HINE 2012

Maidment Theatre, Auckland

09/03/2012 - 09/03/2012

Production Details

HINE-2012 is an exciting independent production led by wahine innovators in performance. This is the first in a series of forums where artist, academic and activist communities converge through dance, performance art and conscious dialogue.  Indigenous choreographers frame the body as a site for investigation and present their works in an evening of dynamic theatre.  HINE-2012 promotes the transformative value of dance and its liberating effect on the individual and society. 
The evening features a double-bill of experimental solos by choreographer Tru Paraha and performance artist Cat Ruka.  Following this will be a post-performance discussion where the audience is invited to engage with artists and ideas. An open space is encouraged allowing for diverse identities, opinions and ways of meeting. Guest speakers include: Shigeyuki Kihara, Dudley Benson and Charles Koroneho.
Response to works by Tru Paraha
But the programme’s highlight for me was HINE- by the HINE Collective choreographed by Tru Paraha, Kurahapainga Te Ua and Tuirina Wehi; this was an intense performance ritual which explored the female assassin.  In parts aggressive and chilling, in others delicate and graceful, this was an unsettling and memorable work.
Ann Hunt – Danz Quarterly
But the abiding imagery of the evening for me came from Tru Paraha’s HINE Collective. An extended and forceful haka wahine, bare feet on the ground, was followed by a contemporary woman who had not a single bone in her body as she struggled pathetically to keep her balance in heels-this-high. Then into a beautifully lit corridor entered a third dancer who serenely danced her exquisite poi across the width of the stage. E hine.
Jennifer Shennan – Dominion Post
Hine-Collective were intriguing and showed the new growth coming through in Aotearoa dance; the power of Maori women stating their challenges and reflections in dance
Peter Cleave – Puff Media
Bloodearth Dark Ocean
Bloodearth Dark Ocean was part of Auckland�s Matariki celebrations. It was staged in an unused heritage building on the slopes of Mt Eden, which added a celestial atmosphere…. contemporary and subtle pulsing bird wing motifs added to the work�s magnetic spatial quality.
Francesca Horsley – New Zealand Listener
Mareikura – messengers of Io
`Mareikura – Messengers of Io’, is a  liberating and life giving performance, a ritualistic theatre work that sits as one of a trilogy of works by Tru Paraha ( Nga Puhi ). This is audacious M�ori dance theatre choreography…Arguably, `Mareikura `-Messengers of Io is one of the best M�ori Contemporary Dance works in Aotearoa today.
Terri Crawford – Danz Quarterly
This mesmerizing piece is the work of Tru Paraha who choreographed, designed and performed… Paraha has left the techniques of ballet and contemporary dance in the wings and brought her own fresh vocabulary and imagery to a work that has the courage to unfold slowly, allowing us to travel with it all.  In today�s fast world, that�s a miracle. 
Jennifer Shennan – Dominion Post
Response to works by Cat Ruka

New Treaty Militia

The piece is abstract, and refreshingly impossible to understand. It does not reek of the codified movement vocabulary which is propagated through schools of dance in this country. These are however, highly trained practitioners who have chosen a unique path of navigation
Tru Paraha – Yellingmouth
We dance along this dynamic line, this tacit negotiation, these issues as weighted as a giant poi swirling around the head of a Maori princess to the distorted soundtrack of the actual reality she will inevitably find � dangerous powerful creature, full of possibility.                                                                 
Lyne Pringle – Theatreview

Playing Savage

I’ts a tour de force, more sad than angry, a devastating image of a society afraid of its own history
– Jennifer Shennan – Dominion Post

Cat Ruka stood out- every dance-picture told a story and hers were the best in many respects even though she did not dance much. 
Peter Cleave – Theatreview

Her intense dramatic focus and poetic insight disrupted stereotypes and gave voice to tino rangatiratanga. 
Francesca Horsley – NZ Listener

Guest speakers include: Shigeyuki Kihara, Dudley Benson and Charles Koroneho.

2 hrs including forum

Hine 2012 - performance as action, activism and critique

Review by val smith 16th Mar 2012

Platform, proposition, post-performance discussion, journal, discourse … the first in a series of forum HINE – 2012 is a thorough yet roguish consideration of performance as action, activism and critique. Sit up and take notice of what is being said here.

Artistic Director, Tru Paraha presents a radical and visionary approach to experimental artistry and personhood. HINE – 2012 becomes a site of critical activation, an opportunity to engage with where we are at now, and possible futures.

I walk into The Maidment Theatre foyer. Tru is mingling, hosting. I am downloading the tone of the event through Tru’s casual but absurd persona and presence. She is playing around a whoreyother paradox. I take this as an offering that we can be ourselves here, however strange or awkward, we are accepted, as we are.

On one level, this act of beginning comments on otherness in this theatre context, but it is also playing out a ritualised approaching into the event of performance through acts of presence. This forum seems to be blending the experimental with the potentiality of performance as a conduit space to sink into. I feel excited as I enter the theatre.

In Part One of this event performance artists Paraha and Cat Ruka create interrelated and strong choreographic statements. The artists are addressing individual concerns.  Tru continues her play around the whoreyother through pantomime horror show. Cat investigates the extra-terrestriality of the mundane. They open up the discourse into the politics of the proscenium arch. With the distinctive renegade approach to lighting design by Sean Curham, these artists are stylistically stretching our imaginations around the conventions of theatre and dance.

Three moments to fall in love with.  Tru’s half naked lip-syncing with the policeman puppet upstage and boil- up date with invited guest from the audience happening in the foreground, bahaha, brilliant, wow. Cat’s squatted humping in heels an endurance test with intense statements about the sacred and the mundane. The hair is shooting energy into space like an emergency flare, I’m scared. The electric unplugged fans and ethno-erotic mash-up hip unison duet, a feeling of soft focus lighting and hair flying lulls us. The romance is killing me, god I love this.

 But the prize for the most-talked-about moment in the show goes to the haircut with a machete. For real. It seems to me the more people feel, emotionally or viscerally about something in a show, the more they want to talk about it afterwards. We like to process our experiences after all. In the case of the haircut, it seems a divide between boredom and frustration around the time the haircut took (the staging of this episode), and fascination with the psychology that emerges in the time-space of this kind of staging.

Also, and inevitably, because of what we carry with us into a show, they are also stretching our imaginations around cultural and gendered identities. There is a clever play here between the intentional and the implied; as audience we read and interpret what we are seeing, a tension is created around what we are reading onto the actual text of the performance, what we believe we are being shown.

I insert here some words that I like from Tru: portals, liberation, orgasms, the host and the ghost, and, alienation, taken haphazardly from the journal that accompanies HINE – 2012, curated and designed by Cat Ruka.

Part Two of HINE – 2012 is fifteen minutes worth of drinks and break. During this I become interested in HINE – 2012 as journal, a framework of interviewing the artists within the framework of the event. Of note for me, is the contrasting difference in inquiry between Kristian Larsen’s questions which frame issues of cultural identity, being Maori, being marginalised, issues around cultural power, privilege and status; and Sean Curham’s questions around art practice and perspectives of the artist as maker, as person, and issues for “the maker” such as clarity, control and muddiness.

In this case the interviews elucidate worldviews that engage with wahine makers of dance performance and might shape future discussions that frame perceptions of the art and the artist. I question the power that we hold as writers and readers. Me too, should I watch what I say, or, I hope you don’t believe me, especially not this sentence, or, even, who are WE anyways?

Part Three of Hine – 2012 is a discussion with guest artists Charles Koroneho, Shigeyuki Kihara and Dudley Benson. It seems the culture of valuing the performance over discussion about the work is still in operation as some people leave before or during Part Three.

Tru expands on her thinking in the post-performance discussion. Gesturing towards many considerations and meanings that HINE – 2012 negotiates. These include ancient and modern considerations of time and change through numerals and letters, cycles and seasons, a meeting place for variant cultures through the charge of the space between (hyphen – ), and, for me, most significant is the gesture towards hine as the essence of the feminine.

Hine as essence becomes a way that the performers seem to connect with the presence or absence of the other on stage. This happens through implication of the felt presence of a tane essence. The dynamic force of the between and at times a desire for other shapes the performance material being addressed on stage. Through prop, embodiment, inference, or invited guest, the hine and tane essences have the effect of charging the performance space in a tangible way, without stating the obvious of what is being done.

Despite some microphone phobia, the discussion was many things; supportive and touching, critically engaging, personality driven, and divergent. There is excitement about the prospect of further HINE opportunities for our communities to engage with this practice of dialogue regarding our art worlds.

Through what could be said to be an influential political and conscious activism, a ritualised balancing and peace offering into the worldly realms, HINE – 2012 is addressing performance issues of presence, desire, and politics today, intelligently and sensitively. I’m inspired.



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