Theo Schoon

Theo Schoon dancing, Auckland Town Hall

Theo Schoon dancing, Auckland Town Hall by Theo Schoon

Artwork Detail

Theo Schoon’s reputation as a modernist photographer, painter, ceramist and carver is becoming increasingly acknowledged. However, he is little known as a practioner and teacher of Javanese dance. He was an active proponent of traditional Balinese costume and adornment and he was the first visual artist in New Zealand to draw attention to the traditions of south east Asian dance, performance and costume.

Paul Rossiter, a close friend of the artist, viewed these two photographs during March 2014 and recalled that Yvonne Rust saw Theo Schoon dancing publicly in Christchurch during World War II. Schoon also presented demonstrations of Javanese dance at Wellington during August 1942 and March 1945.

These photographs were made when Schoon performed Javanese dancing at the Auckland Town Hall. The exact date is uncertain but it is likely that it occurred in either 1953 or 1954; perhaps as part of the annual arts ball event.

Theo Schoon dancing, Auckland Town Hall
Theo Schoon
Production date
120 x 76 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, The Ilene and Laurence Dakin Bequest, purchased 2014
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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