Compelling, innovative and creative choreographer awarded CNZ Fellowship

13 July 2017
Sarah Foster-Sproull

Professional Teaching Fellow Sarah Foster-Sproull from the Dance Studies Programme has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship. The $100,000 fellowship is New Zealand’s largest choreographic award.

The talented dance practitioner has recently finished writing the thesis for her Masters Degree in Dance Studies looking at the relationship between choreographers and dancers. The title of her thesis is Embodied economies: Locating the ‘prosumer-dancer’ within dancers’ experiences of choreographic practice. It seeks to re-vision a dancer as a consumer of choreography, within a service driven choreographic environment. The ethnographic study is situated in Singapore, and explores five dancers’ experiences of dance making.

Described by the fellowship assessment panel as “one of New Zealand’s most compelling, innovative and creative choreographers”, Foster-Sproull will implement an intensive and diverse programme of work. This includes creating a new choreographic work, collaborating with artists and companies in New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Scotland, Singapore and America, building her business capabilities and international profile, and starting a company to provide professional experience to dance graduates.

Foster-Sproull acknowledges that dance is a constantly evolving art form. “Working at the University of Auckland has really opened my eyes to the diverse range of dance-related careers. There are now multiple models of success for dance practitioners,” she says.

 “I plan to push, experiment, reflect upon, and provoke new approaches to my choreographic practice. This award will support my vision for the next two creative years,” she says.

During her varied career, Foster-Sproull has had ongoing choreographic relationships with Footnote New Zealand Dance, Okareka Dance Company, The Conch and VOU (Fiji). She has choreographic works in the repertoire of Tasmyn Russell (NZ/Edinburgh) and The New Zealand Dance Company.

Foster-Sproull has danced with Douglas Wright, Michael Parmenter, Malia Johnston, Raewyn Hill, Footnote Dance Company, Mia Mason, Guy Ryan, Sylvain Meret, Magpie Music Dance, Frauke Requardt and The New Zealand Dance Company.

She joins an esteemed group of previous recipients of the fellowship including Ross McCormack (2015), Malia Johnston (2013), Catherine Chappell (2011), Daniel Belton (2009), Lemi Ponifasio (2008), Michael Parmenter (2006), Douglas Wright (2005) and Shona McCullagh (2004).