Virginia Kennard

MA in Performance

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After 11 years as a freelance performance artist, choreographer, and dance teacher in Wellington, Auckland, and Glasgow, I am furthering my performance practice by studying for my MA in Performance.

In July 2015 I earned a place on the MAPER program at Leeds Beckett University and will be starting my studies in September 2016.

After living in the UK and traveling around Europe, I returned to Wellington 5 years ago to consolidate my arts-learnings and performance-practices, and was lucky enough to connect with the city's experimental performance community. I worked with the Wellington Freelance Dance Collective and S.A.M.P.L.E., finding my art feet as a live art performer and performance installation artist, whilst still referencing my movement background (I trained in ballet, contemporary dance and commercial dance).

I have been teaching, creating, and performing since then, being part of to and fro (Auckland), Whakapapa (Melbourne), and the NZ Fringe Festival (Wellington), as well as having my work feature at exhibitions S:G:F:A2014 (London) and Widening the Cycle (Boston).

My art journey has lead me to realise I need to take my work to the next level in order for my practice to REALLY develop and take off - hence my enrolment in an MA. I researched several programs internationally and was accepted last year after a rigorous application and interview process.

Though I have been itching to spread my wings again, I am determined to return to Wellington to share my art learnings around. I have had such a great arts time in Wellington, my work has been received well, and i want to ignite that with the work, the research, the great international connections I will make whilst in Leeds. I love the performance community here and want to continue collaborating and creating with the genre-bending artists I know here.

I have been awarded two grants for my international study - from the Phoebe Maunsell Estate and from Creative New Zealand - but i still have yet to reach my savings goal! Will you help me study, rent a nice little flat, and eat food whilst I am in Leeds?


I have website currently under construction at

but you can check out a chronology of my work since 2011 here

a video of my 2013 performance How do I look?

my mash-up experiments

plus my performance exhibition you occupy my body by looking




  • MA complete!


    As of 30th September, my MA at Leeds Beckett University is complete! I have had a rollercoaster year creating 5 new performance works, attending live art and theatre festivals in the UK and Europe, getting my academeic art nerd on at conferences and symposiums, and at the moment enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather in Yorkshire.

    For more info on what i've been up to, please visit my MA page on my website

    As well as my blog for my solo piece 'am i ever gonna be enough'

    and images and text for my final major performance work for my MA 'Big Queer Anti-Wedding'

    What next??? I am heading home in mid-December (via the US to visit my new nephew Franklin) and in the meantime i am performing at events and conferences in London, York, and Stockton. I am doing some research for a couple of papers that have come out of my performance research over the last year, and doing a tiny amount of travel unrelated to performance :)

    Thanks SO MUCH for making this postgraduate academic art nerd adventure of mine possible! If you are in Kiwiland, let's catch up for a gin or a cup of tea when i return.

    MA complete!
  • Live Art Bistro Leeds here i come!


    I am pleased to announce i am making my Leeds performance debut tonight at the Live Art Bistro, in NEWK - their monthly Scratch night. In true me style, i will be performing something i am still conceptualising, and will be largely improvised. I have got a title, which is:

    Moral Panic v1.2: an investigation into the wonderings and speculations around the politics of sexual adventures or "Were you smitten?"

    and will feature music from E-Kare's debut EP AE JA #excite

    I am pretty well settled in Leeds, i have a lovely wee flat on my own in Beeston, still sorting internet.

    But best of all my course is FANTASTIC and my classmates are INCREDIBLE. We spend much of our Monday evenings doing readings on performance studies, Tuesdays at class together, and Friday nights seeing shows.

    Thank you everyone so much for your immense support in getting me here!




    Live Art Bistro Leeds here i come!
  • A week to go!


    I am overwhelmed and grateful to have reached my target with a week to go! Thank you so much to all my wonderful donors.

    I leave very soon for my studies, and am currently waiting for news of my student visa. I am due to pay the remainder of my fees just before i leave, so any further donations will definitely support my academic adventures. They may even enable me to submit and perform my work at arts festivals around the UK!

    Thank you again
    ‪#‎academeicartnerd‬ ‪#‎overwhelmed‬ ‪#‎lovelovelove‬

    A week to go!