The Val Deakin Dance Theatre Trust is a non-profit, education al and charitable Trust formed in 1973. Trustees are Val Deakin , Jane Roseman and Christine Coppell. Two original and valued trustees were Cydie Strang MBE who passed away in 1999, and Manning St Leger Reeves who retired in 2022.
The Dance Theatre has presented a wide variety of dance performances throughout New Zealand ranging from small modern and jazz works in art galleries, to full-length classical ballets such as CINDERELLA, COPPELIA and THE NUTCRACKER. The Dance Theatre has given its services to numerous city celebrations, raised funds for several charities and has enriched the community with many workshops and performances. An educational programme was taken into schools New Zealand wide for over 10 years and workshops in dance and the related arts continue to be given.
The Dance Theatre has given numerous opportunities to young dancers and has brought in guest artist from New Zealand and overseas to perform with the Dance Theatre. Five dancers trained here have continued on to successful careers overseas. Major tours of the South Island were made in 1991 and 1992, and a tour of the North Island with the acclaimed “Steps in Time” in 1994.
In its first overseas tour in 2006, the Dance Theatre was invited to and performed in the Arundel Festival in southern England. In recognition of the event, members of the Dance Theatre Trust were honoured by being made cultural ambassadors by the New Plymouth District Council. The Dance Theatre has also been a performance outlet for the enormous talent and creativity of internationally recognised choreographer Val Deakin.
To date, the Dance Theatre has given more than 583 performances of more than 120 different dance works.
In 1981 the Dance Theatre purchased the old Methodist Church building in St. Aubyn Street, New Plymouth, giving the Trust a permanent home. It is also a performing arts centre providing a venue for art exhibitions, music and dance performances and lessons in many forms of dance, music, yoga, meditation and martial arts. It is also available for hire.