What is your background? How did you get this job?
I’m a contemporary choreographer and teacher. I’ve worked in the professional dance field since 1998, and have been involved in many local and international creative dance and theatre productions over the years.
My first appointment with WOW was in 2001 where I was employed as assistant choreographer. The next year I was invited to choreograph and help direct the show, and I performed this role until 2009 when I became artistic director.
What does being the Artistic Director of WOW entail?
I direct the stage production and performance for WOW each year. I recruit the appropriate performers - a team of local and international talent recruited fresh each year to deliver the artistic vision of the show and collaborate with a team of creative designers who develop audio visuals, set and costume. I then choreograph each garment and direct dancers, models and performers. Each year, we also have guest choreographers and directors who work with me and contribute to various sections.
You have been working with WOW for over a decade now. What keeps the job exciting and fresh?
The show never ceases to amaze me, and I think the immense creativity of the designers and their passion for what they create is an endless source of energy. I’m also inspired by the love of this show by New Zealanders. It’s a New Zealand art form inspired by New Zealand creativity, and this is something I feel proud to be a part of.
Approximately how many people are involved in the production?
A lot - each year it differs. But, on average, there are 400 cast and crew involved in staging the show. These people do everything from rigging the stage to selling show programmes.
What makes WOW different from any other show in New Zealand?
WOW celebrates a huge variety of designers and ideas. It creates a competition that rewards people for being brave with their creativity, while also giving something spellbinding for audiences to enjoy. It brings together a large community of performers ranging from eight to 80 years old and celebrates performance on a truly large scale.
What can audiences expect from this year’s show? Is there anything about it that will set it apart from previous years’?
Each year at WOW is unique because each work of art entered into the show is new. Alongside this, the show itself is new and its performance component is fresh and exciting. There are some wonderful surprises this year – including a live music component that is truly exciting and a Bizarre Bra section that is ‘out of this world’.
WOW at Wellington’s TSB Arena from September 27 to October 7.