Two comic cheesemakers and a farmer attempt to make cheese from milking the cows all the way to the final product. A conjoined cow/calf enters the scene to be fed with real spinach and milked by the dancing and (violin playing) cheesemakers. But while the curds are separated from the whey the calf escapes and the cheesemakers dubious herding skills are put to the test. Chase scenes around the audience and bolting cows ensue. The determined cheesemakers still manage to produce the stringiest stretchiest goopiest cheese imaginable but the animals have their way in the end. The story is told entirely through dance, physicality and live music. There is an underlying metaphor exploring the bond between mother and child. The show is immersive and interactive and encompasses the audience. All the senses are engaged with waterfalls of whey, the smell of lemons and herbs, blue cheese to taste, lush cello to hear and a stellar cast of New Zealand dancers.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
Technical Rating
C, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party

All the sound is live and the wireless mics are essential technically. Cheese is performed as a touring suite with The Creamery. Cheese for families and The Creamery for adults use the same set, cast and technical set-up but contain different material. Cheese can be performed in the round, traverse or end stage. In the round the central performance space is just 5x5 metres so in most theatres some seats can be put on the stage to accommodate being in the round. See more production information for The Creamery on the Artour website.

Java Dance Theatre captures audiences of all ages with visceral dance theatre that clambers into the senses and speaks to the soul. We create original dance theatre works with playful physicality, live music and full audience immersion.

“It was contagious” audience member, Festival of Colour Wanaka, The Wine Project 2015

History Founded in 2003 by artistic director Sacha Copland, Java has created 16 new works, performing to over 100,000 people in NZ, Australia and the UK. In 2016 Java’s 19th season of 'Back of the Bus' again sold out 42 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. In 2015-16 Java premiered and toured 'The Wine Project (part 2 in The Civilisation Series)' and 'Dirt and Other Delicious Ingredients', to critical acclaim, performing in Perth, Nelson, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, Wanaka, Southland, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Dunedin and Edinburgh. The Wine Project recently won the Darkchat award for Best Dance in Edinburgh. Also in 2016 Java toured their interactive installation 'SENSE' to the Seoul Street Arts Festival in South Korea.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

Cheese for families integrates live dance, music and theatre. The style is immersive and tactile and the audience touch, taste, smell, see and hear this show. The show is staged in the round giving children a more intimate experience of dance.

Marketing Materials

Short Copy Below. Images, footage and reviews available. Amazing animals, squirting milk jets and flying hay bales combine with all the bells and whistles to make cheese. Dancing milkmaids and yodelling goatherds will lead you on a farmyard frolic as they attempt to make their first ever cheese. If you have ever wondered where cheese comes from or cried over spilt milk this is the show for you. Cheese is an epic journey from grass to milk to stringy, chewy, stretchy, rubbery, crumbly delicious cheese.

Community Engagement

Both schools and public workshops available. The focus can be dance, music, theatre or a combination of both. Education resource available.