Jana graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2009 with a Diploma in Dance Performance. In that same year she worked with Weta Workshop in movement design for various films and danced in Iva Lamkum’s Music Video, Kung Fu Grip. In 2010 Jana was soloist dancer with the Nimby Opera’s touring production of The Cunning Little Vixen; then having won scholarships, attended the Paul Taylor Summer Intensive in New York. Upon her return, Jana performed with Projections Dance Company in Visceral at Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland (nominated for best emerging female dancer). 2011 saw Jana working with Shaun Parker and Company performing Happy as Larry for the Melbourne Dance Massive Festival: also in the UK and Reunion Island. In Sydney, Jana performed in Forseen, which included Narelle Benjamin’s The Dark Room and Frances Rings’ Debris. During 2012, Jana danced in the World of Wearable Arts, Wellington NZ; worked as a choreographer; guest teacher (NZ School of Dance); assistant rehearsal director (Melbourne Ballet Company); a facilitator of contemporary dance workshops (rural Victoria and New Zealand); and performed as a singer for various gigs. Jana worked with theatre company The Conch, and toured Masi to Fiji and the Sydney Festival during 2013 and was a Dancer and collaborator for Kowhiti Indigenous Dance Festival NZ Tiki Tane Mahuta, as well as performing at various commercial corporate events and dancing in music videos including The All Seeing Hand’s, Lying dead with a bar of soap.
Jana continues to tour extensively with ‘Happy as Larry’ including a 3 month tour around Australia and most recently the Middle East including Rammalah, Amman and also Eastern Europe. The beginning of 2014 Jana worked with ChoreoCo (facilitated by Footnote NZ) on a production Straight Laced choreographed by Craig Bary and also as a Motion Capture Stunt performer with Weta Digital, Planet of the Apes.
To learn more about the dancers and their experience with the show, come to one of our Q+A sessions after our Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday shows in Auckland and Wellington.
Maria graduated from Unitec with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in contemporary dance in 2006, training under various leading NZ dance artists including Michael Parmenter and Malia Johnston. After graduating Maria went on to perform in short works for Late Night Choreographer’s and Tempo Dance Festival. In 2008 she travelled around Australia and after returning to NZ in early 2011 Maria joined the cast of In Flagrante, a neo-burlesque show choreographed by Mary-Jane O’Reilly. She has performed in GoGoDo (winner) for Short and Sweet Dance Festival, Birds of Paradise for New Zealand Fashion Week, and has danced in various works for Tempo Dance Festival and the Auckland Fringe Festival. She also performed Boxed for the 2012 Living Room public art event, a solo dance piece originally commissioned by the British council choreographed by Susanne Thomas of Seven Sisters Group. Maria has been touring with In Flagrante since 2011 nation-wide and internationally, recently being invited to the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a five week long season, and to the Seychelles for a private event. Maria has been involved in the development process of Mana Wahine with Okareka Dance Company since December 2012 and is excited and privileged to be premiering the all-female work.
Want to know more about Mana Wahine's performers? We will be holding Q+A sessions after our Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday performances in both Auckland and Wellington.