26 Mar 2024

The University of Auckland chooses 2023 FAME Trust winner

The University of Auckland chooses 2023 FAME Trust winner

The Acorn Foundation and the trustees of the FAME Trust are pleased to announce talented dancer and choreographer, Melquesedec Quitaleg, as the 2023 Emerging Practitioner Award recipient at the University of Auckland. This institution is one of seven top-rated performing arts schools in New Zealand which are each granted an annual $10,000 scholarship to offer promising students who have completed at least one year of tertiary study.

Mel believes his strengths lie in the realm of contemporary dance fostered in hip-hop and his cultural dance background. These styles of dance fall within his desired area of research, as they are heavily engaged in by South Auckland youth.

“This scholarship means a lot to me as an emerging practitioner and will prove to be immensely helpful throughout my postgraduate journey as I navigate my field of research. Namely under the topic of sexuality and religion through a colonial lens,” says Mel.

It is clear from Melʼs peers that he has an infallible enthusiasm for dance and is often welcomed into leadership positions because of his maturity and care for his cohort.

Sarah Knox, Lecturer in the Dance Studies Programme, says, “Melquesedec has been an exceptional all-rounder in his time at Dance Studies and is curious and engaged in his dance practice and student leadership roles. The FAME scholarship will enable Mel to have the needed time and space to pursue his Master of Dance Studies in which he will explore the intersection of identity and his hop-hip practice. This is an exciting area of research that will be hugely relevant to many young people across Aotearoa. This is a career defining moment for Melquesedec and will enable him to pursue this dance pathway to benefit both himself and his communities.”

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