Ms. Carrie Rae Cunningham

Tempo Dance Festival, Artistic Director Auckland, New Zealand


Originally from the US, Carrie Rae has worked as a choreographer, performer and dance educator in schools, as well as an administrator, producer and choreographer for a number of arts organisations, including serving as the Artistic Director of the Crittenden Arts Council (now Delta Arts) in West Memphis, Arkansas for 3 years.  She came to Auckland in 2003 to earn her Masters degree in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland, working with numerous local choreographers and performing in several dance, music and performance productions.  She has been with Tempo Dance Festival since 2008, serving in a number of roles until this year’s appointment as Artistic Director.

Tempo is an annual festival that celebrates dance in all its forms and styles, held each October in Auckland. Tempo’s philosophy is to increase, enhance and support society’s appreciation and experience of dance and how it relates to them. Audiences can choose from a selection of evening-length works, showcases and curated shared programmes that feature stunning and innovative dance works from New Zealand’s top dance talent across all genre of dance.  Over two weeks, Tempo presents 40+ shows, workshops, events and forums featuring 700+ choreographers, dancers performers.

Tempo also caters for the ever-evolving New Zealand dance community, including professional, established, international, emerging, cultural, community, youth and student dancers and choreographers, by providing a platform for them to present their work to a broad, diverse audience. Tempo has created a “Poutama” – a ladder of educational progression for dancers beginning with children as young as 4 years old, moving through high school students to tertiary dance students and emerging to professional dancers and choreographers.

Curatorial Statement

Tempo seeks to present high-quality, diverse works over its 2 week season each year.  I personally look for dance works that surprise and challenge, innovative use of space, clever choreography, practical staging and a good measure of collaboration.