Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

07/05/2015 - 09/05/2015

Production Details

Tiki Taane Mahuta
Aotearoa Aerial Theatre presents
Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu season of Tiki Taane Mahuta
In association with Fendalton Capital

Promising to be an explosion of Aerial Theatre and Contemporary Dance, Haka and Hip-Hop, Tiki Taane Mahuta combines two of our nation’s most exciting musical and theatrical artists; musician and music produ-cer Tiki Taane and choreographer Tanemahuta Gray, in a story of the unseen forces, unknown strength, and the rallying of a community to survive and heal after great tragedy. 

Tiki Taane Mahuta is a story about love and tragic loss. When a fatal car crash takes away the love of Ka-ren’s life, and the father of her unborn child, it is up to the next generation to repair the rift between broken families. Karen’s son, guided by his father’s ancestral lineage, is able to forge a path of forgiveness. Tatau pounamu. A gift of reconciliation and new beginnings. O-Tautahi Maraka Maraka!


Public performances:
Thursday 7 May 2015 7.30 – 9.30pm
Friday 8 May 2015 7.30 – 9.30pm
Saturday 9 May 2015 2 – 4pm
Saturday 9 May 2015 7.30 – 9.30pm
Manāki Rangatahi (school Matinee) Performances:
Thursday 7 & Friday 8 May 2015 11am – 1pm
Ticket information: From $15 ticketek.co.nz

Aloalii Tapu – Roimata / Eraia
Brydie Colquhoun – Karen
Alice Macaan – Hannah
Jared Hemopo – Adam
Mark Semple – Paul
Paige Shand – Marie
Mattie Hamuera – Pōhio
Sharn Te Pou – Jimmy / Whitau
Manuel Solomon - Tarangi

Andrew Gibson – Technical Manager / Head Crew
Karena Letham – Stage & Company Manager
Tom Beauchamp – Climbing Director / Rigger
Kirsty Chandler – Production Assistant

Hiphop , Kapa Haka theatre , Contemporary dance , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,

2 hours

With the ancestors looking on

Review by Julia Harvie 11th May 2015

 The title of this work, Tiki Taane Mahuta is a conjugation of the composer’s name, Tiki Taane and the choreographer’s name, Tanemahuta Gray. As the show is narrative based it strikes me as unusual. Tiki translated from Māori means figurehead; Taane Mahuta, is the God of the Forest who separated his parents Te Rangi (the Sky Father) and Te Papa (the Earth Mother) in the Māori Creation Story.

Read the review.


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Dark yet uplifting - not to be missed

Review by Emily Napolitano 08th May 2015

Tiki Taane Mahuta welds together the powerful music of musician and composer Tiki Taane and the fiercely physical choreography of Artistic Director Tanemahuta Gray. This dark and intensely emotional yet ultimately uplifting story of love, loss and redemption is beautifully told through the lens of Māori tradition; utilizing film, still images, deceptively simple aerials and a powerful dance fusion of contemporary, Haka, and hip-hop. 

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 drama moves back and forth between the complexly interwoven relationships of both couples and the one blossoming between their children. Their story is laced with ancestral imagery and power, told through the striking cinematography of Mathew Knight, and featuring Uekaha Taane Tinorau as the tupuna rangatira. 

The cast are phenomenal, and repeatedly demonstrate their mastery of their craft through two hours of vastly demanding choreography in contemporary, Haka, Māori Martial Arts and deeply poignant duets. Slow motion adds an extra layer of passionate depth to the most emotionally charged scenes. Highlights include the elegant and profoundly expressive aerial work, and an exquisitely managed homoerotic duet. Karen’s personal demons are also beautifully portrayed in several chilling vignettes. 

The first half of the show closes with an absolutely stunning contemporary Haka as the spirits of Karen’s ancestors take the stage. The extraordinary aerials in the second half of the show lift the energy to an even greater level, and the impressively fierce display of Māori Martial Arts is truly breath taking to behold. 

The soundtrack, Tiki Taane’s signature drum and bass, electronica, acoustic and dubstep, blends seamlessly with the drama unfolding onstage. The music, the emotion, and the dance superbly come together to portray humanity in all its tragedy and glory, its loss and its hope. Christchurch residents understand what it means to survive heartbreak and find hope, and the essential message of this beautiful work speaks deeply to us. Also evident in each and every moment is the pride and respect for Māori culture, traditions and beliefs. Details such as the intricate and exquisite carving on the ancestral waka add to the richness and complexity of the production.

The soundtrack and the production are gorgeous, but what truly makes this show is the phenomenal cast. These dancers are absolutely gifted, and display impressive stamina and clean technique throughout an evening of rigorously exacting choreography.

This is a show not to be missed, with powerful messages told through beautiful artistry and downright magnificent dancing. 



Tanemahuta Gray May 9th, 2015

Kia Ora Emily, and John and Raewyn,

Our sincere thanks for taking the time to organise Emily Napolitano to come in and see the production of Tiki Taane Mahuta at the Isaac Theatre Royal. We are thrilled with her response to the work that has been 8 years of hard graft in the making.

I am thrilled that the response has been so positive from so many parts of the community that have engaged with the show, and it has been such a joy working with the different communities over the years to help bring it to life.

Thank you so much to our sponsors Te Ruunanga o Ngaai Tahu, Fendalton Capital, AMP, Go Media, Tahu FM, Ngai Taahu Cultural Fund, Creative NZ and The Lion Foundation for helping us make this dream come alive!

And to my amazing cast and crew who helped build and develop this show with me! What a wonderful waka you have created for us to share with our Otautahi community! Catch you at the last shows today at 2pm and 7:30pm at the stunningly rebuild Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch.


Tanemahuta Gray :-)

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