whakairo Atamira Dance Collective

Concert Chamber - Town Hall, THE EDGE, Auckland

28/09/2007 - 01/10/2007

Tempo Dance Festival 2007

Production Details

Choreographers: Moss Patterson & Richard Digoue

Atamira Dance Collective & STAMP

Leading Mâori Contemporary Dance Company Atamira Dance Collective & STAMP present: ‘Whakairo’ (the Mâori art of carving) reveals unexpected discoveries in the struggle to make a mark in the world today, & ‘Symbole et Réalité’, a fusion of indigenous pacific cultures, with Kanak choreographer Richard Digoue from New Caledonia.

When: Fri 28 Sep – Mon 1 Oct
Where: Concert Chamber, THE EDGE®
Time: Evening Performances 8pm /
Sat Matinee 2pm
Duration: 75 Mins
Tickets: $30 Adult/ $24 & $18 Concession
/ Early Bird & Karbal Ballet discounts
Ticketing: Ticketek / Ph: 0800 842 538 / www.ticketek.co.nz

DANCERS include:
Dolina Wehipeihana, Cathy Livermore, Jack Grey, Maaka Pepene, Peter Takapuna, Gaby Thomas, Kelly Nash, Lou Potiki Bryant

WITH Tamati Patuwai

Dance , Contemporary dance ,

Sensitive and devastating

Review by 29th Sep 2007

I arrived just as the last people were entering the auditorium. Yippee, I thought, the Festival is starting – its almost a relief to transfer anticipatory energy into performance attendance glut. And opening night with Atamira, Māori choreographers and dancers, seemed a fitting way to traverse.

With typical attention to etiquette, Atamira placed their guest artist in residence, Richard, Digoue’s new work first. Symbole et Realite is new and resonates a different aesthetic throughout. A beautiful middle movement section with less familiar motifs seemed to draw out the dancers; more so than the cultural symbolism aspects.  I am not easy with technology split against the vista of the dancer’s human body, but in this case, exquisite views of forest and light were gentle reminders of less mobile physicalities. Symbole et Realite provide early dance conversations, prerequisite to engaging a deeper more continuous exposure to artists at work across the globe. Particularly sensitive dance work by Dolina Wehipeihana and Cathy Livermore.

Atamira is a group designed to dance. They move well, technically bound by current styles but reaching out of them into the vast vocabulary of their inherited world. This makes for disjointed viewing and results in a surfaced interest about messages, which are at once political, social and artistic. In this way  Jack Grey, Maaka Pepene build on their distinctive strengths as performers.

Paddy Free’s music lets them go.

The devastating response-ability of Māori people towards the recent deaths of babies at the hands of their parents is in no way an easy story. Atamira are brave. Moss Patterson, their choreographer is brave. Peter Takapuna is brave, to dance out the role of a murdering father, his breaks for fluid between sets a poignant reminder that he is just a dancer … Gaby Thomas and Kelly Nash wildly fulfilling the female counterparts and Lou Potiki Bryant (as always?) drawing herself out of the darkest moments to move like a serene angel.

Maybe there was too much language in this one? Tamati Patuwai is a compelling presence, graceful to move with the others but his choice of text seemed scrambled. Fewer words maybe, to mean more in this case.

Atamira – we have stepped on this Festival platform with you, alongside you, as with this awful happening. Maybe it won’t make it go away, but maybe it will.


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