MaryJane O'Reilly

MaryJane O’Reilly has had a professional career spanning over 30 years both in New Zealand and internationally.

MaryJane O'Reilly has studied at the Royal Ballet School, co-founded and danced with Limbs Dance Company, choreographed the Opening Ceremony of the 1990 Commonwealth Games and most recently has been the artistic director of the Tempo Dance Festival. 

MaryJane's early years were spent studying ballet from the age of 4, performing with the New Zealand Ballet in 1969 before heading to London on an RAD scholarship to study at the Royal Ballet School and performing in Europe.

On returning to New Zealand in 1976 she became a co-founder, dancer and choreographer with the Limbs Dance Company (1977 – 86) and held the position of Artistic Director from 1979 to 1986.

Her choreography of the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (1990) involved a cast of 6000 and was viewed by over 5 million TV audiences worldwide.

She has received numerous grants and awards including the $30,000 Allen Highet Award (1984) for outstanding achievement by a mid-career artist and was awarded a Queens Service Medal for her services to dance in 1990.

It was also in 1990 that she choreographed the first ever commissioned 3 act ballet ‘Jean’ about our most famous aviatrix Jean Batten for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

From 1996 to 2001 she directed the Auckland Dance Company, during which time she was commissioned to create a new outdoor work Crater Dance for the first ever NZ WOMAD (1997). Auckland Dance Company was also a platform for many workshops and processions as well as contemporary ballet works including Giselle (on another planet).

In 2001 she created a Limbs Retrospective programme which was performed to sell out houses in Auckland and Wellington.

From 2001 – 2004 MaryJane taught Dance 101, dance technique and her own repertoire at the Dance Programme of the University of Auckland.

From 2006 to 2011 she was Artistic Director of Tempo, New Zealand’s Festival of Dance, culminating in a hugely successful season at the new Q Theatre.

MaryJane recently curated the 2012 Living Room Festival in Central Auckland and is currently a freelance choreographer and dance teacher as well as producing

In Flagrante – her contemporary cabaret work – which recently performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to great acclaim.