Atamira Dance Company is the leading creator and presenter of Māori contemporary dance theatre from Aotearoa New Zealand. The work embodies a unique artistic landscape shaped by the cultural identity of our people and their stories. We are driven by choreographic and design excellence in an ever-expanding repertoire of local and cross-cultural dance works.
Atamira Dance Company are leading international creators of contemporary dance and performance. We are based in Aotearoa New Zealand, a remote and wild landscape where indigenous Māori stories are a powerful voice in the arts locally and, increasingly, internationally. As a dance collective, we offer a rich and diverse programme guided by high calibre choreographers. Our research-based practice keeps us at the forefront of cultural and technical innovation, a process of deep collaboration and genuine openness to risk-taking and experimentation. Single choreographic dance works are the heartbeat of the company, which we perform at international arts festivals across the globe. Audiences have experienced unforgettable performances by dancers driven by a strong vision. We are here to celebrate and share our Māori culture through the arts, and to grow the arts through cultural innovation. As well as single dance works, we have created a number of important large-scale performances in collaboration with other arts organisations.
Atamira is integral to the contemporary Māori performing arts conversation and movement, with collaborators from diverse creative fields within and without the dance sector. An exciting network of moving image artists, folk artists, set designers, poets, philosophers, costume designers, photographers, and musicians all challenge and influence our work. The foundation and impulse for all this creative work is our understanding of Māori world view. And evolving our ongoing connection with Tikanga Māori (protocols and values) today.
Acknowledging past and present while defining the future.
Titiro ki muri, haere whakamua
Look back, move forward
Achieving power and richness in performance requires a strong and diverse research practice, and wananga (workshops) are thus core part of our practice at home in Aotearoa and abroad. Research actively re-forms and re-shapes our ideas and understanding. As a celebration of diversity, innovation, dance, performance, and technology, Atamira dancers and collaborators create from a continuum of stories, interpretation, and memory. By mapping cultural processes with modern choreographic processes, we acknowledge the impacts of the past on the present while continuously defining our future. Our dance collective is constantly growing and evolving. We take risks. We challenge each other. And through these beautiful physical, spiritual, intellectual, and collaborative processes, we find ever new expressions of the culture that can serve to enlighten all of us.
The Atamira Dance Collective Charitable Trust was formed in 2007 to support the growth of Atamira.
Ngāti Raukawa, Ngati Tūkorehe
Dolina is a producer, arts manager, choreographer, and performer. Dolina is currently General Manager of Kia Mau Festival, Kaiārahi Māori at PANNZ (Performing Arts Network New Zealand), and Chair of Atamira Dance Collective Charitable Trust. She is also a co-director and producer for Betsy & Mana Productions, and an advocate for contemporary Indigenous theatre and dance. Betsy & Mana Productions has produced for artists White Face Crew, co-produced the national tour of Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen’s The Mooncake and the Kumara and Kirk Torrance’s Flintlock Musket. She has toured New Zealand work to Australia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and Edinburgh, and is currently co-producing a creative wānanga with artist Maree Sheehan and co-producer Rosabel Tan inspired by the Ralph Hotere artwork “Song of Solomon”. Previously the Head of Programming for Auckland Arts Festival, Dolina currently sits on Te Rōpu Mana Toi – the advisory group to the Advocacy team at Creative New Zealand. She is also a member of the Māori arts leadership collective The Grateful 8, the tri-nations curatorial advisory group, and oversees the Producing Programme delivered by Ngā Hua Toi. Dolina was awarded the 2021 Te Waka Toi award Ngā Tohu Hautūtanga Auaha Toi | Making a Difference Award, which recognises leadership and outstanding contribution to the development of new directions in ngā toi Māori.
Dr Moana Nepia
Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Rongowhakaata
Moana Nepia is currently Senior Research Fellow at Media Design School, Auckland. He has had an international career as dancer and choreographer before retraining as a visual artist. As a dancer he has performed with Impulse Dance Theatre in NZ, the Royal NZ Ballet, Extemporary Dance Theatre, Dance Advance, Vienna Festival Ballet, and English National Opera in London, choreographed for the NZ Ballet, Taiao, Footnote Dance Company, Atamira Dance Company and devised choreographic projects for education departments of the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and London City Ballet Companies. He retrained as a painter at Wimbledon School of Art and Chelsea College of Art in London and has been represented in public and private galleries in the UK, Australia, Germany, Palau, the United States and NZ. He completed a PhD at AUT University in 2013, was Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology in the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, and a Research Fellow at the James Henare Research Centre, University of Auckland. Moana has been a Director for Dance Aotearoa NZ, Trustee for Ōrotokare Art, Story, Motion Trust, and is currently a Trustee for Te Whānau a Horowai Trust.
Ngāiterangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Pūkenga
Puawai Cairns is of Māori descent, and works as the Director of Audience and Insight
at Te Papa Tongarewa, where she oversees the audience facing work of the national museum. Puawai has a curatorial and research background, and previously was the Head of Mātauranga Māori for Te Papa, where she specialised in contemporary social history research and collecting to reflect the stories of Māori communities. She co-wrote a book on the material culture of protest called “Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of resistance, persistence and defiance” (2019 Ockham book award for Best Illustrated Non-fiction), and serves on numerous boards across Aotearoa. She advises nationally and internationally on museum practices, advocating for greater indigenous participation and leadership in the heritage sector.
Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngāti Ruapani
Mereana has over 20 years of marketing, advertising, branding, sales and communications experience and she hopes to bring her skills to the Atamira Dance Company to help them grow and achieve their broader goals.
Mereana is currently a part of the Leadership team at Special (Advertising Agency) and her role is Lead Business Partner where she is responsible for the day-to-day management for key clients. She is also heavily involved in pitching for new work across Aotearoa to grow the business and attract new clients. She is also one of the leads of Special Aotea, an internal initiative to ensure all the work Special does authentically represents te ao Māori. She is passionate about te reo Māori and tikanga Māori and ensuring the advertising industry (and Aotearoa as a whole) is more inclusive and honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Natasha is Head of Strategy at Auckland Theatre Company, with a broad background in arts administration having worked with some of Aotearoa’s leading cultural institutions in a wide variety of roles. Appointed as head of Records and Administration at Te Papa whilst still wet behind the ears, her role expanded to include responsibility for website, intranet, research library and information centre leading a team of 32. At Te Papa, her role centred the importance of the user in the development of information systems leading to a 10-year career developing, implementing, and managing customer information systems, websites, and intranets at The Edge (now Auckland Live) and BNZ. Following the birth of her second child, Natasha worked with renowned arts educator Sally Markham MNZM at Markham Arts, supporting Sally to develop and deliver arts education projects for organisations such as RNZB and APO, and preparing research, evaluation- and outcome reports on arts education programmes for a variety of clients including Creative New Zealand and Department of Conservation, and producing Markham Arts flagship arts residency programme in schools Project Lightbulb. Natasha worked in DANZ Auckland office creating and supporting the delivery of professional development programmes for dance practitioners and led APO’s schools programme as part of APOs extremely busy Connecting team before joining Auckland Theatre Company in 2018. This broad basket of knowledge is drawn upon in Natasha’s current role at Auckland Theatre Company where she manages the company’s funding relationships, major projects, governance, and reporting. Natasha develops ATC’s strategic funding approach stitching together the many facets of non-box office revenue that help keep ATC’s work on stage, in schools, and on the page.
We present our work at large and small scale, adapted and customised for unique programmes and venues. Contact our Executive Director Marama Lloydd to discuss your upcoming project or festival.
Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa
+64 21 262 1288
Interim Artistic Manager
Kāi Tahu, Te Arawa
Marketing Co-ordinator and Education Leader
Atamira Dance Company
Corban Estate Arts Centre
2 Mount Lebanon Lane
P.O Box 21019
Auckland, New Zealand
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