Back of the Bus

Java Dance Theatre

Thu 25 Feb, Fri 26 Feb, Sat 27 Feb, Sun 28 Feb

Various, see below



Meeting Point: Outside the entrance of Te Papa

55 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


wheelchair accessible, casual, non-verbal, join in

Back of the Bus is back! Come ride on a bus through the streets of Wellington as dancers propel themselves along the aisles and hang from the roof. Physical comedy, kinetic energy and outrageous scenarios combine to create a magical mystery tour. Fresh from 21 sell-out seasons in New Zealand, Shanghai, Seoul, Edinburgh and Australia. Sell-out season Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and 2019. 5 star reviews in Edinburgh and Adelaide. 'I felt like a kid at a candy store full of wonder and excitement.' (Audience member). Catch the dancing bus in Wellington.
“Oozes charm and captures the imagination”
Broadway Baby (5 stars)
“Back of the Bus is sure to delight and astound you. From its hugely funny opening sequence to its toe tapping finale it had me hooked.”
Buzzcuts, Adelaide (5 stars)
“This is a show that will leave you with a smile on your face”
The Wee Review Edinburgh

Capacity Limited to 30
Book now:

25 Feb:

26 Feb:

27 Feb:

28 Feb:

Java immerses New Zealanders in transformational dance theatre experiences that resonate with them and enrich their lives. We create live dance theatre with New Zealanders, for New Zealanders and by New Zealanders. Founded in 2003 by artistic director Sacha Copland, Java has created 21 full length works, performing to over 100,000 people in NZ, Australia, Asia and the UK. In 2019 Java’s 21st season of Back of the Bus again sold out 42 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. . From 2011-2019 Java created The award winning Artisan Series. Since 2013 Java have toured regularly to Australia, the UK and Asia. So far in 2020 Java returned home from a tour in Singapore, matched musicians and dancers for 101duets over Zoom, facilitated large-scale artistic collaboration The Metamorphosis Project, created a new site-specific participatory work for the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival and fostered the independent dance community.

Sacha Copland - Choreography, cast and concept
Sacha Copland is the artistic director of Java Dance Theatre & founded the company after graduating from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2003. In 2019 Sacha was awarded the CNZ Choreographic Fellowship. She has been commissioned by Dance4 (Nottingham UK), Wellington Orchestra, NZ School of Dance, Capital E National Arts Festival (2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019) and STAB (BATS)

Emma Coppersmith - cast
Emma graduated in 2010 from the NZ School of Dance. Upon graduating Emma freelanced in Wellington, working on numerous film, photography and movement projects, including securing a role in feature film ‘Ghost in the Shell’ in 2016. Since 2013 Emma has been a core dancer with Java playing major roles in The Creamery, Cheese, Web, The Wine Project, Dirt, Back of the Bus, Down Beneath Below, Treat and Chocolate, touring to Australia, the UK, South Korea, China and extensively throughout NZ.

Ella Williams - cast
Ella joined Java Dance Theatre as a core dancer in 2018 after graduating from the NZ School of Dance the previous year. Ella has performed The Creamery, Treat, Back of the Bus and Chocolate with Java, touring to Hamilton, Taranaki and Edinburgh. During her time at the New Zealand School of Dance Ella worked with choreographers Douglas Wright, Sarah Foster-Sproull and Michael Parmenter as well as choreographing a dance film and performing a solo created by Sacha Copland and touring the work to Tempo.

Kia Jewell - cast
Kia graduated from the NZSD in 2018. During her time at NZSD she performed in works by Damien Jalet and Lauren Langlois and premiered by own work ‘beam’ in the 2018 Choreographic Season. Kia then toured to the Edinburgh fringe Festival with ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Back of the Bus’. In September 2019 Kia moved to Brussels and took up a place at P.A.R.T.S, the school of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker before returning to NZ during the Pandemic. Kia is currently working with Java.