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Atamira Dance Company


Artistic Director & Choreographer
Moss Patterson
Assistant Choreographers
Su Ka & Yu Fen Wang

AWA is a multi-disciplinary arts spectacle weaving together stories of New Zealand’s sacred rivers and China’s famous Yellow River.

A young man, Te Uru Rangi, descended from the people of New Zealand’s Tongariro River in the central North Island, leaves his sacred homeland to work on a major river-damming project on the Yellow River in northern China. He becomes obsessed with taming the Yellow River, forgetting to honour the ancient river spirit. His physical form begins to pass between realms. The wairua of Te Uru Rangi is caught wandering in a mystical torrent and the kaitiaki / spirit guardian of the Tongariro River must bring him home, but the river spirits battle for power and control. Will the spirit of Te Uru Rangi find its way home to Aotearoa?

Told through contemporary dance and music – the rhythm of kapa haka, the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and an 80-strong choir of young artists from schools and communities across Auckland – AWA is another amazing collaboration from the team that brought you Ruaumoko in 2016.

Awa premiered at the Auckland Town Hall in March 2017 as part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

Photograph: Charles Howells