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The Heart Dances

Author: Poorhouse International

The creation of a new ballet by the Bubeníčeks based on Jane Campion's film The Piano for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

  • The Heart Dances | Copyright: © Stephen A'Court

    The Heart Dances © Stephen A'Court

Poorhouse International is pleased to distribute Rebecca Tansley´s dance epic “The Heart Dances”.

In 2015 Jiří and Otto Bubeníček, two well known Czech dancers, created a one-act ballet inspired by the iconic film The Pianist for Ballet Dortmund in Germany. Three years later they were commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to extend their version of Jane Campion´s film to a new two-act ballet.

The story in short deals with a mute Scottish widow who expresses herself through playing the piano. She travels with her young daughter to a remote part of New Zealand after her arranged marriage with a frontiersman.

When the Bubeníčeks arrived in New Zealand they were unaware that their work raised questions of cultural appropriation. They had to work therefore together with Māori cultural adviser Moss Te Ururangi Patterson to adapt their ideas for a New Zealand context. Meanwhile the dancers responsible for delivering the ballet faced challenges of a different kind as they had to come to terms with the famous characters of Ada, Stewart and Baines and the love triangle they were caught up in. They also discovered that retelling this story raised questions – in their case about inter-personal rather than inter-cultural relationships.

Filmmaker Rebecca Tansley followed the story from the very beginning up to and including the very successful first night. Ballet lovers will enjoy the process of creating a new piece while others may take an interest in a clash of cultures and its solution painstakingly arrived at.

Production Company Minerva Productions
Director Rebecca Tansley
Duration 98min.

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