Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

21/06/2016 - 25/06/2016

Production Details

“He karanga tēnei ki ōku tuāhine,
ngā hine a ō mātou whaea,
a ō tātou tūpuna,
a ō mātou mareikura,
a ō mātou atua wahine,
a Papatūānuku e…
nau mai, haere mai, whiria mai ki tēnei kaupapa, ki a Hine, Hine, e Hine e!”

Once upon a time I was told that I was divine.  
Once upon a time I believed I was divine.  
Now I’m not so sure.

HINE dances the veil between our divinity and our human reality.
HINE reclaims the sacredness of women through ceremony, dance, and waiata.
HINE seeks to activate te mana o te wahine, celebrating te whare tangata by weaving together sacred stories and sacred rites.

In reclaiming our sacredness as women we are restoring the balance. We invite you to take a journey with us, and navigate the tides of womanhood together.

Part of Matariki Season at Basement Theatre.
Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland, New Zealand 1010
21 June – 25 June. 6.30pm
Bookings: www.basementtheatre.co.nz/whats-on/hine/

Theatre , Dance-theatre , Spoken word , Music ,

1 hr

Brave, inspiring, uplifting: mauri ora!

Review by Nikau Hindin 22nd Jun 2016

A karanga splits the chatter of the Basement Theatre bar, drawing the audience upstairs into the cosy studio theatre. If you have nimble knees and want to feel the electricity of the performers, I suggest you sit on the row of cushions in front. I feel welcome as we are fussed over. In true Māori style, more cushions and chairs appear, to squeeze more people in. We all snuggle up a bit closer.

Hine, by sisters Whetu and Komako Silver, is part of Basement Theatre’s Matariki Season that celebrates Māori New Year through dance, film, live music, visual art and poetry. Hine combines all these elements, capturing the creative essence of Matariki which is a time for gathering in warmth and sharing mātauranga. 

Te Kakureremoa Taumata sits before us. Guitar in hand, adorned with a moko kauae, bone earrings and bare feet, she lulls us into silence with her strumming. 

As the lights dim, after a few technical difficulties, an enormous celestial landscape swallows the entire stage and canvas backdrop. A bright Matariki constellation glistens over two bodies and this performance, about feminine sacredness, begins fittingly with a birth.

As Michelle-Irene Brunt-Tiueti, Alejandra Jensen, Skyla Love and Amiria Raumati dance to the sacred pulse of Papatūānuku, Hine makes you take the time to appreciate the breath. As they interact with the moving images behind them, the soundtrack melds to taonga puoro, to spoken word, to waiata and to silence.

Then Nanny, played by Taumata, marches on stage and the audience becomes the soundtrack, as she tells the story of Hine-pū-te-hue. This daughter of Tānemāhuta inhales Tawhirimatea’s ‘storm’ that we are creating with our breath (hau), patting (rain), clapping (lightning) and pūkana (thunder). Nanny is so real and mesmerising in her story telling, I feel properly guilty when she growls us and miss her immediately when she waddles off stage to find her 3-sugar-deep cuppa tea.

Hine takes another turn. A melodic celebration of all nannies and matriarchs. Skyla Love’s solo is particularly emotional, her voice fills the room and as she pelts out a waiata, she epitomises feminine power and beauty.

Lady Fruit emerges abruptly as Lady Hustle, black shades on; she jams another captivating original song and sarcastic rap.

The final Breast Monologues (as I am calling them), performed by the entire cast, are individual and poignant spoken word. It is a product of process and acknowledgement. The women stand in a V formation empowering each other as they speak. Celebrating womanhood, the body, breasts, menstruation “spirituality, delectable vessels, truth and cosmic intelligence.” 

While I like the organic nature of the performance, I would be excited to see it further developed and workshopped as I’m sure it will be in the future. The costumes in the first piece are over-complicated and do not complement the beauty of the dancers as they should.

Komako Silver’s graphics are beautiful and make an impact in climactic moments throughout Hine. Michelle-Irene Brunt-Tiueti is a pleasure to watch but in her solo dance I feel that the sheet may be more effective if it were larger so all our focus is on her dance and not the mechanism of the moving cloth.

Other than that the performance is brave, inspiring and uplifting, saying the things that need to be reintroduced and normalised in our daily dialogue. We come out fizzing with the collective creative energy of those around me, buzzing to breathe new life: mauri ora!


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