Category: current project

Virginia Kennard has taught across a range of disciplines and genres since the age of 14. She recently taught AJDA senior level jazz dance syllabus at Impact Dance and Stage School, Ōtautahi, and jazz dance and improvisation techniques for NASDA.

Her first role was assisting Paula Hunt in teaching Pre-Primary ballet students, aged 4-6. She was a mathematics tutor to Year 11 students during her final year at high school. Virginia taught mathematics and social studies on and off for the Victoria University of Wellington Centre for Continuing Education between 2001 and 2009.

Virginia is a contemporary dance, jazztastic aerobics, improvisation, and Muscle and Bone tutor for Movement Art Practice from 2019 to the present where she also manages a community workshop program. Virginia taught contemporary dance technique and contact improvisation in Glasgow through Dance House between 2010 and 2011, contemporary dance and improvisation as part of the Wellington Freelance Dance Collective between 2011 and 2013, and dance at Standouts Drama, Dance, and Singing in Te Whanganui-a-Tara between 2013 and 2016.

A particular teaching highlight was Jazztastic Dance Aerobics during the 2020 and 2021 NZ Lockdown via Zoom (see featured image).

Other classes and genres taught include Contact Improvisation, Improvisation, Burlesque, Stretching for Dancers, Classical Ballet, Choreography for Actors, Pilates, Yoga, plus How to do your Taxes as a self-employed NZ-based arts contractor.

if you cut out your eyes with scissors
do you think you would still dream?
…the politics of being seen
i am lying in wait
i am laying out the bait
…Salome would just chop of Herod’s dick to add to her holy head collection

Headless Women is an in-process performance research project that began at the Arts Village Rotorua Open Studios Project during Summer 2019/20 and will tour Aotearoa in 2023.

A development workshop was held at Impact Dance Studio in Ōtautahi, Summer 2021 with Chloe Summerhayes, Georgia Giesen, Denesa Chan, Hannah Blumhardt, Natalie Carroll, and Jess Quaid.

Writing that came from the residency here

Response to the workshop showing by Dr Erin Harrington here

Short film from the 2021 workshop by Natalie Kittow here

Music composed by Madison van Staden of Moody V and the Menstrual Cycle

Images taken by Natalie Kittow, Fern King, and Natalie Carroll

Virginia was a contributor to Messed Up on, New Zealand’s longest running mashup show and made some rad mash-ups as DJ Betty Lightbulb. Several tracks were mastered and produced by Dan Untitled.

She continues to create mash-ups, spoken word sonic layers, and remixed tracks for her performance works and you can find several of these tracks at her profile. Betty’s debut live set was 26 July 2018, at SAYONARA SOUP event at Space Academy, Christchurch, a community event run by Gap Filler.

Tracks include:
Some backing sounds for Feminine Hygiene, a performance art essay collab with Marika Pratley, whilst they chatted about sex work within a Marxist framework, performed at Hamilton Fringe and Ōtautahi Tiny Performance Festival 2019.

A new track for her Big Queer Anti-Wedding series as performed for #redshoesnoknickers at the glØaming, Tempo Dance Festival, Auckland, October 2019

Moral Panic, the soundtrack to a 2016 solo, featured in the Music From Her: Sound Art Exhibition in October 2018 for Aotearoa Audio Arts Festival. Full exhibition album available here.

The soundtrack for Big Queer Anti-Wedding, featuring original composition Slut Revolt by Marika Pratley and Chris Wratt, and including tracks by Marlea Black and spoken word by Virginia Kennard,

sylvia eats amy jean and emi and 19/01 breaks britney’s ice for her solo movement performance work am i ever gonna be enough, which was performed at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds, May 2017.

Take up space and get the fuck i’m sorry im sorry as part of her dance ensemble piece Self Love is a Revolutionary Act, which was performed at Sibiu International Theatre Festival, June 2017.

Freeky Litanies 1.0 as part of her solo work on ethical consumption and sex work, am i ever gonna be enough

Coiled Up Le1fy Delia for Works for Loudspeakers, Autumn 2015 and used for pole performance Voyeurist.

Stupid Sardines for you occupy my body by looking performance i’m selling shoes obviously – an homage to Guy Bourdin

Photo credit:

  • Kowhai Montgomery, 2015


Since her MA at Leeds Beckett 2016-2017, Virginia has been interested in writing as part of her performance practice: as research, as performance, as reflection, as exercise. Two of her postgraduate essays can be read on

She has written as a tutor and as a practicing artist for Movement Art Practice. She has blogged for The Performance Arcade Live Press, including this response to Lynn Lu‘s Haumapuhia Rising, 2018.

Virginia likes to say rambles for performance. Is it spoken word, is it poetry? Who actually knows.

Virginia is a dance reviewer on and off for New Zealand’s online review platform theatreview, largely between 2012 and 2013, as well as from 2022. She writes about dance, cabaret, and performance art. Responses to her reviews are mixed – from artists having temper tantrums, blocking her on all social media, to personal thanks over email and in depth interviews on air.

Her latest online review was for Daybreak Estate, an excerpt is published below.

Relentless Nihilist Optimism

Traipsing into the city feels hard in this omicron-y world, but *sigh* town in Christchurch on a Saturday night doesn’t look much different…nonetheless, deadly virus notwithstanding, i am pleased to have experienced this work, it warmed the cockles of my nihilist heart, plus the pink cutesy fierce femme aesthetic is this reviewer’s dream.

The early movement phrases feel like contemporary dance technique class-esque, but as the work develops these phrases become floppy and ironic and nihilistic, interspersed with unison pop dancing – the earnest-irony or ironic earnestness of the performers is a delight, with Liana Yew’s piercing gaze and champagne-popping entrances, and Liv McGregor’s too-cool-for-school stage presence, both well crafted use of these experienced dance humans. Terry Morrison and Sharvon Lewis emit shiny eager muted-exuberance that McCall has used wonderfully to offset the former.

Continue reading here.

For the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010 and 2011, Virginia was a reviewer for The Skinny‘s Fringe Festival dance publication The Shimmy Skinny, edited by Gareth K. Vile. Under her own name and the pseudonym Betty Lightbulb, Virginia reviewed over 25 performances, including Where did it all go right?, of which an excerpt is published below.

Audience interaction refreshingly brilliant

There’s a big distinction in attitude towards entertainment or art in the contemporary dance scene: either with self-proclaimed artistes refusing to pander to their audience, and grasping onto their integrity to make their envisioned work, or others chasing career longevity by ensuring their work has commercial appeal.

This either/or decision has been trampled by the wonder that is ponydance Theatre Company, an Irish-based ensemble presenting quirky and commercial yet brilliantly contemporary-minded choreography to this year’s Dance Base offerings. Being accessible has certainly not jeopardised the sheer freshness and cleverness of this work.

Continue reading here

Here is an excerpt of her review of Chimera by Sascha Perfect.

Haunting, Dark, Beauty

There is dark beauty in the haunting hybrid characters that Sascha Perfect inhabits in her movement and sound world Chimera, a work premiered at The Body Festival in Christchurch in 2010 and now continuing its development in Wellington, with its Wellington premiere originally programmed for the 2012 Dance Wellington Festival which was sadly cancelled..

A series of images that morph and travel: Sascha Perfect – woman; the dead body decomposing, doll-like; the crone, crumbling to become a bundle of rags;  a pagan ritual participant, chanting;  the accusing gaze of the maiden spinning her empty bird cage. Again: Chris Prosser – man; an eccentric at his desk, blindly and blithely swiping away the enemy and devouring flesh; a musical source, marking territory with violin twangs; a support to the woman yet existing in his own exclusive death ritual.

Continue reading here.


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© Copyright Virginia Kennard 2016