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Our Story

"Dance is the most beautifully truthful language of living."

Shona McCullagh
Artistic Director (2011 - 2019)


The New Zealand Dance Company is a sustainable, full-time arts organisation that creates and presents innovative and inspiring contemporary dance, for our audiences in Aotearoa and around the world.

The company was founded in 2011, by Chief Executive/Artistic Director Shona McCullagh (NZ Arts Laureate, and current Auckland Arts Festival Artistic Director) and General Manager Frances Turner and launched with Language of Living in 2012. The company sought to break the paradigm of dance companies operating on a project by project basis, presenting work by one choreographer, and moved instead to a sustainable model of presenting a variety of choreographic works.

Our audiences are moved by transformative and unforgettable contemporary dance, reflecting our whenua (land) and rich dance culture. Our culture is invigorated by the courageous risks we take, inspiring dancers, artists, creators and collaborators to deliver boundary expanding work.

We've performed live to close to 70,000 people over the last five years in New Zealand and around the globe. We've developed 10 programmes of work with 26 different creations in our repertoire from choreographers spanning New Zealand, Australia, Holland and South Korea. We are onstage at least once a year in our base city of Auckland and tour New Zealand annually. We've also had six international tours to the Holland Dance Festival (twice), Australia, Canada, Germany, Britain, the French Chaillot Theatre in Paris, Belgium and Luxembourg.

In addition to our professional Company, NZDC has a bustling Youth and Community Engagement Programme that has touched close to 20,000 people over the last five years through weekly classes, masterclasses and workshops for all ages and levels - including our popular over 60s Feisty Feet classes.


We are on a mission to commission, create and present compelling, relevant work with strong production values that move and inspires our dedicated and growing audience – creating a community that strengthens dance in this country.

We are a high calibre community of artists and supporters dedicated to producing and presenting inspiring new dance for New Zealand and the world.

And we want you to join us.

Your support as an individual or organisation is vital to the sustainability of the Company and our ability to produce beautifully realised work to the high standard of collaborative excellence to which we aspire to present to Auckland, New Zealand and the world.



Step through the creative collaboration of Lumina, NZDC's first triple bill programme.
Take a journey through the archives of The New Zealand Dance Company’s body of work.
Website Images 2022
Language of Living
Discover the season that launched NZDC in 2012