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This February 1988 performance, by Limbs Dance Company, of Douglas Wright’s NOW IS THE HOUR at the St James Theatre, Wellington, was captured by Television New Zealand.

“NOW IS THE HOUR premiered earlier that month in Auckland’s St James Theatre, before heading to Wellington and the New Zealand International Arts Festival, where it was filmed and broadcast by TVNZ. The work then toured the country in early 1988.
To say that this contemporary dance-theatre work was ground breaking in terms of content and subject matter is an understatement. With its portrayal of tasselled transvestites, a topless mermaid, human sacrifice, not to mention live sheep shearing on stage, and choreography that introduced a new physical language to dancers and audiences alike, NOW IS THE HOUR more than lived up to the comment that this work signalled the “coming of age of contemporary dance in New Zealand.” Perhaps more startling though, is that [it] was broadcast on primetime national television ....

“Wright had arrived back in New Zealand from New York the previous year, following his four-year stint as a member of the world renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company, and he was bursting with ideas, images, sounds, experiences and concepts that all went into the work. The episodic and dreamlike nature of this dance meant that rather than present a linear narrative, NOW IS THE HOUR flows from a lyrical solo by Wright, to duets, trios, quintets, and group sections that vividly conjure all manner of humans and beasts, tender and violent.” - Dr Marianne Schultz; www.ngataonga.org.nz/blog/film/now-is-the-hour/; retrieved 16/06/2017.

The Limbs dancers are Douglas Wright, Catherine Cardiff, Catherine Chappell, Glenn Mayo, Will Thomson, Marc White, Marianne Schultz, Debra McCulloch, Shona McCullagh, Lisel Grigg and Dale Tanner.

There is a two-minute break for tv commercials (not included) at approx. 34m 20s.

See F5863 for a, non-broadcast standard, video of the premiere performance - with Taiaroa Royal (rather than Douglas Wright) in the lead.

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Year 1988

Reference number F5994

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Television

Production company Television New Zealand

Credits Choreographer: Douglas Wright
Music: Don McGlashan
Music: Wolfgang Mozart
Music: Samuel Barber
Set & Costume Design: Elizabeth Whiting
Presenter (TV): Sharon Crosby
Director (TV): John Wansbrough
Back Cloth Design: Gretchen Albrecht
Artistic Director: Catherine Cardiff
Senior Camera (TV): Chris Frew
Senior Sound (TV) : George Barris
Executive Producer (TV): Denis Harvey
Stage Manager: Lynda Topp
Producer’s Assistant: Liz Conway

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