Carl Tolentino
Performer & Tutor

Carl began full-time dance training at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence (QDSE) in 2006. After attaining a Diploma in Dance Performance and the QDSE Special Performer Award in 2007, he was accepted into the Modern Major programme at the New Zealand School of Dance in 2008. Here, Carl worked with leading choreographers such as Ross McCormack, Shona McCullagh, Sarah Foster-Sproull, Michael Parmenter, Malia Johnston, Victoria Colombus, Taane Mete, Lina Limosani, and Taiaroa Royal. During his final year of school, Carl performed Malia Johnston’s Body Fight Time with Footnote Dance Company, which toured to Wellington and Auckland.

In 2012, after graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance in the previous year, Carl performed with Black Grace in its Germany, South Korea and New Zealand tour as well as with Okareka Dance Company in its New Zealand tour of Ngā Hau E Wha. He finished his first year out of school as a performer in World of Wearable Art, where he would perform again in 2014.

In 2013 Carl toured again with Black Grace to North America and performed with The New Zealand Dance Company (NZDC) in the inaugural season of Rotunda. He also worked alongside Vicki Van Houton in her work Long Grass, performed at Sadler’s Wells in Lewis Major’s Glasshouses, and worked with Shaun Parker & Company on Am I, which premiered in the 2014 Sydney Festival.

Carl has since dedicated his career to performing with NZDC in premieres and tours of: Rotunda in the Holland Dance Festival and as a part of an Australasian Tour; Language of Living in a New Zealand tour; Lumina in its premiere and in its tours across New Zealand and Europe; The Absurdity of Humanity in its premiere and tour across New Zealand; Trolleys in its premiere; Kiss The Sky in its premiere and New Zealand tour; performed the role of Orpheus in the premiere of Michael Parmenter’s OrphEus–a dance opera; performed Matariki for Tamariki in its premiere; and This Fragile Planet its its premiere in Auckland Fringe Town and Hamilton Gardens Festival.

In 2021 Carl performed A Figure Exhales by Zahra Killeen-Chance for the Auckland Arts Festival and Shel We by Tupua Tigafua in the Pacific Dance Festival. 2022 has seen Carl perform in the digital premieres of Waiwhakaata – Reflections in the Water by Eddie Elliott for 2022 Auckland Arts Festival, NZDC's ArteFact - How to Behave in a Museum in the same festival, and the premiere of Night Light.