The Basement, Auckland

28/02/2017 - 04/03/2017

Auckland Fringe 2017

Production Details

Mea Tau. Weapon. Craftsmanship, masculinity, forging, skill. Both life-granting and life-taking, bringing connection to our place in this earth. What will your hands bring to these weapons? Elijah Kennar (How We Tessellate) works with Trisha Brown’s ‘Locus Score’ and explores our fine lines between subjectivity and objectivity.

Performed by six men, Mea Tau personifies weapons with movement and gives them voice. “Mea Tau raises the bar for precision engineering. Opening with overtones of Coen brother, and hints of urban Auckland a troupe of all men, dance an engagement with struggle.” – The Daily Blog

Please note:
No entry after show starts.

Times vary each night, please check your booking carefully
Mea Ai – An after show feed will happen Thursday 2nd March


Tue 28 February 2017 5:30 PM
 — Opening Night
Wed 1 March 2017 5:30 PM — Cheap Wednesday
Sold Out
Thu 2 March 2017 9:30 PM
Fri 3 March 2017 6:30 PM
Sat 4 March 2017 9:30 PM — Closing Night

Pasifika contemporary dance , Dance ,

1 hour

Mea Tau: Hilarious, clever, effervescent

Review by Sarah Knox 01st Mar 2017

Mea Tau is a new contemporary dance work choreographed by emerging dance-maker and University of Auckland Dance Studies graduate Elijah Kennar. With collaborators Leighton Rangi, Taniora Motutere, Vila Lemanu, Sione Fatua, Elvin Wong and Taitanyk Toniu, the piece explores the idea that a human might also be a weapon/object. In a world where humans are becoming weapons in myriad more aggressive ways, Mea Tau takes us on a journey that provides a much lighter perspective on the male human body as dangerous object.

There is subtle comedy at the beginning of the work. In the opening scene Rangi happens upon several objects lying on the ground. Neanderthal-like, he begins to explore the objects, looking, sniffing, poking and eventually dragging them towards each other as if building something. He constantly assures the objects that everything is ok. All does not go as planned. The struggle is real to shift the deadweights, confounded by the fact that he is manipulating the bodies in often the most illogical way. This makes for audience intrigue, choreographic satisfaction and a little more amusement. As he clambers over the pile, with some rogue bums in faces, we don’t yet quite know what is going to happen.

Once the men ‘come to life’ they jostle together as a slightly intoxicated (and hence slightly more ballsy) gaggle, pointing out audience members, and naming them with numbers: 7, 8, 21, 4, 12, 25, with mysterious hand gestures. They then rank each other, as they present hilariously clichéd dance movements. 18, 5, 20. We don’t know what the criteria are, but we trust their authority on the system.

The 6 men work with an evocative and complex movement vocabulary, layered very well with involuted rhythms that fly past us. The dancers move seamlessly from hip hop based sequences to languid contemporary dance movement, to perilous contact partnering. It is movement of the 21st century somehow. It also reminds me how much I love to see dancing, full blown effervescent dancing – in a current contemporary dance terrain where stillness, simplicity and minimalism are often favoured. Each movement has a finesse that either wows, charms or amuses us. The work is supported very well by an oral landscape created live by the dancers. This is as beautifully crafted as the movement, first communicating in prehistoric grunts and eventually morphing into English towards the end of the work.

The emotional journey of the work is also carefully crafted with the men shifting between curiosity, bravery, coyness, and lust. And, asserting their ‘bro-ness’ whenever necessary.

As his first professional full-length work, Kennar has created a cohesive, vital and deeply interesting work. He will certainly be one to watch in coming years. The six men are also a force to be reckoned with and I look forward to more from this daring and sophisticated company.

Mea Tau is on at the Basement Theatre until 4 March: 


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