TIKI TAANE MAHUTA 2017

Municipal Theatre, Napier

22/05/2017 - 22/05/2017

Baycourt - Addison Theatre, Tauranga

24/05/2017 - 24/05/2017

Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton

26/05/2017 - 26/05/2017

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland

29/05/2017 - 29/05/2017

Opera House, Wellington

02/06/2017 - 02/06/2017

Regent Theatre, The Octagon, Dunedin

16/06/2017 - 16/06/2017

Production Details


Taki Rua Productions in partnership with Aotearoa Aerial Theatre Company


Taki Rua’s biggest production ever  

After years of planning, we’re finally ready to share the news about Tiki Taane Mahuta – a performing arts epic starring the legendary Tiki Taane.

In partnership with Aotearoa Aerial Theatre Company, we’ll be touring to thirteen cities nationwide this May and June.

Live music, theatre, aerial performance, contemporary dance, kapa haka, mau rākau and hip hop unite in Tiki Taane Mahuta. Nine of our nation’s leading performers will showcase on New Zealand’s greatest stages, while Tiki Taane plays his soundtrack live with support from Shapeshifter’s Sam Trevethick.

Tiki Taane Mahuta depicts two generations of New Zealand families and the tragedy, hope and redemption which connect them. Expanding beyond the 1996 and 2013 settings, the production presents the ancestral realm through large-scale audiovisual projection.

Tickets on sale now – click your local venue below to get yours.
Early bird tickets end April 30.

Palmerston North:  Regent on Broadway, May 19
Napier:  Napier Municipal Theatre, May 22
Tauranga:  Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, May 24
Hamilton:  Clarence Street Theatre, May 26
Auckland:  ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, May 29
New Plymouth:  TSB Showplace, May 31
Wellington:  Opera House, June 2
Blenheim:  ASB Theatre Marlborough, June 6
Ashburton:  Ashburton Trust Event Centre, June 9
Christchurch:  Isaac Theatre Royal, June 12
Oamaru:  Oamaru Opera House, June 14
Dunedin: Regent Theatre, June 16
Invercargill: Civic Theatre, June 20

Head to www.takirua.co.nz to find out more.


Performers
Music:  Tiki Taane
Music:  Sam Trevethick
Eraia / Roimata:  Sharn Te Pou
Karen:  Brydie Colquhoun
Marie:  Paige Shand
Paul:  Mark Semple
Hannah: Tiana Lung
Adam:  Te Arahi Easton
Pōhio:  Manuel Solomon
Whitau / Jimmy:  Jared Hemopo
Rehearsal Director:  Emmanuel Reynaud
Rehearsal Director:  Lucy Marinkovich 


Production Team
Artistic Director:  Tānemahuta Gray
Narrative Director:  Sasha Gibb
Stage Manager:  Zosia Lis
Head Climber / Rigger:  Tom Hoyle
Technical Manager:  Andrew Gibson
Lighting Designer:  Nathan McKendry
Camera Director:  David Strong
Cinematographer:  Matthew Knight
Costume Designer:  Gillie Coxill
Dramaturge:  Robert Dussler
AV Editor:  Dave Spark
Publicist / Marketing Strategist:  Rachael Penman 


Hiphop , Dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre , Music , Dance-theatre , Te Ao Māori ,


2 hrs, including interval

Immensely powerful

Review by Emer Lyons 18th Jun 2017

Tiki Taane Mahuta is a collaboration of contemporary and traditional music composed and performed live by Tiki Taane and Sam Trevethick of Shapeshifter, choreography by artistic director Tānemahuta Gray and cinematography by Matthew Knight. The show respectfully modernises tradition in a battle for ownership; ownership of personal history, of the past, of land and of power. This battle is waged through a fusion of contemporary dance, kapa haka, hip hop, ballet, aerial theatre, projection, mau rākau and live music.

The narrative story line follows the lives of two couples: Karen and Eraia, and Marie and Paul. A tragic accident leaves Karen alone with her unborn son, and Paul in a coma. The intergenerational plot follows the lives of their families and how they interact with each other and their shared tragic past. The show begins at the end of the narrative, depicting a street fight. This display highlights the theme of modern day warriors, highlighting the wars we wage in society against each other and against ourselves. The beautiful cinematography weaves ancestral imagery throughout portraying time as a fluid, haunting concept as the characters struggle, trying to find their place within it. The show tackles love, loss, grief, sexuality and the coping mechanisms employed for survival. 

The entire cast is sublime; every movement beautifully measured between extreme physicality and poignant slow motion. For me, Brydie Colquhoun as Karen is a show stopper. She provides the audience with exalted motions of emotional display from her solo shadow play performance during her pregnancy to her torment by personal demons to the awe inspiring Haka at the close of the first half where her ancestors join her on the stage.

The show is extraordinarily nuanced; I imagine every audience member will take home something different from the experience. I feel the raw, visceral pull of the ancestors, the intergenerational trauma that loss at a national and personal level can cause and how that trauma is omnipresent. As an Irish immigrant living in New Zealand, I feel an affinity with the struggles of the Ngāi Tahu as I come from a country that has endured its own fight for ownership and power. This is an immensely powerful and fierce show that reiterates the importance of remembering your roots and staying connected to them in this age of increasing individualism.

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A rich evocation

Review by John Smythe 03rd Jun 2017

With Tiki Taane Mahuta, Tānemahuta Gray has, in concert with Tiki Taane, confirmed his long-held contention that we can tell our own epic stories in a distinct contemporary Māori performance genre; one that can stand proud alongside any classical ballet, opera or rock opera from the other side of the world.

Other reviews on this site thoroughly celebrate the live music, aerial performance, contemporary dance, kapa haka, mau rākau and hip hop skills that ensure Tiki Taane Mahuta is a thrill to witness. Indeed many in Wellington’s Opera House audience this night treat it as a showcase concert, whooping at and applauding spectacular feats of skill (as ballet or opera audiences might), regardless of the tragedy-to-redemption story that is unfolding before them.

Rather than repeat what my colleagues have written, I’ll focus on that story – or rather those stories. This I do on the assumption that the performance skills are employed to convey the stories, although many may argue the stories are simply vehicles for displaying the skills. Either way it’s the stories that elevate the show above ‘concert’ level.

I should also note that despite the production’s efforts to visually clarify who is who in which generation, with ‘family tree’ type graphics, I become aware afterwards that a number of people have given up on the story and abandoned themselves to the pleasure of Tiki Taane and Sam Trevethick’s tireless live music, and the dance and aerial spectacle so splendidly choreographed by Tānemahuta Gray. While what follows should normally carry a spoiler warning, then, I’m not sure it will matter in this case. And please, I stand to be corrected if I have misunderstood any part of Tiki Taane Mahuta.*

Initially the powerful promotional video celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Ngāi Tahu Deed of Settlement and the impressive iwi initiatives that have flowed from it seems like a ‘message from the sponsor’. Later, especially when it is expanded in the opening to the second half, I realise this epic story, traversing seven generations – of arrival, settlement, inter-tribal warfare, expansion, colonisation, loss, fight for justice, resolution and a new beginning – provides context and meaning for the more immediate story: one that can be seen as an allegory for the iwi’s history.

The early scene where a man is taking a beating at the behest of another man who is holding a woman at knifepoint turns out to be the result of the story that then plays out on stage. We will return to that …

Tiki Taane’s ‘Tangaroa’, the AV imagery and the energetic then romantic dance sequence that accompanies it combine to acknowledge and celebrate the ocean as the place we all came from to inhabit this land, and were we return to refresh our spirits. But as – in 1996 – four young people return towards home in a car, a woman’s reckless action, releasing seatbelts, wreaks havoc and wrecks lives.

Specifically: Marie (Paige Shand), partner of Paul (Mark Semple), climbs through from the back seat to mess with the driver, Eraia (Sharn Hoani Wi Te Pou), who is killed in the consequent crash, rendering Karen (Brydie Colquhoun), the mother of his unborn child, a widow. Despite giving birth to Roimata (Sharn Hoani Wi Te Pou), her loss and unresolved grief severely reduce her ability to function.  

Meanwhile, Marie and Paul have a child too: Hannah (Tiana Lung). She grows up to become involved with a guy called Adam (Te Arahi Easton), who has a thing about blindfolding her. Is this a controlling thing or a test of trust? Either way, she seems to enjoy it.

As a young man, Roimata heads up a formidable hip hop crew called Haka Battlez, which Adam is also part of, along with Pōhio (Manuel Solomon), Tarangi (Taniora Rangi Motutere) and Whitau (Jared Hemopo).

It is at the Regionals that Karen and Marie find themselves sitting together. The shock of recognition leads to a recollection/re-enactment of the crash, 20 years ago, and when Karen plays out Marie’s role a new level of understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation is achieved. (I assume, if this parallels the Ngāi Tahu Settlement, that Karen receives an apology from Marie, but I can’t say I see that happen.)

Karen is introduced to Paul and Hannah, they all watch the hip hop entry, replete with kapa haka and mau rākau stylings – and Haka Battlez Crew wins! At the celebrations that follow, Hannah hooks up with Roimata which upsets Adam a lot. When he hits Roimata, Hannah rejects him and runs off with her new love. (I struggle, at this point, to reconcile the action with my allegory theory …)

The aerial consummation of Hannah and Roimata’s love is sublime and a huge crowd-pleaser (special credit to Lead Climber/Rigger, Tom Hoyle). But lest we believe this ‘happy ending’ is so easily won, the action moves on – and loops back – to the scene where knife-wielding Adam holds Hannah captive while commanding Pōhio, Tarangi and Whitau to beat up Roimata – and now we understand the who, what and why of it.

Adam kills Roimata, to the huge distress of Hannah and Karen, who can only weep at the continuing cycle of violence. The grieving women embrace as their lover/son rises – and, on screen, we see Roimata join his Tupuna Rangatira (Uekaha Taane Tinorau) on the waka that will take him to Te Pō.

The recurring motif of a hospital bed is brought into play once more as Hannah is rushed into hospital – where she gives birth, and a visitation from the spirit of Roimata confirms he is the father. So now there is a new generation for whom this generation needs to ‘get it right’; a new generation who will, in turn, face the same dilemmas.  

That’s my best shot, then, at articulating the over-arching and through-line stories; at attempting to deduce their purpose and meaning. In his programme note, Tānemahuta Gray writes, “When I first heard Tiki’s music I knew there was a story concealed there, within his songs. Like a Tohunga Whakairo uncovers their carving within a piece of wood, it just needed to be discovered.”

Constrained as they are by the songs coming first (without the intention of building a story), the interwoven storylines may not yet be as clear or as resonant as they could be. But there is no doubt that the combined artistry of Tiki Taane Mahuta does deliver a rich evocation of a highly relatable story within a much bigger historical context that we all need to face and embrace.  
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*Having said “I stand to be corrected”, I’m happy to own this interpretation as a true account of my subjective response, to be read alongside all the other reviews. And I offer it as a provocation to others to say how they saw it – in Comments below. 

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Shared vision explodes across stage

Review by Dione Joseph 31st May 2017

It’s been almost a decade in the making but watching the talents of composer and musician Tiki Taane and choreographer Tanemahuta Gray meld together is a sublime experience that’s worth the wait.

The two hour long production weaves together aerial theatre, kapa haka, hip-hop, shadow theatre, ballet, martial arts, mau rakau, video projection and live music to share a multi-generational story of enduring love, devastating loss and ultimately, re-birth and new beginnings.

The work begins with awe-inspiring footage as Tupuna Rangatira and his warriors set off in their waka. It’s 1300 AD and time stretches before us, braiding the past and present through light, sound and movement. [More

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Amazing cross-genre show

Review by Tania Kopytko 30th May 2017

Tiki Taane Mahuta premiered in Palmerston North. It is an amazing, cross-genre show entering new territory – a wonderful two-hour music gig by the accomplished Tiki Taane; a full length dance narrative using contemporary and aerial dance, hip hop, haka and mau rākau, which tells the story of two generations; beautiful videography evoking the ancestral past; rolled together in a concert with a strong kaupapa/message about life.

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A creative triumph and educational coup

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 30th May 2017

On an open Aotea stage, Tiki Taane Mahuta’s cast and creatives paint and weave an epic tale of love and loss by fusing the beauty of Aotearoa Aerial Theatre Company’s fluid elegance with the raw passion of Taki Rua’s cast, who inspire with their polished mau rākau, contemporary dance, hip hop and kapa haka.

Enhancing the strong ensemble storytelling is Rowan Pierce’s stunning original audio-visual design and photography (edited by Dave Spark), which brings the guiding hand of the character’s ancestors into the story, in all the right places and in just the right way. The recurring image of the waka carving its way through the ocean, towards those who need direction and guidance from their elders, is powerful and emotive.

As if this impressive landscape isn’t enough, Artistic Director Tānemahuta Gray sends the audience into sensory overload by setting the journey to live music, performed by the incomparable singer-songwriter Tiki Taane and Shapeshifter’s talented Sam Trevethick.

The Tiki-vibe from side of stage is quite mesmerizing and more than once during the night I’m guilty of forgetting that there’s a stage full of fine performers. Enriching the narrative, Tiki’s song writing, dynamic versatility as a musician and soulful vocals punctuate the strong cultural identity that is embedded throughout this uniquely Kiwi work.

On saying that, there is global resonance in this inter-generational story, as one fatal event sends ripples of pain and anger throughout friends and whanau, which takes generations to repair, through forgiveness and eventually, new beginnings.

Fusing AV with a lighting design can easily fall flat when either stage or screen is compromised. However lighting designer Nathan McKendry manages to connect all elements the vast majority of the time. For example, early in the journey he throws the musicians into a pool of purple and the dancers into silhouette, as the powerful image on screen is a waka approaching in an ocean of blue. Similarly, as Tiki sings of carefree summertime and the dancers embrace his uplifting beats, lighting and audio-visual subtly change in unison, like a sunrise, to a warm amber day.

I’m surprised and distracted by a technical decision at the top of the night: that the first notes I hear are pre-recorded and sound a bit tinny. However, that set-up only makes the first live notes played by Tiki all the more full and rich. Another audio choice by technical manager Andrew Gibson that initially surprises me, is the decision not to mic the performers during an early scene of conflict and violence. However, the body language and choreography is so strong, that it’s soon apparent amplification is unnecessary. 

While this is a significant work, I detect a couple of weak moments, making the overall journey uneven on occasion. For example, the seemingly ecstasy-fuelled night of sensual passion feels over produced, with a disconnect between lighting, AV, sound and choreography. Perhaps all this scene needs is honest interaction between two men, without surrounding that vital connection with distracting elements.

However, there are highlights throughout the work which ultimately overshadow the odd disconnect in the narrative. For me, one is Tiki’s vocal vulnerability in a beautiful stripped-back variation of ‘Always On My Mind’ which accompanies the dancers as they capture the emptiness and isolation of being alone after loss. Next, the percussive ensemble work from the united company which closes both the first and second half, fuelled by strength and infectious energy, is thrilling and joyful to watch.

Finally, while this is a creative triumph, the night overall is also an educational coup for naming right sponsor Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu. At first I’m astounded that their film clip, heralding the 20th anniversary of the signing of The Deed of Settlement at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura, plays at the start of both halves. Yet on reflection, Tiki Taane Mahuta and that political milestone are inextricably linked, so its positioning is valid. One has empowered the other, through resource and support, so that this story can be told. Ngai Tahu also has an opportunity to educate a captive audience about the Iwi’s journey – and that can only be a good thing. 

Cultural and generational diversity make up the large audience who do not hesitate as they respond collectively – almost unanimously – with a standing ovation at the conclusion of this richly deserving work. Rawe. 

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An emotional journey with many highs and lows

Review by Sue Cheesman 28th May 2017

Taki Rua’s production of Tiki Taane Mahuta played to a full house in Hamilton.

The evocative opening of this work, with the waka of Tupuna Rangatira (the ancestors) carving its way through the water, begins a journey which cycles through birth and death and is intersected by unfolding human events. The powerful presence of the ancestors  is felt throughout the piece although they are not always visible. 

An array of contemporary and traditional instruments is played throughout by Tiki Taane and his songs provide the narrative for this production. Told through a variety of dance forms – contemporary dance, kapa haka, mau rākau, hip hop, action, and shadow play – in addition to voice and music, we are taken on an emotional journey with many highs and lows. The powerful performers bring authenticity and weight to the telling of this narrative, supplemented by stunning cinematography.

The sounds contributed by Tiki Taane and Shapeshifter’s Sam Trevethick echo through the auditorium and as the richness of the playing increases, the familiar sound of  dub master Tiki saturates the space. 

The action begins in slow motion with disturbing images of violence a precursor of what is to come in this narrative of two generations of  Aotearoa families.

A joyous dance set in front of the visuals shows a pebble beach with water lapping, reminding us of carefree playful summer days. The dub sound and words fill the air. Dancers frolic, changing formations from group unison movement to playful duets.

We then tumble into the depths of a fatal car crash cleverly portrayed through four performers sitting on a sofa and two chairs. The crash is depicted by dancers lurching in their seats side to side with the crash impact being performed in slow motion as the dancers rock backwards and forwards, ending in one dancer twisted over the top of heads and being propelled far forward to the ground. Subsequently, this dancer’s limp body slowly rises up to the top of the stage and fading out of sight, symbolising death. This sets in motion a chain of events involving, violence, loss, grief, drugs, betrayal, birth and rejuvenation.

Recognising that it is impossible for the audience to stay in tragedy constantly, this show does give us space to breathe, especially in a stunning aerial dance duet.  The dance begins with harnessed performers cradling babies. The word lullaby has clear associations with the dance as the male and female performers soar through the air.  The combination of the music, words and dance makes this section beautiful and heartwarming to watch.

The last dance before interval builds the tension through the increasing power of kapa haka, with unison lines at the front of stage replicated on the screen behind as the ancestors also perform kapa haka. The energy and the tension exuding from both musicians and dancers is palpable.

The aerial work generally throughout the piece is stunning and aesthetically pleasing whether the dancers are spinning horizontally in tight embrace or flying and spinning through the space from top to bottom.  A gut-wrenching solo well performed by Brydie Colquhoun depicts the reaction of Karen to her son being murdered. This solo clearly conveys through movement her utter raw despair and grief from losing her son.  

The performance concludes on a new birth, hope for a new generation with the words of Tiki speaking about humans being connected and the power of the universe.

The transitions between sections need tighter links on occasion to maintain continuity, however this is a small point. 

The determination and perseverance of Tanemahuta Gray needs to be acknowledged. It took him seven years to bring this show to fruition. This show is not just playing in the main centres but in the regions as well, so more of New Zealand get to see powerful stories like this one. It is rare to see such talented musicians integrated into a show of this kind playing live.

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All credit to the dancers

Review by Gin Mabey 25th May 2017

Taki Rua came to Tauranga’s Baycourt Theatre on Wednesday night with their touring show, Tiki Taane Mahuta.

Tiki Taane and Sam Trevethick (Shapeshifter) have a setup at the corner of the stage where they provide all musical accompaniment. When the music eventually begins it is uncomfortably loud, which I expect, so we move to the back during interval (and partly to escape the perpetually texting and lolly-rustling couple next to us: come on guys, we’re not at the movies). 

The back wall of the stage is projected top to bottom with some pretty awesome video footage, introducing us to the characters of this story and showing some inter-generational background by way of a journeying waka. The simple image of bloodlines and dates, connecting people and families, intrigues me and I can’t wait to follow these stories further.

However, I find the sophisticated set-up of these stories is not really carried through the show. The storylines turn out to be fragmented and repetitive, at times using overly literal conventions, and unsubtle symbolism.   

I won’t reveal what actually happens to these characters, but there are relationships, tragedies, new lives and violence entwined.

I am moved, I must say, by the depiction of grief and loss in one particular scene involving a couch and three masked men, who I guess symbolise the nagging pain of grief, (or drugs?).

Despite having doubts about some of the dramaturgical and production choices I am absolutely in awe of the dancers, especially the two lead females (Brydie Colquhoun and Paige Shand). They really are exquisite and give so much feeling, creativity and meaning through their dance that I find myself kind of wishing Tiki Taane and his music would go away for a while, so I could focus solely the dancers. They are swallowed up at times by the music, the scope of the stage, the lights and the expectation of a story that never quite delivers.  

The lifting of characters up into nothing with the fly system to show death is great once, but I do have to conceal a sigh when it happened a couple of other times. Death and mourning, anger and hope are  far, far better communicated by the intense skill of the dancers than by any lighting, prop or trick used; they just didn’t need it.

I would like to see this show pared down and taken one direction or another, because it seems like it sits uncomfortably in between two different things.

The use of mau rakau, kapa haka and aerial work are all amazing.

When I block out the sound and the lights and just focus on the dancers I am really transported. They are the best actors without words, they don’t hide behind any kind of pretension or stage tricks, they just smash through the heart of what we all have inside us through their dance and that is the true magic of this show.

To me, the details of the stories are irrelevant, I don’t care about the characters or what happens to them because they aren’t set up strongly enough for me to invest. However, the underlying feelings put forth via the stories I can definitely get on board with. Love, grief, denial, hope, resilience, all of these I totally get from the dancers and I do feel moved.

I think with shows like this, story and character are overrated and unnecessary. Sometimes narratives and characters are only vessels to deliver emotion and thematic richness. This show has emotion in spades without the narrative/ character stuff, so I just find it superfluous to what’s already wonderfully there.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of taste and preference; others probably love the music and all the added ingredients I find unnecessary, and I hope they do, because the dancers deserve all the credit they get. 

Comments

Jack Gray May 26th, 2017

I would like to acknowledge Gin for messaging me privately and being open to a dialogue that was productive and useful for both of us. Wish you all the best.

Gin M May 26th, 2017

I have taken Jack's comments on board and have learnt a lot from his reaction and his thoughts. I now realise my review has some clunky mistakes and shabby writing which didn't quite convey my thoughts properly. This is something I will be working on in future in order to deliver more thoughtful, responsible reviews. "Go away" was a terrible choice of words on my part. What I meant was there were times where the dancers were so engaging I wanted to block out everything else surrounding me and soak them in to the fullest, just for a moment to myself. 

I really appreciate the opportunity to have had this conversation and hope to gain more understanding through learning from others. I will continue to grow as a theatre-goer with wider eyes and better reviewing skills.

Jack Gray May 25th, 2017

"They really are exquisite and give so much feeling, creativity and meaning through their dance that I find myself kind of wishing Tiki Taane and his music would go away for a while, so I could focus solely the dancer"....

Writing this post because I'm kind of in shock by the insensitivity and privilege of the writer Gin Mabey (never heard of her) in this trashy review of Tiki Taane Mahuta.

For the past few days I have been deeply contemplating why Maori artists find it difficult to gain funding to support their work and that often it comes down to the fact that the assesors are usually looking from a Western minded lens. This perspective is borne of the non-realising that the world is set up to please and satiate the priorities of the Western world and as such the multiple frameworks and rigour that Maori and/or Indigenous people have to construct, validate and affirm still can easily be torn down by anyone who unconsciously is a part of this legacy of colonisation.

Critically, I do not think people HAVE to like or appreciate the art they are viewing. It is subjective. You are in an armchair and are free to voice your opinions. BUT when you are given the responsibility of speaking to an artist/s or the company and then the arts sector, cultural communities, the nation and the world - then and only then does it require one to actually put some REAL thought into the way you voice and couch your concerns and reveal your truth.

Is it appropriate for a reviewer to wish one of the Maori artists away? HELL TO THE NO. Why? Because that is in itself an act of insidious violence and perpetrates the signal that it is possible to remove Maori from the happening that is going on right in front of oneself. If the reviewer had wished herself away then that would be a different story. It would show us that she was ill equipped to deal with and take on the full responsibility of reviewing that work and ensuring noone's mana would be so easily tread on.

Im writing this because of the hard hard hard work it takes to prove oneself as an Indigenous activator, researcher and creator and the reason its hard is because the majority of the world is run by petulant people who are self irritated and are somehow looked at as the assesor of other peoples stories.

I wont call out racism, but I will call out mediocrity. And though I haven't seen this version of the show and therefore will make no comparisons, I will say this writing is poor and below par to what should be expected on an international level. If we are not being accountable in our writing then how the hell are we going to better the conditions for everyone to have the right to live, the right to expression and the fucken right to stand on stage and play your music?

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A sensorial feast

Review by Kim Buckley 23rd May 2017

Raw, honest, rich, mesmerising, bold, minimalist. Taki Rua Productions together with the musically talented Tiki Taane and Shapeshifter’s Sam Trevethick present a sensorial feast through aerial performance, contemporary dance, kapa haka, mau rākau, hip hop, audio-visual projections, shadow play, and live music. 

Tiki’s iconic dub sounds fill the theatre. The music is recognisable with both old and new sounds, old and new instruments, old and new themes. The audio-visuals take us on the Waka of The Tupuna Rangatira. The dancers take us through the generations. The minimalistic set pieces, hospital bed, couch (car), take us through the action. The lighting, live music and Tiki’s voice connect everything together. 

The story unfolds with echoes of history repeating itself, breaking the cycle, families are war, next generation creating new growth. At times the story is fast and driven through either or both the exuberant and passionate movement from the dancers or Tiki and Sam’s live music. At other times, I find myself soaring with extraordinary joy and shock, which the aerial work is bringing to me. And, I am jolted back to earth with a thump via death, revenge, anger and grief. This is an age old story. A labyrinth of Human emotion because of our relationship with free will and other humans.  

I really enjoy the visceral tension created by the symbiotic energy between the music and the movement. I can feel my own body and soul on this journey with the energy this performance is creating. I can feel the connections that Tiki sings about. That we are one, that we are all connected through time and space. 

I spend much of the performance leaning forward because I am ‘into’ it. I’m also experiencing that particular energy tingle of when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck… and arms… and body. 

This is an extraordinary show. Our Napier theatre is, tragically, only half full. Spread the word people, go and nestle into this work. Let these performers and their ancestors work their magic on you and your people. It’s more than worth it. It feels necessary. 

 

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