05 Oct 2012

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .



Okareka Dance Company presents
Where the elements dance

Renowned for their incredible productions Tama Ma and Nga Hau E Wha, coupled with international success, revered contemporary dance company Okareka tour the New Zealand arts festival circuit throughout October with the vaunted Nga Hau E Wha.

Is it Earth? Is it a Creature? Is it Human? Somehow it moves. Superb specialized lighting nurtures the wonderment, hiding the frailty of human form, and I am happy to stay in this trancelike state”
- Greer Robertson, theatreview.co.nz

Eight dancers roam a barren land, the earth cracked and the air hot. Human figures are transformed into unearthly creatures as they travel the world’s winds, its water, its earth and fire as dancers dare to defy the constraints of earth’s gravity, to burrow into the earthly breast of Papatuanuku, and to bathe equally in her storms and tranquil depths.

Steeped in Maori legend, Nga Hau E Wha’s debut brought dance royalty once again to New Zealand stages; Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal. Having formed Okareka Dance Company in 2007, the pair continues to successfully fuse contemporary dance with a number of other creative art mediums.  Fundamentally guided by Maori beliefs, the new show yet again follows their credo; Mana (Honour and Integrity), Whanau (Family) and Matataki (Challenge).

This cast brings together a triumvirate of choreographic talent with Mete, Royal and Ross McCormack banding together for the performance. A 2001 graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance (with an award for Excellence in Choreography and acclaimed review for his graduating performance), McCormack has performed with The Royal New Zealand Ballet and with Belgium’s Les Ballets C dela B; a company who pride themselves as a “unique mixture of artistic visions”.

The spectacular production also houses the work of respected NZ musician Eden Mulholland, creating a stunning sound-scape that also features Taonga Puoro musician Alistair Fraser and a waiata from composer Tweedie Waititi.  Okareka brings back the respected talents of set designer John Verryt, the costume design of Elizabeth Whiting and video and lighting from Mike Hodgson and Paul O Brien.

Don’t miss the company named by critics as “sensational”, “extraordinary”, and “profoundly important”.

 “The final image, achieved by ascent of a vertical rope, echoed the power of whakairo, carved figures on a pou. It reminds us that all Maori art forms share their founding strength in legend and history"
- Jennifer Shennan, Dominion Post

Act 1: WIND - choreography Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal
Act 2: WATER - choreography Taiaroa Royal
Act 3: EARTH - choreography Ross McCormack
Act 4: FIRE - choreography Taane Mete
Running Time: 1 hour approx

*contains semi nudity


Nga Hau E Wha plays:

Otago Festival of the Arts– October 9th & 10th. Visit www.otagofestival.co.nz for more information.
Christchurch: The Body Festival – October 13th & 14th. Visit http://thebody.co.nz for more information.
Auckland: Tempo Dance Festival - October 18th – 20th. Visit www.tempo.co.nz for more information.
Auckland: South Side Arts Festival – October 24th – 26th. Visit www.mfa.org.nz for more information.