Tradition Collides With Innovation In Premiere Of Powerful Māori Contemporary Dance Double Bill

Published: Thu 30 May 2024 10:36 AM
Picture Credit : Sasha Stejko
Creative Direction: Osborne Shiwan
Atamira Dance Company uplifts the voices of acclaimed choreographers and long-time collaborators, Bianca Hyslop and Eddie Elliott in KA MUA KA MURI for a three-centre tour, playing Tāmaki Makaurau (25-27 July), Whangārei (22 August) and Kirikiriroa (29 August).
Derived from and inspired by the whakatauki, Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua, KA MUA KA MURI relates to Māori perspectives of time where the past, present and the future are intertwined, offering a contemporary dance experience that explores both the significance of whakapapa while defining new aspirations for the future.
Remain by Eddie Elliott (Ngāti Maniapoto) explores the continuity and vitality of whakapapa, tikanga, and a deep connection to tūpuna, emphasizing the importance of preserving these cultural foundations to honour the past, understand the present, and shape a promising future for rangatahi.
Elliott says, “Combining my focus on the past with Bianca's exploration of the future creates a dynamic interplay between continuity and evolution within the context of who we are as Māori creators.”
Whakamaheahea by Bianca Hyslop (Te Arawa) showcases urban Māori experiences by transcending loss-based narratives, embracing multifaceted identities that encompass divine, ancestral, and human elements, weaving stories of empowerment, transformation, and resilience to inspire a brighter collective future.
Following her recent success as a recipient of a FAME AWARD Hyslop is delighted to return to the company. “Atamira provides a vital platform for Māori contemporary dancers like myself, allowing us to harness the power of our physical being to explore, rediscover, and innovate new forms of expressing our Māoritanga and life experiences through the transformative and deeply healing medium of dance”, says Hyslop.
Bound together by a stellar design team, a cast of six dynamic Māori dance artists (Abbie Rogers, Caleb Heke, Madi Tumataroa, Oli Mathiesen, Tai Taranui Hemana, and Toalei Roycroft) and the high-quality production values that Atamira is known for, this double bill, full of energy and heart, invites audiences to experience a transformative hour where tradition collides with innovation, and past, present, and future converge on stage.
“As Artistic Manager I sit in the centre of these two works to support each choreographic vision with my eyes on both the legacy of Atamira and the continued drive to push boundaries of Māori contemporary dance to inspire and uplift the community.” Artistic Manager, Kelly Nash.
“It is very exciting to welcome back Bianca and Eddie into the whare of Atamira to work with our collaborative and unique dancers. Having each made two significant works as independent choreographers over the last six years, we anticipate that this side-by-side collaboration will yield an innovative and relevant commentary on past values and current aspirations as seen through a Māori world view.” says Executive Director, Marama Lloydd.

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