Story: Contemporary dance

Hiroshima, New Dance Group, 1947

Hiroshima, choreographed by Olive Smithells and performed by the Wellington-based New Dance Group, was a reflection on the Second World War and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Its single performance attracted 700 people. A reviewer in the Education Gazette wrote that ‘in an age which has no more words to describe human catastrophe, it may be that such a presentation can lead to greater clarity of thought and deeper realization of the social implications of scientific discovery’.

Within months of the performance, the New Dance Group disbanded, with the Smithellses shifting to Dunedin (where they would continue their involvement in modern dance) and other members of the group travelling overseas. Here performer Alison Crawford (Kane) recalls what it was like for dancers and audience in a 2008 documentary about the group.

Using this item

Point of View Productions
Reference: Dance of the instant: the New Dance Group, 1945-1947. Producer and director, Shirley Horrocks. Point of View Productions, 2008

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How to cite this page:

Marianne Schultz, 'Contemporary dance - New Zealand practitioners, mid-20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/42587/hiroshima-new-dance-group-1947 (accessed 22 October 2019)

Story by Marianne Schultz, published 22 Oct 2014