Kuranui College Year 13 student Amelia Butcher stole the show at the national Dance NZ Made competition, with an outstanding performance of her self-choregraphed dance Endure, winning her the title of best Year 13 solo artist in New Zealand, and third best solo performance overall.
Held at Regent on Broadway, Kuranui performers travelled to Palmerston North over the weekend to compete against the best schools in the country. 59 teams, 74 duos and trios and 31 soloists from across New Zealand performed at the annual event.
Kuranui dance teacher, Karin Melchior, said all of the dances were choreographed by the students. “It is lovely to see the students take ownership of their performances and striving for excellence because they are so invested in them.
“I am so proud of all of the students involved. They worked very hard and put in many hours of rehearsals for their dances. It is so exciting to see a small school like ours do so well at a national level, competing against city colleges with huge pools of highly trained dancers and dance academies.”
Butcher’s dance piece was the masterpiece of many weeks of hard work. Deeply moving and violently raw, it appealed to every member of the audience. “I practise my solos during every interval or during my dance scholarship class, and I use any spare time I have,” explained Butcher.
“The piece was called Endure, because everyone goes through something which is harsh, or not the best in life. Life is trying to live and survive through everything, and it’s about pushing through when things are hard, so I was trying to show that,” she added.
Melchior has been Butcher’s teacher since she started at Kuranui, and has encouraged the Year 13 student to follow her passion during her time at the college. “I have watched Amelia grow as a choreographer and dancer since Year 9 and she has developed a very unique and distinctive style that was commented on by the judges and definitely makes her dances stand out.”