Our thoughts go out to the friends and whānau of leading New Zealand choreographer and contemporary dancer Douglas Wright who passed away on Wednesday evening, at the age of 62.
Wright’s extraordinary artistry touched so many lives including members of the RNZB for whom he created four works including Sorry to have Missed You (1983), The Decay of Lying (1992), Rose and Fell (1997) and Halo (2000). Many had the privilege to dance alongside him when he performed the iconic title in Russell Kerr’s 1993 staging of Petrouchka.
RNZB Board member, choreographer and former dancer Toby Behan recalls that time saying “As a dancer in the company, I first met Douglas when he performed the title role in Petrouchka in 1993. His performance in that roles was simply matchless; an ingenious piece of casting and an incredible performance. I was aware at the time that the connections between him, the ballet, and Nijinsky were rather profound. I was still dancing in the company when he created Halo on us, and working for Douglas in the studio was an exhausting, joyous delight. He taught us all so much – far more than simply the steps for a work. ”
Excerpts from a TVNZ filming of Petrouchka featuring Douglas Wright can be viewed online courtesy of NZ On Screen: