Jolt Youth Company was established in 2007 as a performance vehicle for the jolt youth class. It is an integrated company, bringing together dancers with and without disabilities. Since 2007 Jolt Youth has created five original shows as part of the Christchurch Body Festival and has established its own unique style: melding dance, physical, theatre and film to create innovative and powerful works. Our vision is to challenge the dancers to reach their full potential as performers and create works that are professional and meaningful: to make integrated dance performance the norm, not the exception.
"The production truly delighted the audience...long may Jolt continue its work"
Alan Scott, Christchurch Press
I am Sam, 2017
Creating I am Sam was both exciting and daunting.
How do you tell someone’s story? How do you express who they are in the confines of a stage, in a set period of time, to a diverse audience?
I am Sam is not just Sam’s story, but it is the story of all of us. We hope that we have found and expressed the moments that speak to our universal experience of what it means to be human.
Shorelines was an exciting collaboration between Jolt Youth, Jolt Junior and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Featuring live music by principal musicians Helen Webby, Anthony Ferner and Cathy Irons and film by Rick Harvie, Shorelines was an exploration of the fringe of land at the edge of the sea, a point of arrivals and departures, of timelessness, mystery and beauty "I was hugely impressed by the way that all of the dancers, regardless of disability, captured the dynamic and quality of all the movement within the show. The connection between the dancers on stage, not only with each other but with the musicians, the music itself and with the audience is something very inspiring." Jess Probert, Theatreview
Walk was an innovative and inspired exploration of the history of walking. Why and how do we walk: for survival, for exploration, for our rights? The work used original film by Eugene Lee to explore our past and cultural connections to walking. It also told the story of Shackleton and his epic journey for survival.
"Walk is a delicate and beautiful piece of dance theatre" Elizabeth O"Connor, Theatreview
Echo & bounce/Humble me, 2010 and 2011
Echo & Bounce marked a new direction for Jolt Youth. Rather than a narrative the piece explored the unique characters of the dancers using dance, movement and original film by Rick Harvie, Belmont Productions. Originally performed in Christchurch as Echo & Bounce, the show also toured to Dunedin. Humble Me became the name of the show for the Dunedin tour because it reflected the intimacy and integrity the dancers had brought to the work.
Paperbag Princess, 2009
The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch was Jolt Youth's third show. Using original film by Rick Harvie it told a heroic tale of love, bravery and a fire breathing dragon. Elizabeth begins as a traditional princess, but as she journeys to save her prince she finds she is capable of much more.
The Man whose Mother was a Pirate, 2008
Jolt Youth's original adaptation of Margaret Mahy's wonderful story fused dance, physical theatre and puppetry to recreate the journey of the little man and his pirate mother. Working with internationally renowned puppet maker Rebekah Wild, the show captured the humour, joy and imagination that are the prevailing features of Mahy's work; her love of life, people and the sea.
Where the wild things are, 2007
"Where the Wild Things are" by Maurice Sendak was the first performance by the newly created Jolt Youth performance company. Fusing dance, drama and film the piece recreated the magical journey by Max to the land of the wild things where he comes to realise who loves him best of all.