Q Theatre Loft, 305 Queen St, Auckland

06/06/2024 - 07/06/2024

Pacific Dance Festival 2021

Production Details

Thomas E.S. Kelly and Taree Sansbury

Presented by Karul Projects

Step into a world where shifting shapes isn’t just fantasy – it’s a lifeline. Join us at Weredingo, an immersive dance-theatre experience where shapeshifters gather in the shadows, embracing their duality under the guise of a support group like no other.

Led by the visionary minds of Thomas E.S. Kelly and Taree Sansbury, Karul Projects unveils a mesmerizing tale woven with contemporary dance, indigenous storytelling, and captivating animations by Jake Duczynski and projection by Wirrim Studios. As the lights dim, feel the weight of the ancient eagle’s gaze, a symbol of timeless wisdom and silent protection.

But this isn’t just a performance; it’s an invitation. Come adorned in your animal best – whether fur, feathers, or scales, all creatures and their kin are embraced within these walls. Enter the clandestine gathering where identity is fluid, and transformation is celebrated.

As you step into the auditorium, you’ll be greeted by Frank, the bare-footed guide into this clandestine realm, where attendance and animal affiliations are noted with a nod and a wink. Take your place among the eclectic ensemble, as hooded figures prowl and pounce, blurring the lines between reality and the dreamtime.

Weredingo isn’t just a story; it’s a journey into the depths of the soul, exploring themes of identity, belonging, and the eternal dance between human and beast. So come, indulge your curiosity, and lose yourself in a world where the boundaries of imagination are pushed to their limits.

Venue: Q Theatre, Loft
Dates: 6 & 7 June
Times: 7PM
Prices: $40 – $50
Booking: https://www.qtheatre.co.nz/shows/weredingo

Animations by Jake Duczynski
Projection by Wirrim Studios

Dance , Pasifika contemporary dance , Contemporary dance , Multi-discipline ,

60 minutes

The ground is alive with ceremony

Review by Teokotai Paitai 14th Jun 2024

We are ‘shapeshifters’ – Humans shapeshift into Animals, and the Animals shapeshift into the Land. We are the Land.

This concept that is over 60,000 years old carries the weight of this work, and the memory that presents itself in the form of movement is what many of us have come to see. 

Weredingo allows us to embrace this as soon as the audience walk into the theatre. It is this dialogue, on entry, that sets us up as ‘honoured’ participants of this appointed gathering of ‘shapeshifters’.

As if time and space sits still, we watch the grace and grandeur of an Eagle enter on stage, setting a precariousness that immediately allows us to shapeshift back into the audience. A sign of things to come, and worth the meagre ticket cost.

Projected imagery fills this ‘safe space’ with other ‘shapeshifters’, humans transform into animals, into land, into stories – a welcome aspect of the Weredingo performance.

This First Nations team have assembled for this gathering of their fellow ‘shapeshifters’. This is huge. The ground is alive with ceremony. We learn of each of these characters through their movement, and momentarily we shift. The movement is steeped in stories. We are grateful for the chance to witness the form of these ‘shapeshifters’. Just as soon as they finish, the transformation back into human form with dialogue that reinforces the lessons from being one of our oldest indigenous cultures.

The lighting of this work gets a special mention. Dance and lighting design consistently work hand in hand, and this partnership deserves recognition. 

The dialogue in Weredingo channels a light-hearted approach, and this reviewer is grateful for this.

This award-winning work from this First Nations team speaks into their truth. The truth they have faced as an indigenous people. They have survived for over 60,000 years, and they intend to continue that legacy in their own terms. Weredingo is understanding, acknowledging and appreciating an indigenous perspective.

This work is an hour long, and gives a valuable insight into a people that have so much to share with us here in Aotearoa. It is a moment in time that will assign you, each viewer, your shapeshifting form to continue the legacy. 

Meitaki maata to Pacific Dance Festival for bringing Karul Projects, Weredingo to Aotearoa. 

Let’s hope that we continue to see more works from our cousins.


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