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Gabrielle Thomas

Te Atiawa ki te Tau Ihu, Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe. Waitaha

Gabrielle grew up in Wellington and studied at the New Zealand School of Dance. After working with Raewyn Hill, Gabrielle relocated to Auckland to receive her Bachelors in contemporary dance at Unitec. She danced for Black Grace in 2006 before joining Atamira Dance Company in 2007. Her endeavours as a dancer have taken her to China and Korea with Atamira. It was during Jack Gray's full length Mitimiti that Gaby was invited to join and 20 other dancers from around the globe for a summer residency in Mexico with Iraxte Ansa. In 2015 Gaby reunited with Black Grace for their 20 year celebration to perform in SIVA, their 20for20 nationwide tour and Neil Ieremia's new work Another Letter From Earth. Gabrielle has performed in the majority of Atamira's full length and short works since 2007, helping shape her process as a Maori artist. Her M&B practise and love for teaching technique means her choreographic style is both physical and technical. Her love for Wananga and the Maori arts ensures maori concepts and philosophies are weaved into her choreographic process. Gabrielle is currently studying te reo maori and has a great love for raranga (weaving). Gabrielle choreographed Pou Rakau for Atamira's short works programme KAHA which toured the USA. Her recent choreography Te Waenganui was successfully performed in Auckland and Wellington in Atamira's triple bill programme MANAIA.
Gabrielle has worked with youth for the duration of her career. She has four children of her own and performed a solo at 34 weeks pregnant. Her choreography Hapū won her the Most Inspiring Performance award at the Tempo Dance Festival.


Gabrielle Thomas with her trio of woman dancers, delves into the meaning and symbology of Manaia. Kelly Nash, presents a powerful duet that reverses common known myths and histories, and Nancy Wijohnǯs choreography weaves physical opposition with illusion.

" incredibly beautiful commentary that explores birth, life and death; and also the various incarnations of the Manaia itself."

Dione Joseph, DANZ Magazine, 2016

  • Career highlights
  • Education
  • Choreography
  • Awards
  • Residencies
  • Performance experience
  • Speaking
  • Selected shows
  • Project Lightbulb and Te Manu Ahi (youth engagement projects)
  • Tour to China and Korea (Moko 2015)
  • Marae DIY (Matihetihe Marae, Mitimiti)
  • Wananga with Wikitoria Hunt (Project Mitimiti)
  • Residency with Iraxte Ansa (Mexico)
  • Unitec teaching technique and choreography
  • Project Lightbulb
  • Dancing with Mythology (tutor, facilitator and co-developer)
  • Te Manu Ahi and Takarangi (Collaboration with the APO)
  • Mentoring for teachers in colleges around Auckland
  • Guest artist (dance department in secondary schools, Auckland)
  • Mixit and Pointy Dog (Youth companies)
  • Te Waenganui within the triple bill programme MANAIA
  • Pou Rakau within the short works tour KAHA
  • Assistant choreographer to Moss Patterson for Te Manu Ahi and Takarangi (large youth engagement projects
  • Co-directed and choreographed for Pointy Dog Youth Company
  • Hapū received the Most Inspiring Performance at the Tempo Dance Festival
  • Mexico Summer residency with Iraxte Ansa
  • Secondment with Australian Dance Theatre
  • Raewyn Hill - Angels With Dirty FeetBlack Grace
  • Amata, The 20 year celebration SIVA, the 20for20 nation wide tour and “Another Letter From Earth by Neil Ieremia.
  • Guest artist/speaker (dance department in secondary schools)
  • As a dancer - Whakairo, Taonga, Whetu, Moko, Mitimiti
  • Choreography - KAHA (Pou Rakau), MANAIA (Te Waenganui)