Jolts vision is to celebrate the unique qualities of our dancers and to challenge perspectives about dance and disability.
We aim to:
- offer regular, ongoing dance and movement classes
- create innovative and original performance works that engage with diverse audiences
- create genuine pathways for our dancers as teachers and choreographers
- promote accessibility and ownership of the arts to all people
Jolt was founded by Artistic Director Lyn Cotton in 2001 with the support of the Christchurch City Council. In 2007 Jolt became a charitable trust supported by a board of trustees.
Jolt work is founded on the principal of individuality and was inspired by the work of Wolfgang Stange and his London based company Amici. It is based on the belief that what are perceived as limitations are opportunities for unique movements and unique connections between people
There are three main strands to Jolts work: our classes, performances and Community programmes.
Jolt classes offer weekly dance training for all ages and abilities. There are no barriers to joining the classes, the only pre-requisite is a passion to dance. Jolt dancers also have the ability to train as dance teachers through our “Move” Tutor training scheme.
A number of Jolt performance companies have grown out of exploration in the classes. Jolt Dance Company (2002 - 2013) and Jolt Physical Theatre Company (2007 - current) create innovative, original works. Jolt also produces a biennial show featuring all of the classes. This has become a huge celebration of integrated dance and the creative potential of the disability community.
Jolt Interactive (est. 2012 - current) provides interactive, multi-sensory performances and workshops for diverse audiences. This work, the first of its kind in New Zealand, is based on the belief that everyone has the right to access theatre and performances in ways that are meaningful and genuine.
In 2004 Jolt won the prestigious NZRA outstanding programme award for excellence and was awarded national recognition by Arts Access Aotearoa as the best Creative Space for 2009. In 2014 Artistic Director, Lyn Cotton won the Attitude TV award for “Making a Difference” and received a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2015.
"If anyone is feeling pessimistic about humanity, I challenge them to watch a Jolt performance and not feel reinspired."
Steve Carter, DANZ