Teremoana Rapley DAUGHTER

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

17/06/2021 - 19/06/2021

Kia Mau Festival 2021

Production Details

Get a rare glimpse into the creative world of frequency-bending polymath Teremoana Rapley as she presents a fluid multidisciplinary, work-in-progress, live performance, listening party of her anticipated debut album, Daughter of a Housegirl to be released in 2022.

Manipulated black-centric still and moving visuals from the unreleased album coupled with bass-heavy tracks interwoven with sweet acoustic flamenco inspired incantations that sit within an evolving seasonal back drop adding to the tone and mood of her long-awaited work. Part one of a triptych series, this is Daughter.

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Wellington Waterfront
17 – 19 June 2021
Thurs – Sat 7.30pm
$25 – $30
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Theatre , Music ,

A journey through another dimension of experimental music and visuals

Review by Sarai Perenise-Ropeti 18th Jun 2021

Walking into the theatre there is a lot of buzz, a constant chatter about how excited people are to see Teremoana Rapley perform, and a stream of brown faces arrive. Tables with four different styled chairs add a lot of character to the bare stage. A large LED screen sits centre stage; I am excited to see what sort of visuals will be displayed.  

The lights dim and the performers walk out. Rapley is centre stage whilst her guitarist, Te Whainoa Te Wiata and back up singers – Bill Urale and SheWulf – sit at the table. The LED screen lights up with a stunning video of a cherry blossom tree just standing in its stillness with cherry blossoms falling slowly down.

In a black skirt and black corset with a single flower in her hair, her attire making her standout in front of the LED screen even more, Rapley begins her first song. Her voice is mesmerising, so rich and full. Visuals play on the screen behind her. Two large videos of her singing the song and harmonising create an interesting experience. In both she is dressed differently, still in black, and every time she sings, whether on-screen or in person. she sings with great emotion and energy.

This continues through majority of the show, at times changing costume in the visuals, and it creates such an enjoyable and interesting experience, giving the very intimate space a more intense visual experience.

After her first song she begins describing the show. She even pulls her long skirt up so we can see her sneaker and moonboot, and jokes with the audience about its effect on her plans for elegant movement. Her constant asking of what song is next tells me this is a less traditional show and a more rustic, raw and intimate experience.

At times dancers accompany Rapley on stage. Choreographed by Tupe Lualua they complement each song and add to the vibe that is being created on stage. Dressed in white, they each stand out elegantly and through their movement and facial expressions share the emotion created by the music. Alisha Te Maipi dances a mesmerising Hawaiian-inspired dance whilst Rapley sits at the table with the other performers singing ‘Sneakers and Fro’. Te Maipi’s graceful movement and elegant hula enraptures the audience throughout the song.

Rapley at times takes a moment to explain the meaning or the process behind each song. I value her honesty and integrity when giving these descriptions. She even explains that at times although most of her songs are created after or during moments of trauma, she cannot give a meaning to each and every song. She also explains that her songs are a vibe and vibes can’t be touched, “vibes don’t need to be spoken to,” which is the best way to describe her whole show. I admire the honesty she brings to the stage.

For the final song Rapley sits at the table with the other performers. On the screen the cherry blossom tree is shown in shadows with the sun peaking behind the mountains. As the song reaches a climax with harmonies of “let sunshine rain”, the sun moves and almost blinds the audience. This blending of music and visuals is truly exciting, creating a sensually stimulating climactic effect to end the show on a high and with a sense of fulfillment.  

Daughter takes us on a journey through another dimension of experimental music and visuals.  


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