Dance Studies features strongly at University Blues Awards

02 October 2015
Joshua Cesan shaking hands with University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon.
Joshua Cesan with University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon at the Blues Awards Ceremony.

The National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries is celebrating the success of two Dance Studies students at the recent University of Auckland Blues Awards.

The Blues Awards recognise excellence and contribution to the community within service, sports and the arts and are open to students across the wider University. Joshua Cesan was announced winner of the Award for the Meritorious Performance (Arts) on the evening, ahead of students working in fine arts, architecture, film, music, writing and debating.

Joshua certainly meets the criteria of external success on an international, national or regional level. As an award-winning hip hop performer and choreographer, Joshua has excelled in New Zealand and overseas competitions. Alongside his studies, Joshua has played an integral part in Identity Dance Crew, which grew into Identity Dance Company (IDCo), of which he is a lead Choreographer and Company Director. IDCo is home to some of New Zealand's most prestigious dance crews, including The Bradas, who were recently crowned World Champions at the Hip Hop International World Championships in San Diego. IDCo crews have held three consecutive national titles and have placed in the top three at three consecutive world championships. In addition to his artistic contribution, Joshua also manages the company’s development - no small task given the six crews that now make up IDCo.

Joshua has also been a featured performer on national TV screens through featured performances on Dancing with the Stars and X Factor, and is a cast member of Born to Dance, New Zealand's first dance film, currently in theatres. Currently he can be seen on Maori Television as the presenter for the SDNZ nationals series.

One of Joshua's fellow Dance Studies students, Vivian Hosking-Aue, was also recognised at the awards evening for his success in dance and choreography. Vivian, a postgraduate student, has had an influential twelve months, with choreographic works featuring in Short+Sweet and Auckland Arts festivals, a work performed at the Auckland Gallery and securing first place in the Street Dance NZ Regional and National competitions. Earlier this year, Vivian was the recipient of a postgraduate summer scholarship which saw him travel to Fiji to work alongside VOU Dance Company for six weeks, with VOU recently offering Vivian a permanent position in their choreographic and teaching team.

Associate Professor Ralph Buck, Head of the Dance Studies programme, is thrilled by Joshua’s award. "Given the amazing talent in the room across the categories of arts, service and sports, and the high profile of the evening, Joshua's achievement is amazing." Ralph is also pleased at the appreciation shown towards dance at this year's awards. "Congratulations go to Vivian and Joshua for their achievements at such a high level, but also for their wonderful ambassadorship for Dance Studies," he says. 

You can find out more about IDCo here and see Vivian in the upcoming Tempo Dance Festival

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