The $100,000 fellowship is the largest choreographic award available in New Zealand. It provides established choreographers with resources and time to commit to a period of investigation, experimentation and research in their practice.
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.
“As one of New Zealand’s strong choreographic voices, Sarah is at the perfect stage in her career to make the most of the opportunities this fellowship provides,” says Creative New Zealand Senior Manager Arts Policy, Capability and International Cath Cardiff.
“We are excited to see Sarah expand her choreographic practice beyond New Zealand but also thrilled that she will be using her skills and huge experience for the benefit of other New Zealand dancers and choreographers in this country.”
Foster-Sproull says, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I plan to push, experiment, reflect upon, and provoke new approaches to my choreographic practice. Thank you Creative New Zealand for supporting my vision for the next two creative years.”
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, and choreographs/teaches at University of Auckland, Unitec and the New Zealand School of Dance.
A distinguished graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance, Foster-Sproull has danced with Douglas Wright, Michael Parmenter, Malia Johnston, Raewyn Hill & Soapbox Productions, Footnote Dance Company, Mia Mason, Guy Ryan, Sylvain Meret, Magpie Music Dance, Frauke Requardt and The New Zealand Dance Company.
In 2015, she was selected by Crystal Pite to be one of five international choreographers to participate in the ‘Craft of Embodiment’ workshop at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. In 2016 she was resident choreographer in Singapore with T.H.E. Second Company, supported by Asia New Zealand Foundation and Creative New Zealand. She has just submitted her Masters in Dance Studies thesis through the University of Auckland Dance Studies programme.
Details of Foster-Sproull’s Choreographic Fellowship include:
- two-week residency with Co3 Dance Company and Raewyn Hill (Perth)
- one-week dance filmmaking mentorship exchange with Sue Healy (Sydney)
- guest choreographer for Touch Compass’s December Showcase (Auckland)
- mentorship exchange lab with Malia Johnson on choreographic approach and developing creative business models (Wellington)
- five-week residency with Fijian performance dance company VOU (Nadi)
- one-month development of a new trio/work (NZ)
- exchange with the Lobos Art Collective International Dance Forum (Los Angeles)
- collaboration with T.H.E. Dance Company Singapore on developing a new dance work (Singapore & NZ)
- development of a new work with Tamsyn Russell Dance Company (Edinburgh)
- establishment of a sustainable new Auckland-based dance company to provide professional experience opportunities for talented New Zealand dance graduates.
Previous recipients of the fellowship are: 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).
Image Credit: Jocelen Janon.