Te Auaha - Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

16/06/2021 - 17/06/2021

Kia Mau Festival 2021

Production Details

A brand new dance work by TULOU.

TINĀ is a brand new work by groundbreaking collective TULOU.

TINĀ invokes passion and heart through it’s fierce movement vocabulary that has roots in Pacific and Contemporary dance. Performed by a strong cast of women, TINĀ explores concepts of motherhood and mana wāhine.

You will see bold and exciting movement, bright costumes and heartfelt moments shared between powerful women. You can expect to leave the theatre feeling exhilarated and empowered.

This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Presented in partnership with Pacific Dance Festival

Choreography and Direction by TULOU – Faith Schuster, Lyncia Müller and Ufitia Sagapolutele

Guest Dancers – Funaki Taulanga and Lavender Tuigamala
Clothing Designer – Frankie Lolohea
Photography – Raymond Sagapolutele
Music – Mark Sagapolutele
Image credit – Jermaine

Pasifika contemporary dance , Maori contemporary dance , Dance-theatre , Dance , Cultural activation ,

60 mins

Inspiring other young Pacific women

Review by Xavier Muao Breed 21st Jun 2021

I acknowledge the kaitiaki (guardians) and mana whenua of Te Whanganui-a-Tara; whose lands we gathered on for Kia Mau Festival to take place. I also acknowledge the significance of the week in which both these Pasifika contemporary works were performed – marking 50 years since the Dawn Raids in Aotearoa New Zealand. Furthermore, I acknowledge champions of Pacific languages, arts and culture back in the Pacific Island nations and here in Aotearoa New Zealand – we thank you for allowing Pacific arts and peoples to thrive in the 21st century.

The  dance work, TINĀ meaning ‘mother’ in Samoan, is a glimpse into concepts around motherhood and what it means to be a teine toa or strong female of Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean). There is collaboration and cohesiveness between the five strong, beautiful and graceful Pacific women on stage, with choreography and performativity that is raw. The sense of sisterhood amongst the performers and an understanding of one’s own mana, is mesmerising even with the slightest of movements. Highlights iinclude a solo section with Faith Schuster, performing Siva Sāmoa with robotic and discombobulated movement, reflected within a pre-recorded Samoan song; the climatic group sections that highlight the performance and technical prowess of TULOU Collective and the incredible Siva Sāmoa (Samoan Dance), choreographed by Idalene Ati, to end the work.

 The transitions between each section of TINĀ need more attention to carry audience members from one part of the story onto the next. TINĀ has potential to be further developed and shown in an array of performance spaces – particularly where Pasifika are able to access the work.

TINĀ was not only a celebration of Pacific women and Pacific mothers, but a statement that contemporary dance vocabulary and works belong to all women – no matter their body shape, their technical experience and their cultural background. Ufitia Sagapolutele, Lyncia Müller and Faith Schuster, along with guest dancers Lavender Ta’ale Tuigamala and Funaki Taulanga,  are redefining what it means to be a contemporary dance practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand and inspiring other young Pacific women to move how they want and feel good in their own skin.

Both TINĀ and  O Le Pa’a Ona Vae symbolise an exciting time within the arts sector in Aotearoa, where more of our artists who whakapapa to Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa, are sharing the measina (gifts) of our Pacific homelands – the culture, the practices, the languages, and songs through contemporary work. TULOU Collective and  Samoana Nokise share their creative talents at Kia Mau Festival by putting alofa (love) and fa’aaloalo (respect) at the centre of their practice and uplifting their collaborators within the process and the product. The respect, admiration and support for these Teine Toa was shown through the villages that showed up to support them. Mālō lava le galue – Thank you for all your work.



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A collective rhythm unfolds of women.

Review by Deirdre Tarrant 18th Jun 2021

‘An Ode to Mothers’
Reading the screen in the theatre foyer gives me time to set a personal context as well as a theatrical one.
I reflect on the strength of my own mother and the  women in my family who have been  influencers for me. 
A solo woman sits centre stage as we enter the space waiting?  watching? reflecting ? There is strength in both her stillness and her solitude. Birth – growth – developing – gradually a collective rhythm unfolds of women collaborating and supporting each other in images and dance as the journey we are sharing with them progresses. There is an earthed quality and fluid arms with gestural flowing fingers. Calm, graceful and with strong unison passages this ‘Ode to Mothers’ engulfs us in that gracious beauty that is the Pacific. It is inspired by ‘Tofa Si Ou Tinā’ by Raymond and Ufitia Sagapolutele
Dance styles are expanded but there is more of a sense of a work in progress for me than a work defined as yet. Traditional Siva Samoa movements underpin an exploration of a more personal and emotive vocabulary. The music edits and movement  transitions were not always successful. A solo moved into unfamiliar spatial territory but we were constantly pulled back to a single front focus. 
This dance story of a personal journey had honesty and a lovely integrity and I felt both humbled and inspired by this hour spent with TINĀ. It is created by the emerging TULOU Collective: Ufitia Sagapolutele, Lynchia Muller and Faith Schuster, who dance alongside guests Lavender Ta’ale Tuigamata and FunkiTauinga. Idalene Ati is a guest choreographer.

This was a work that set out to honour and to unify and succeeded in both.



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