BATS Theatre, The Propeller Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

06/06/2018 - 09/06/2018

Kia Mau Festival 2018

Production Details

In the spaces between
Where communication lives and breathes
Where relationship and connection form
Within which the search for self lies
We give life to Whare

A choreographic exploration of contemporary Pasifika and self, Mapihi Kelland (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu) joins with dancers Te Hau Winitana (Ngāti Raupani, Atiawa, Tuhoe, Cook Islands), Sharn Te Pou (Tuhoe) and Paris Evans (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Maniapoto, Raukawa) on their very personal artistic journey in the search for what lies between.

Kia Mau Season Pass
Want to see more of Kia Mau 2018 for less?  Buy a three show Season Pass now for only $45!  Shows included in the Season Pass are He Kura E Huna Ana, Whare, Talofa Papa, Lau’ Gagana, Barrier Ninja, Deer Woman and Beneath Skin and Bone.

BATS THEATRE The Propeller Stage
6 – 9 June 2018
Full Price $20
Concession Price $15
Group 6+ $14 

The Propeller Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Mapihi Kelland (Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu) 
Te Hau Winitana (Ngāti Raupani, Atiawa, Tuhoe, Cook Islands) 
Sharn Te Pou (Tuhoe)

Contemporary dance , Dance ,

45 mins

Message of self worth

Review by Ann Hunt 08th Jun 2018

Whare is part of the Kia Mau Festival in Wellington. The Festival began three years ago and showcases Māori, Pasifika and Indigenous contemporary plays and dances.

It was started by New Zealand playwright Hone Kouka because he wanted to promote indigenous work and to ensure that it keeps being created in the capital. He also wanted to see more Māori and Pasifika work performed on Wellington’s stages.

This Festival’s focus is on youth and Whare is a dance work that will have great appeal to that sector. [More


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Ecstatic reception

Review by Chris Jannides 07th Jun 2018

Whare, part of the Kia Mau Festival, is a slick professional production performed by three very assured dancers – Mapihi Kelland, Sharn Te Pou and Te Hau Winitana. A selection of individual items are seamlessly joined together to make one flowing body of work. Ancestral, mythical, primal, warrior-like, elemental, set in a Pacifica timelessness owned by indigenous cultures and identities, much of it is dark and brooding. Torsos low to ground. Animalistic. Writhing. Rhythmically potent. Abrupt flicks and eruptions of movement. Individuals working alone or in tight unison with others. A fusion of different movement languages, dominant amongst which are traditional styles mixed with contemporary dance. 

Towards the end we get out of the territory of myth and nature and into contemporary life – a woman posing (literally) questions about body image and a suited male who becomes a gender-fluid voguer. Humour makes its appearance also. Te Pou, a slick technician with great acrobatic skills, creates fun, teasing and flirting with the audience who loves him back in return. His talents are not only as a superb dancer, he composed the music which provides a rich tapestry of sound in a huge variety of styles. Such diversity of artistry is rare. His is a star on the ascendent.

The women dancers, Kelland and Winitana, are Whitireia graduates. They perform with maturity and beauty. In ensemble, they are perfectly synced. In solo, each holds the stage with power and warmth. Kelland’s exquisite hula-inspired dance is uniquely choreographed to feature her back; an absence of frontal engagement with the audience showcases her comfortable authority and finesse, physically and performatively. Winitana equally matches her female colleague. She possesses excellent articulation and form in her body and saturates movement with inner understanding and meaning. Like the other two, she is an engaging and confident performer.

Strength and clarity of purpose stand out in all the work. The choreography is well crafted to accomodate quick changes of configuration and energy. Although the performance is made up of lots of bits, it does not come across as bitsy. The different pieces and items slot together to make one package of the whole lot. This is clever crafting for which it seems the outside eye and skill of the show’s director, Sasha Gibb, is responsible. 

I hope these fine artists keep working together to produce more work. They possess humanity and warmth. Their investigation of the questions and themes underpinning what they made is done with intelligence and sensitivity. Spoken language and song – both live and recorded – are cleverly interspersed and integrated into the soundscape, giving us the right amount of access to themes and content inside the choreography. Winitana stands out here for her words and poetry. The reception from the audience is ecstatic. The appreciation extended to the performers at the end is well-earned and deserving. Congratulations to all concerned.



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