Daniel Belton

Daniel Belton’s Biography

Choreographer/Dancer/Film Maker
Laureates 2015
Daniel Belton comes from a visual arts and contemporary dance background. He is a scholarship graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance. Daniel performed extensively in New Zealand and Europe during the 1990s, with dance luminaries Douglas Wright, Kim Brandstrup, Irek Mukhamedov, Vicente Saez, Lindsay Kemp, Elio Gervasi and Aletta Collins.

As a student Daniel was invited to dance with the Douglas Wright Dance Company, with whom he performed in New Zealand and internationally. His move to Europe in 1991 ignited the beginning of more than two decades of international collaborative relationships. Daniel became a key member of award winning Arc Dance Company in London, performing at venues such as Sadler’s Wells and Tivoli Gardens. He featured with The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Tanz Company Gervasi in Vienna and Valencia based Compania Vicente Saez.

Whilst building his reputation as a skilled dancer within contemporary dance repertoire, Daniel’s collaborations on trans-media and multi discipline works span his entire career. In 1995 he was awarded Arts Council of England funding to create work bridging the visual arts and dance. With renowned Danish choreographer Kim Brandstrup, he worked in opera and film, later returning as guest choreographer for the Prolegomena Choreographic Project, London.

Following Daniel’s return to New Zealand in 1997, he continued to work prolifically on inter-media projects with fellow dancer/choreographer Donnine Harrison. A series of gallery, film and site specific works including Homing Hokinga Mai, Shoal Dance, Leaf and Concertina established their newly formed trust (Good Company Arts) as innovators for stage and screen. Teaching residencies at the New Zealand School of Dance, Massey University, and the University of Otago enabled Daniel to develop new courses for choreography and dance on film.

Daniel’s output during the 2000s included the acclaimed dance theatre work Soundings, and the production of revolutionary dance films Henge, Lumin, Figures of Speech, Game, Reset, Matchbox, and After Dürer for national and international festivals. He continued to work as a free lance artist with commissions from The Royal New Zealand Ballet and Black Grace Dance Company, and NZ theatre companies.

In 2003 he was awarded New Zealand Arts Council’s first Choreographic Research Residency at Otago University. He was appointed New Media Artist in Residence at Massey University in 2008 to continue this research, and in 2010 won the Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship which resulted in a suite of dance films fusing physics and dance. His innovative trans-media project Soma Songs premiered in 2005, continuing to tour internationally and evolve along with major projects Line Dances (2010) and Time Dance (2012). His second commission for the Royal New Zealand Ballet delivered the critically acclaimed inter-media work Satellites, 2014.

Since 2010 Daniel has been invited to undertake pedagogical and performance residencies all over the world. His most recent multi-media work (OneOne) for Good Company Arts has been celebrated in South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.