Mature dancers explore the history of so-called “Witches” in Otaki and Wellington, New Zealand

For the next few weeks my mind and body will be focused on the next production of Crows Feet Dance Collective. We’ll dance the story of powerful women demonised as “witches.”

2019 is our 20th anniversary! Several of the original members are still dancing, and Jan Bolwell, our director, is still very much in charge. I joined more than ten years ago and I’m the oldest at 79. (You have to be at least 35 to join.) This is a landmark event—please, please come if you can! And spread the word!

Why witches? We’re not witches!

I don’t even believe in witchcraft. But we are fascinated by the way that strong women and wise women have been branded as witches for centuries.

In “The Witch Project” we draw on this rich history in a series of dances that are provocative, serious, amusing, and ultimately a celebration of female strength.

Come and see for yourself!

OTAKI: 10th March, 3pm
Nga Purapura, Te Wananga o Raukawa, 144 Tasman Rd
WELLINGTON: 23 & 24 March, 4pm
Soundings Theatre, Te Papa Tongarewa

Tickets: Otaki $20/$15, Wellington $25/$20, Door sales (cash only), Bookings:


Lite Blogging only for the next few weeks

But of course, you knew that a mere human cannot blog three times a week AND rehearse intensively AND deal with normal things like broken pipes and AirBnB guests and poetry readings and a torn meniscus. See you at the show, you Kiwis, and everyone else, see you later.


18 thoughts on “Mature dancers explore the history of so-called “Witches” in Otaki and Wellington, New Zealand

  1. rhinophile says:

    Sounds amazing!! I wish New Zealand was reachable from Australia by train or tram or bicycle!

  2. bone&silver says:

    That looks and sounds so good! I hope you tour to Australia…

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Well, it’s a bit of a mission getting the 40-odd dancers in one place. Let alone across the Tasman.

      1. bone&silver says:

        Haha, true

  3. Anonymous says:

    WISH I could be there. Sounds like fun and quite a celebration.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It will be special. Even though I dance like I draw,

      1. cedar51 says:

        who cares, as long as you act “strong” and dance with “joy”

  4. JT Twissel says:


  5. Elizabeth says:

    A torn meniscus? Ouch.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      This week, much improved. Thank you for your empathy!

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Good. A friend at the gym actually had to have minor surgery for what he did to his meniscus from a bout with a ladder.

  6. Robyn Haynes says:

    Break a leg Rachel! Wish I could be there. Fabulous concept.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks Robyn! We are a happy band.

      1. Robyn Haynes says:

        Wonderful way to enjoy yourself

  7. Su Leslie says:

    Shame I can’t wrangle a trip to Wellington for this. I’m sure it will be fab.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Would love to seeyou there, maybe you can send a proxy.

      1. Su Leslie says:

        I’ll put the word out to the Welly whanau.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Oh thank you Su!

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