Strike a pose!


There’s nothing quite like a little glitz, glitter and yellow and gold glamour on a Friday afternoon to duck dive into the weekend! This afternoon fellow dancer Kat Grange and myself had the pleasure of meeting interviewer from The Wellingtonian, Amy Jackman, for a newspaper interview and photo. Posing in the incredible new Peter and the Wolf outfits. Kat as the Cat (looking like a super hero, Cat Woman goes ballet) and myself as the all that glitters Duck (rubber Ducky has come to life)! What an entertaining afternoon it created.

Sitting in The Jimmy cafe for our interview, questions and answers gathering over pots of tea, I found myself becoming distracted. What was Amy writing on her note pad? It looked like odd, hieroglyphic symbols from another world. I figured she was trying to write our answers quickly and had, therefore, developed shorthand symbols of her own. This woman is amazing, I thought. Upon asking I discovered that shorthand is something all journalists are taught and is just second nature. I realized that dance is the same. To Amy, the very specific mime gestures we use in dance are a completely foreign concept. To me, however, they make total sense and can be read easily, just as Amy reads her shorthand. Ballet mime is simply another language to be learnt. Here’s where a photo series could be a lot of fun! What do you think? A series of pictures detailing ballet gestures and what they mean.

I look forward to blogging again soon! Tonia 🙂

Tower Tutus on Tour: First Post!



Introducing the talented group of dancers I will be touring with this season.

This is it! The tour most talked about amongst the dancers at the RNZB. It’s the source of most of the many light-heartedly recalled stories and memories of company life that remain with us always and create the close-knit family that Tower Tutus on Tour always becomes.

One of the unique elements to a ‘Tutus on Tour’ season is that the company dancers are split into two groups. This allows us to travel the same production to many more venues around NZ than would normally be possible.

After weeks of rehearsals just under 3 remain until opening night in Wellington.

So here we are, early nerves kicking in and that upcoming show excitement beginning to infuse the air. A mixed show of little duets, lilting loveliness, classic Pas de Deux and the great entertainer- Peter and the Wolf.

This week we trialled newly tailored Peter and the Wolf costumes in studio. Time to get rid of the practice gear and my attempts to create a bird outfit using a mixture of dance wear and any loose fitting pyjama type pants and slippers I could find to achieve the most realistic quick change. Every character looks fantastic! Aside from sweating up a mini pool inside my chic, gold birdie jacket, I adored our first costume run. It’s the extra element that makes you feel like you really are the character you portray.

Stay tuned for photographs of the rehearsal process and the lead up to opening night! I hope you enjoyed my first blog of the season!

Tonia 🙂

Dancers in order from top left: Mac Hopper, Lucy Green, Oscar Hoelscher, Laura Saxon Jones, Tonia Looker, Harry Skinner, Matthew Slattery, Antonia Hewitt, Hayley Donnison, Qi Huan, Alayna Ng, Jacob Chown, Brendan Bradshaw, Yang Liu, Rory Fairweather-Neylan, Clytie Campbell.

Dancing through 2012

If I had to sum up the year so far in a word I would say- adventure. This year has been an adventure into the unknown in so many ways. Dance, as always, is a huge part of my life and I have had the opportunity to be involved in some really exciting works. Here are just a few snap shots of the year of dance so far!

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Leaps and Sounds performance