dance and movement practice.  She draws on a rich variety of dance experience, to inform her future artistic, choreographic, performance and teaching goals.  

Foto: "Sphere" - Presented at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

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Rachel Masters graduated from UNITEC in Auckland with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance and has been privileged to have been taught by many inspirational dancers and choreographers. She has a background in choreography and performance as well as in teaching and movement therapy. Creating dance provides Masters with fulfilment as another mode of communication with others and self expression. She views dance integral to daily practice for reconnecting inner to outer worlds supporting living a content life.

Foto: "Sphere" - Presented at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre
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Vynessa Smith began dancing at 3 years old at her local dance studio, Geraldine Inder school of Dance and Drama. She went on to finish her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet, and reached the NZAMD solo diploma in Jazz, hip hop and Tap. In 2012 Smith studied a Certificate IV in performing arts at Brent Street, in Sydney, Australia. Upon completing this she moved to London. While living in the United Kingdom Smith danced professionally as a Resident Entertainer for Warner Leisure Hotels, performing in pantomimes, stage musicals and in house productions. Smith is a fully qualified and registered teacher under the Royal Academy of Dance membership body (2018 graduate from the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies). She also is a registered teacher under the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance, with many years of experience teaching all levels of NZAMD jazz and contemporary dance.

Foto: "Sphere" - Presented at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre

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Gaenor Brown has over 30 years of experience in the New Zealand and United Kingdom education sectors. She has taught English, Drama and Media Studies in secondary schools, led Arts Faculties and headed up Performing Arts departments with musicians, dancers and drama practitioners. Currently employed as Teaching Fellow at the University of Waikato, in the Education and Arts Faculties, Brown is inspired by her arts colleagues and students to continue performing, writing creatively, and researching in applied theatre and drama. A skilled youth theatre director and dramaturg, she has worked with a range of classical and contemporary texts for performance, as well as devising with intergenerational community ensembles. Completing her M.Ed in drama pedagogy in 2013, Brown embarked on a practice-led PhD investigating the connections between belonging and the applied theatre and drama ensemble; this doctoral study is in its final stages now and she looks forward to sharing the results of her research in spoken word and movement performance.

Photo: From "U&I" by Tallulah Robertson/RESET Festival