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W&H x NZDC Partnership

Our Walker & Hall & The Arts campaign is all about highlighting the skill, commitment, and passion of a few of our likeminded partners, with one of those partners being The New Zealand Dance Company. The NZDC, presents inspiring contemporary dance to Aotearoa and the world in a sustainable manner.

Brydie Colquhoun, a Performer & Tutor with The New Zealand Dance Company wowed us during our photoshoot, and afterwards we chatted with Brydie and Caroline Bindon, the NZDC Artistic Manager & Designer about the NZDC, their partnership with Walker & Hall and the importance of dance for the community.

Tell us a bit about yourself and when you first started your dance journey, and how it makes you feel.

Brydie - I played a heap of sports as a child so when I first started to dance, I loved the discipline and competitive nature of ballet. At fifteen when I discovered contemporary dance, I couldn't believe how natural dance felt in my body. The connection to whenua, the ground, it always pulls me into the present moment, and quiets the constant stream of thoughts. I feel honoured and connected when I tell the stories from my taha Māori. This is space I have been able to explore through my contemporary dance practice.

What has been your story with the NZDC? And what do you think sets them apart in your eyes?

Brydie - NZDC is a space to uplift and really supports artists. Working with creative people in an environment where development and change is hugely supported makes me feel excited all the time. My favourite show with NZDC has been a show called 'Night Light', a double bill that showcases two incredible NZ choreographers and dear friends of mine.

Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company

What would you want people to know about your craft? Or something people may not actually know...

Brydie - Dance happens every day throughout most people's lives. It might be the repetitive movements you make when hanging out clothes, doing makeup/hair or navigating to pick up something really high off a shelf. When I perform, I love to tell stories, and I think audiences enjoy when they can see human or relatable elements in a show or a performer. So 'people watching' is one of my favourite hobbies. Another fun fact is, dance is also super physical and we work very intentionally to get out bodies able to do the performances, for example yoga, strength and conditioning coaching, ballet, etc.

Why do you think dance is crucial in the community? What does the support of the community mean to you?

Brydie -
 Community engagement and support is important to our company because the stories and work we create is made for sharing. It invites people to look at dance or different kaupapa with a different or unique lens. It provides a platform for community to see and hear stories that might have been lost.

Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company

What was your favourite piece you wore on set, and why? Any other comments from shoot day?

Brydie -
 The shoot day was incredible, and I loved the supportive and collaborative environment that was created. I felt very close to my taha wahine/feminine side, as I danced and improvised in the Walker & Hall pieces. My favourite pieces were the earrings that I wore first (the slightly longer dangly ones) and also the recreated pieces that had a new life, because this made me feel like I could acknowledge the stories someone else had already breathed into the jewellery.

Brydie wore a selection of pieces from our Pre-Loved Collections in the photoshoot.

Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company

Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company

Tell us a bit about the NZDC and your involvement with them?

Caroline - The New Zealand Dance Company is a full-time arts organisation that creates and presents innovative and inspiring contemporary dance, for our audiences in Aotearoa and around the world. Our audiences are moved by transformative and unforgettable contemporary dance, reflecting our whenua (land) and rich dance culture. Our culture is invigorated by the courageous risks we take, inspiring dancers, artists, creators and collaborators to deliver boundary expanding work. My role with NZDC is Artistic Manager and Designer, and covers a wide range needs from arts management and rehearsal direction to digital content creation, videography and photography. 

What do you find the most rewarding about being involved with NZDC?

Caroline - Being a part of a contemporary dance company and building on the legacy that was created by founding AD/CE Shona McCullagh is hugely satisfying for me. Working with incredible artists each day and contributing to the artistic landscape of Aotearoa is my driving force.
I’m inspired by the many creative voices that come together when devising a new work. As a designer, creator, teacher and arts manager, I’m full of gratitude to be able to do this every day. The work is varied, challenging but most of all, absolutely essential to the arts and culture of Aotearoa.

Why do you think NZDC's alignment with Walker & Hall is special?

Caroline - NZDC and Walker & Hall share a storied history, deeply embedded in the fabric of Aotearoa's cultural legacy. Both brands stand as iconic symbols of excellence, reflecting the essence of this land (whenua) and its people through the transformative power of art.

Drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of New Zealand's diverse cultural heritage, NZDC and Walker & Hall recognise the significance of art as a medium for storytelling that reverberates with the echoes of our ancestors and resonates with the aspirations of future generations.

What are you most excited for in this partnership?

Caroline - The New Zealand Dance Company is committed to forming partnerships with brands that share our core values and actively contribute to enriching the diverse cultural tapestry of Aotearoa. Walker & Hall, with its strong alignment to our values and dedication to the local heritage, is an exceptional match for us. We are thrilled and genuinely excited to foster and strengthen this partnership further, as it allows us to collectively make a positive impact on the communities we serve and promote the essence of New Zealand's cultural identity.

Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company
Walker & Hall and New Zealand Dance Company

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