New Zealand’s most enduring and influential contemporary dance company is headed back to Queenstown.

Footnote is three quarters through a national tour of an electrifying double-bill dubbed IYKYK (If you know, you know).

The company’s general manager Zoe Nicholson says they wanted to choose a title that would appeal to a new generation of contemporary dance audience, ‘‘and we found it makes everyone smile, once they know what it means’’.

The show, hitting the Queenstown Memorial Centre this Saturday, is guaranteed to stimulate and provoke discussion.

With music from Wellington-based sound artist Emi Pogoni and lighting by Elekis Problete Teirney, Nicholson says some parts of the performance are ‘‘quite electronic’’.

‘‘I think its very fresh, very modern — both the dance and the music.’’

The theme, she says, is the human condition — how do you win at the game of life and what are the rules of the end of the world?

The first work, ‘Advance to Go’, is the creation of young Taranaki-born choreographer Holly Newsome.

Nicholson: ‘‘It’s the more light-hearted of the two works, it’s fun and very athletic.

‘‘The second piece, ‘Premonition’, was choreographed by indigenous performance artist Forest Kapo, and deals with darker issues like climate change and relationships in the age of climate change.

‘‘It’s a very impressive show in terms of physicality.’’

Kapo has been living in Melbourne for a decade studying indigenous arts practices in Australia but is now back home in Aotearoa again.


Nicholson says each work’s 30 minutes long, with a 20-minute interval, because the company’s trying to encourage audiences into contemporary dance.

‘‘It’s good for the uninitiated, if they’ve never been to a show like this, they can dip their toe in.’’

She says the feedback from North Island audiences has been incredible — ‘‘people have been buzzing afterwards; they’re inspired and uplifted’’.

‘‘It’s so emotive and sometimes people worry they’re not understanding modern dance, but it’s more about the overall feeling audiences get from the show.’’

As they did the last time they visited Queenstown, in 2022, Footnote’s holding a masterclass at Remarkables Park’s Te Atamira arts and cultural centre tomorrow — adult workshops cost $50 per student, which covers a 90-minute class and a ticket to Saturday’s performance; youth classes are free.

‘‘There’s a lot of artists and performers in Queenstown and Central Otago and it is awesome to connect with the community there,’’ Nicholson says.

‘‘We have two teachers for every workshop, so we can accommodate different levels in each class.

‘‘We teach some of the movements from the show and we show people the creative exercises that are used in the construction of the performance.’’

Founding in 1985, Nicholson says it’s not uncommon to meet people at the workshops who enjoyed their first masterclasses with the Wellington-based company when they were in high school.

Nicholson notes it’s best to book tickets for tomorrow’s show in advance given some of the bigger have been selling out.

Footnote Dance Company’s IYKYK, Saturday, March 23, Queenstown Memorial Centre, 7pm. Adults $35, concession $30, kids 13 and under $25 (plus fees), via eventfinda. Footnote community masterclass, Te Atamira, tomorrow, 7pm — to register, visit

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