photo by Josh Thomas
On November the 12th acclaimed musician Dudley Benson begins his tour of Aotearoa, starting in Pt Chevalier in Auckland at Te Mahurehure marae. Dudley will be performing with his new group The Dawn Chorus – an a capella ensemble made up of a close-harmony quartet of two tenors, a baritone, bass, and beatboxer Hopey One. The group will be presenting waiata from Dudley’s new album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne as well as songs from his debut album The Awakening. Here are Dudley’s words on his new album :
Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne is a collection of my interpretations of waiata by the New Zealand composer Hirini Melbourne, whose folksongs I’ve become very close to over the past three years. The album is a celebration of Aotearoa’s birdlife, as well as a tribute to the legacy of Melbourne’s work.Forest is also an album that I chose to record almost entirely with only the human voice. Of course, I couldn’t do this all myself (and wouldn’t want to), so a number of collaborators performed with me on the record. Among them are Dr. Richard Nunns on taonga pūoro, beatboxer King Homeboy, Gerry Findlay of Franz Josef Glacier as bird mimic, barbershop quartet The Dawn Chorus, four-part choir, and Vashti Bunyan joins me for a duet called Tūī.
I am deeply honoured and excited to be joining Dudley and The Dawn Chorus on their national tour with a short solo work I am making in response to Hirini Melbourne’s bird waiata. I am inspired by the honesty and delicacy of Hirini’s music, and am finding new pathways for movement by embodying these qualities. Here is the tour schedule:
Nov. 12th – Auckland, Te Māhurehure Marae, Pt. Chevalier
Nov. 14th – Kerikeri, Kingston House,
Nov. 19th – Nelson, Trafalgar Street Hall
Nov. 20th – Wellington, Pipitea Marae
Nov. 24th – Dunedin, Māori Hill Coronation Hall
Nov. 25th – Queenstown, St Peter’s Church Hall
Nov. 27th – Christchurch, Deaf Society Hall
Nov. 28th – Akaroa, Gaiety Hall
Dec. 4th – Waiheke Island, Palm Beach Hall
Dec. 5th – Waitakere City, Hoani Waititi Marae
Dudley Benson’s new album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne was released today and can be ordered online at his website, where you can also go to purchase tour tickets. They are selling fast so get in quick to witness a performance from one of New Zealand’s finest contemporary musicians.
My latest work Wolf: Where Wolves Fear to Prey Presented by the Savage Sisterwolves was nominated for four awards in the Tempo Dance Festival this month (Most Innovative Choreography, Best Scenography – Short Work, Best Production – Short Work, Best Music – Short Work) and received the award for Best Scenography – Short Work. Thank you to Josh Rutter for your support, trust, hard work and creative input. It is always an honour to share the stage with you my friend.
Other awards went to:
Sam Hamilton – Best Music for a short work
John Bell, Paul Buckton and Drew McMillan – Best Music for an evening length work
Atamira Dance Company – Best Scenography for an evening length work
Sue Cheeseman, Suzanne Cowan, Touch Compass Youth Company – Best Youth Production
Kelly Nash – Best Production for a short work
Atamira Dance Company – Best Production for an evening length work
Alex Leonhartsberger – Best established male performer
Tom Bradley – Best emerging male performer
Anita Hunziker – Best established female performer
Lucy Marinkovich – Best emerging female performer
Footnote Dance Company - Most Inspiring Performace
Jessie McCall - Best Tertiary Colours Production
Kelly Nash – Best Choreography by an established artist
Justin Haiu – Best Choreography by an emerging artist
Kristian Larsen – Most Innovative Choreography
Congratulations to all nominees and winners! And a shout out to Anna Bate whose innovative work Pro:Posing was a standout of the festival yet somehow didn’t receive any nominations. Anna’s choreography always inspires me and she continues to make significant contributions to the face of contemporary New Zealand dance. Kia ora Anna.