Two dancers in search of a choreographer,
travelling side by side, up their hills and down,
moving well, tenants in common of their darker times,
the set is the sides of a box they can shift about, climb through,
sit on, sit in, drape over, lie in,
though not a coffin since they are alive and determined to work through their times,
surviving the lock-down—’We’re all in this together”
this is not a lock-up—’Don’t put us in a box’
nor a lock-out—’We are here and we want to dance for you’.
They share their times both good and bad,
and ask us to ask ourselves whether our glad and sad
are anything like theirs.
Breathe slowly, deliberately, deeply, get a grip,
prepare a show, perform it at the Fringe,
say yes to a return season,
invite folk along, hope they come,
hope they get it.
and Yes, we got it.
Jennifer Shennan, 27 May 2022
Circa Theatre, Wellington—Refringe season of Sublime Interludes.
Tabitha Dombrowski & Björn Aslund—choreography & performance
26–29 May 2022
All images: © Lokyee Szeto
3 thoughts on “Sublime Interludes. Tabitha Dombrowksi and Björn Aslund”
Tabitha Dombrowski has been named as the recipient for 2022 of the Bill Sheat Dance Award for a young dancer who demonstrates a commitment to New Zealand in their work.
(Kit Reilly was the first recipient, in 2021)
Both Kit and Tabitha are foundation performers in Ballet Collective Aotearoa — an independent enterprise, directed by Turid Revfeim, which centres New Zealand choreography and live music in their programmes. BCA carries the pioneering and supportive spirit of the luminaries of ballet in New Zealand, Poul Gnatt and Russell Kerr, within its motivation.
Bill Sheat (1930 – 2021) was a lawyer who will be long remembered as a most loyal, longstanding, spirited and visionary arts advocate with experience in governance across numerous art forms — including theatre, ballet, film, visual arts, historic building restoration and arts archiving. He was vocal in his support of Ballet Collective Aotearoa so these two inaugural awards are most appropriate in reminding us of Bill’s own achievements.
Thanks for this comment Jennifer and congratulations to Tabitha. I remember Bill Sheat and the conversations we had at the dinners following the Russell Kerr lectures in the first couple of years. He was a visionary as you say and it is great to have an award in his name. What is included as part of the award, along with the honour of receiving it?
Hi Michelle and Jennifer,
Bill was influential and also extremely humble. It was a challenge getting him to agree to this award in his name.
The funds were originally planned to produce Another Right Royal Gala with a Gershwin theme (Bill’s favourite), however due to earthquakes and life etc that didn’t eventuate.
When Bill was ill, we talked often of his dismay at the ‘Americanisation’ of Ballet in Aotearoa. He was horrified that the company’s ethos was disregarded and treated with such disrespect. He was particularly outraged at the way some staff at the RNZB were ushered in under the noses of the board. Bill could not come to terms with this. (I promised Bill I would speak out when I had the opportunity).
When Bill agreed to this award, he wanted it firstly based on merit and secondly awarded to a young dancer in New Zealand who was passionate about developing dance in Aotearoa.
The Bill Sheat Dance Award is a $2000 cash grant and an acknowledgement of talent. A panel of three review the applications and have been unanimous in their decision.
Dance On Trust has finite funds and we need to find donors to keep this award in Bill’s name alive!