By Joanna Wane
26 August 2019
It’s a clever play on words, the title of guest choreographer Andi Schermoly’s work “Stand to Reason”, commissioned by the Royal New Zealand Ballet to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage.
It stands to reason, of course, that women should have the right to vote – but it’s also a call to arms. “To stand is an action,” she says. “Nothing gets done unless we do something about it. The piece builds in energy, becoming really relentless at the end, and you see that’s how you make change – by being relentless.
“It’s also a reminder we have to be vigilant and remember that what people have fought for can be easily taken away.”
Now based in Los Angeles, Schermoly grew up in South Africa, where she was a member of the Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team. She had learnt some colonial history at school, so already knew a bit about the suffrage movement when she was approached by the ballet company to create a work for its Strength & Grace season in Wellington last year. But it was only when she began researching the issue more deeply that she stumbled across a pamphlet by Kate Sheppard called “10 Reasons Why Women Should Vote”.
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