The role of communication technologies between choreographer and composer during Aotearoa/New Zealand’s COVID-19 response


  • Jesse Austin-Stewart Massey University
  • Jason Wright



dance, composition, communication technologies, COVID-19, pandemic


This article demonstrates how rapidly creatives can amend their creative processes to account for imposed limitations, particularly in the context of COVID-19. It documents a gradual shift in the way that in-person collaboration is valued. The use of communication technologies between composer and choreographer are compared through examples of the authors’ own work both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This allows for observations to be made as to how interpersonal, domestic and international creative processes may develop in the future global ‘new normal’. Aotearoa/New Zealand’s current quasi-post-pandemic status allows for predictions to be made about what this collaborative relationship may look like for the rest of the world post-COVID.

Author Biographies

Jesse Austin-Stewart, Massey University

Jesse Austin-Stewart is a sound artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is an early-career emerging artist and is currently completing his PhD focusing on accessibility in spatial audio, looking particularly at barriers of finance, education, and disability and hearing. As an active sound artist, Jesse has written works for contemporary dance and film, created performance art works and made installations, among other works which have been exhibited in New Zealand and abroad. As a producer and audio engineer, he has recorded work for short films, orchestra, solo artists and bands, small ensemble, opera, and various other configurations. As a person with a disability, accessibility is core to Jesse’s work and his artistic curation.

Jason Wright

Jason Wright is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand and is a composer and sound artist working across dance, theatre, film, installation and visual art. Wright’s acclaimed work has been performed both nationally and internationally and has been included in collaborations with many of Aotearoa’s leading dance and theatre makers. A graduate of Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, Jason holds a Master of Music in Sonic Arts and Composition.


Heyang, Tuomeiciren, and Rose Martin. 2020. ‘A Reimagined World: International Tertiary Dance Education in Light of COVID-19’. Research in Dance Education. DOI:

Li, Zihao, Mingming Zhou and Timothy Teo. 2017. ‘Mobile Technology in Dance Education: A Case Study of Three Canadian High School Dance Programs’. Research in Dance Education 19/2: 183–96. DOI:

Molly W. Schenck. 2020. ‘This Isn’t What We Planned’. Online at (accessed 26 January 2021).

Settles, Burr, and Steven Dow. 2013. ‘Let’s Get Together: The Formation and Success of Online Creative Collaborations’. Proceedings of Conference of Human Factors in Computing Systems, April–May 2013: 2009–2018. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. DOI:

Sicchio, Kate. 2014. ‘Hacking Choreography: Dance and Live Coding’. Computer Music Journal 38/1: 31–39. DOI:

Vaughan, Elliot, and Sacha Copland. 2020. ‘Metamorphosis Trail: An Exploration of co-creation; a Transition from the Digital to the Tactile; an Exercise in Community Building’. Tuning Into the Pandemic: A Conference on the State of Music Research in Aotearoa, 26–27 November 2020. Wellington, Aotearoa: Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington.

Weber, Rebecca. 2020. ‘Moving Embodied Dance Practices Online’. The Activist History Review. Online at (accessed 26 January 2021).



How to Cite

Austin-Stewart, J., & Wright, J. . (2021). The role of communication technologies between choreographer and composer during Aotearoa/New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. Perfect Beat, 21(2), 103–110.