Wellington Scoop

Local artists join Kia Mau lineup

Press Release – Tawata Productions
With New Zealand’s only contemporary indigenous theatre and dance festival Kia Mau Festival returning to Wellington from Friday 2 – Saturday 24 June, Tawata Productions are proud to announce the second wave of confirmed artists in the 2017 programme.

Debuting at BATS Theatre in Wellington from June 8 – 10, Friday’s Flock is a shining addition to the Festival line-up. Produced by Te Pūanga Whakaari Theatre Productions, Friday’s Flock is led by company founder Karla Haronga in the director’s chair, produced and written in a team effort with her husband Reihana this show is grounded in the stories of the company’s rural community. Friday’s Flock explores the weekly ritual of heading into town for supplies and a bit of a yarn, with all characters portrayed by Reihana Haronga in a compelling solo effort. Committed to producing professional contemporary theatre for their local Manawatu audiences, with a focus on promoting and supporting the Feilding community as much as possible, Te Pūanga Whakaari Theatre will be showcasing their work to a Wellington audience for the very first time as part of Kia Mau. Featuring quintessential kiwi humour and recognisable characters that will be familiar to all who have had a classic New Zealand upbringing, the story will resonate with the kiwi in all of us.

Established in 2015, iKenso Productions is Wellington’s freshest theatre company to join the rich local landscape. Founded by Victoria University and Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School graduates Sarita So and Natano Keni, the pair will debut their show Riverside Kings as part of the Festival this year, with Keni making his first outing as director. Set in a world of contradictions, rough and idyllic, Riverside Kings is inspired by the suburb of Timberlea, Upper Hutt, centred on the story of Samoan brothers and the themes of friendship, boxing, and growing up. The world premiere will be held in the heart of the suburb that the show plays homage to at Expressions Whirinaki in Upper Hutt on Friday 9thJune with a matinee and evening session, followed by a full season at the central city’s BATS Theatre from June 13 – 17. Told with a physical prowess Riverside Kings is a dance of brotherhood, as the boys return to their stomping grounds.

Specialising in Pacific Contemporary Dance and theatre, Le Moana is a company providing a vessel for the exchange of stories, concepts and ideas. Le Moana will be presenting their celebrated show Purple Onion at Wellington Central’s Hannah Playhouse on June 16th and 17th as part of Kia Mau in 2017. Written and directed by Tupe Lualua, Purple Onion peeps into the nefarious world of Wellington’s infamous burlesque parlour by the same name. Graduates of the internationally renowned Whitireia Performing Arts School, the Le Moana collective have built a reputation for building cultural bridges and aiding in the development of Pacific contemporary dance on a local and global scale with their innovative works. This show that first debuted in 2015 with its saucy subject matter explores the characters that became regular clientele at the club in an eye-opening insight into the local landmark.

A boundless development platform led by Tawata Productions, Breaking Ground presents a new work by playwrights Victor Rodger, Barbara Hostelek, and Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker. Showing at The Pit, Te Ara Hihiko at Massey University on June 8th and 10th, Breaking Ground is focused development of new ideas, previously known as the acclaimed Matariki Development Festival. As performance art-forms continue to merge, Breaking Ground is a platform from which new stories, new movements, and new ways of making emerge, open to the public and completely free of charge.

Another event that is open to the public and free of charge, DANZ Aotearoa are throwing open the doors of BATS Theatre to take part in lunchtime conversations with the dance artists and companies presenting at the Kia Mau Festival 2017. A chance to share sandwiches and stories with artists from Aotearoa and around the world, Dance Talks: Conversations with the Artists provides the rare opportunity to korero with some of the brightest minds of the performing arts world, taking place on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s during the Festival from 12.30 – 1.30pm.

These five performances and events join an expansive programme that features the already announced Tiki Taane Mahuta, Manaia, NeoIndigenA and Fire In The Water, Fire In The Sky, with one further line-up announcement to come.

Kia Mau Festival is the brainchild of Wellington-based Tawata Productions, co-founded by Hone Kouka and Miria George, who produce theatrical and multi-media works by Māori and Pasifika writers. Providing a platform for Wellington-based arts companies to showcase their work, and network with visiting international festival and venue directors, the heart-warming cultural celebration is now into its third year.

Kia Mau Festival is a unique and innovative opportunity for whānau and communities across the Wellington region to engage with today’s tangata whenua and First Nations artists, from across the globe. A final announcement to complete the programme still to come.

Friday 2 – Saturday 24 June
Venues across Wellington

Second Announce Shows:
Friday’s Flock
Created by Reihana Haronga, Directed by Karla Haronga
Te Puanga Whakaari Theatre Productions (Fielding, Manawatu, Aotearoa New Zealand)
BATS Theatre, Wellington City
Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 June

Riverside Kings
Created by Natano Keni and Sarita So, Directed by Natano Keni
IKenSo Productions (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
Expressions Whirinaki, Upper Hutt: Friday 9 June
BATS Theatre, Wellington City: Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 June

Purple Onion
Written and Directed by Tupe Lualua
Le Moana Ltd (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
Hannah Playhouse, Wellington City
Friday 16 – Saturday 17 June

Breaking Ground
New Works-In-Development by Writers + Choreographers
Tawata Productions (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
The Pit, Te Ara Hihiko at Massey University
Thursday 8 & Saturday 10 June

Dance Talks Conversations with the Artists
DANZ (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
BATS Theatre, Wellington City
Wednesday 7, Thursday 8, Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 June
These shows join the first announcement shows:

1st Announce Shows:
Tiki Taane Mahuta
Choreographed by Tānemahuta Gray
Taki Rua Productions (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
The Opera House, Wellington City
Friday 2 June

Choreographed by Nancy Wijohn, Kelly Nash and Gabrielle Thomas
Atamira Dance Company (Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand)
Hannah Playhouse, Wellington City
Wednesday 14 – Saturday 17 June

Choreographed by Santee Smith
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Ontario, Canada)
BATS Theatre, Wellington City
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 June

Fire In The Water, Fire In The Sky
by Mīria George
Tawata Productions (Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand)
Pataka Gallery + Museum, Porirua
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 June

One further line-up announcement to come.

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