I Am King/Queen
Te Papa: Soundings, Wellington
08/03/2023 - 10/03/2023
Director | Tess Hill
Writer | Roymata Holmes
Choreographer | Roymata Holmes
Sound Design | Tom Stephenson
Internationally renowned dancer Roymata Holmes explores gender-fluidity in a solo performance, showing as part of the NZ Fringe 2023.
When | Āhea
Wed 8 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm
Thu 9 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm
Fri 10 Mar 2023, 7.00pm–7.45pm
Where | Ki hea
Te Papa Museum – Rongomaraeroa, our Marae Level 4
Cost | Te utu
$20 to $45 see Fringe website for details
Performer | Roymata Holmes
Dance-theatre , LGBTQIA+ , Pacific traditional dance forms , Performance Art , Solo , Spoken word , Dance ,
A must see show for all ages, sexualities and ethnicities. A non-negotiable for all straight white folks.
Review by CHLOE JAQUES 09th Mar 2023
We are welcomed into the space with the sound of an easeful breath and deep blue lighting
hues. It is calm and tranquil in the moderately packed Soundings Theatre. Two chairs and a bed
are equally spaced across the stage whilst nostalgic images and colourful cloth decorate the
front. A figure evolves through the moody hues, filling the space with deliberate and beautiful
movement; instantly engaging.
Roymata Holmes delivers a versatile well rounded performance that presents stamina, agility
and thoughtfulness. They take us on a journey. Unpacking significant family dynamics,
navigating the challenges of growing up in a small town, being curious about one’s sexuality and
asking the question of: what truly brings one joy in this big white world we live in?
Nuggets of important cultural history are scattered throughout the work, encouraging complexity
and a deeper sense of understanding for the audience.
An array of throwback tracks ranging from Bee Gees to Pink accompany substantial themes
and storylines. Through the warmth and welcoming spirit of the performer, the audience feels
safe and held in order to listen and begin to understand the depth of what is being shared.
When things get heavy, a light joke breaks the silence, allowing us to take another breath and
Although the seamless transitions between spoken word, dance and a hefty script charge the
large space with energy and colour, I still felt somewhat distant from the action. I would be
interested to know if this motion could be moved, if we were in a more intimate space.
However, the intimate mask scene commands instant attention. The clever use of white sheets
paired with an intense soundscape creates a dense atmosphere with a much needed break
from text. A scene that is an important gesture to the Me Too Movement.
Finding a sense of connection and community in a colonized white world is challenging on any
given day, let alone sharing it so openly with strangers. I Am King/Queen is a beautifully
faultless journey of music, dance, poetry and storytelling, demonstrating practiced and refined
physical theatre. Pink sequins and a headline dance spirit closes off the joyous evening with the
audience clapping and cheering along. The lost rainbow world is forever evolving and
developing and we are encouraged through simple dialogue to reflect and question our own
stories and values.
A must see show for all ages, sexualities and ethnicities.
A non negotiable for all straight white folks.
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