09 Dec 2022

This content is tagged as Dance .


Close up Kit Reilly. He's dancing outside, wearing a blue t-shirt with a tree behind him.
Film still by Jacob Edmonds. From 2022 dance film, 'Turbulent Kingdoms' – directed and choreographed by Kit Reilly. Image supplied.

Auckland-based emerging choreographer Kit Reilly has received the 2022 Creative New Zealand Tup Lang Award, which will support the development of his new work, 'Access Point'.

Kit describes Access Point as a “deeply personal and introspective reflection on my experiences with my queer identity and the relationship that has had with my mental health.”

“I’m very grateful to the Creative New Zealand teams – it’s really validating to be able to be able to go ahead with a project that’s very important to me,” he said.

Kit says Access Point will be a mixture of dance, music, and film – similar to some of his other projects, including his recent dance film, Turbulent Kingdoms, also supported by Creative New Zealand, which he directed, choreographed, edited, and scored.

“During that process, I found I was closely examining interconnected themes and genres that can often be isolated. I feel like we have multiple things happening within us at once as human beings, and that’s such an integral part of existing.”

“I like how sound, lighting, movement – all these elements, when brought up early in the process – can grow together. For Access Point, I’m visualising a space kind of like a huge obstacle course – I’d love to explore how the space can shift and change.”

The Tup Lang Choreographic Award includes a total investment of up to $10,000 towards a specific project. 

Cassandra Wilson, our Arts Practice Director – Theatre, Dance and Festivals, is thrilled to see the award support a project that could reach across multiple genres and communities.

“While a trained dancer, Kit is clearly an emerging multi-disciplinary artist, who enjoys examining the intersections of not just artforms, but social and personal issues”, she said.

“Supporting the development of a work like Access Point, which will focus on the relationship between queer issues and mental health, aligns with our strategic priorities of inclusion, equity and wellbeing.”

“I’m excited to see the impact this award could have on Kit’s choreographic practice.”

Three dancers in action during a rehearsal. Kit Reilly is in the centre, with two female dancers either side of him.
Photo by Ralph Brown; from Kit’s first full length work, Utopia #9 in 2019. Also featuring Chelsea DesLauriers and Madeleine High. Image supplied.

Kit says that he’s been in a self-reflective place the past two years, and the concept of Access Point came to him while completing his recent residency at Orsolina28, in Italy.

“I started having these big waves of inspiration. Then I start to piece things together and concepts start to formulate. Being in my mid-20s, I felt like I wanted to dig deeper into myself about why things are the way they are, and how my brain operates.”

“Identifying as queer is such a big part of who I am, and how I exist. I’m really passionate about equality, claiming space in this world, and I think it’s important to share our stories. Everyone’s different, but it’s important to normalise talking about our own journeys. 

“This project is so introspective; sort of a self-examination. Hopefully it will make someone else’s journey feel validated.”


Read more about the Tup Lang award.

See a list of previous Tup Lang recipients.