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Kelly Nash

Kelly Nash
Ngāpuhi, Ngaiterangi, Ngati Pakeha

Choreographer, Performer.
Atamira Dance Company

Kelly Nash was born in Auckland, Tamaki Makaurau, NZ and is of Ngāpuhi and Ngaiterangi decent. A Whanau member of Atamira Dance Company Kelly works as a performer, dancer, choreographer, healer and director for the company. Kelly has joined Atamira’s embrace since collaborating in Curve Dance Collective's production of Signed in 2003.

Kelly’s skill is working collaboratively with other artists incorporating holistic and cultural practices inspired by visual art, film, avant garde theater and comedy. Kelly’s choreography Indigenarchy was presented by Atamira Dance Company and performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, San Francisco, Hawaii and toured throughout New Zealand.
An award winning independent choreographer Kelly most recently collaborated with Nancy Wijohn to produce and direct the works Ahua and Lick My Past, through N & K collective. Kelly was awarded Best Short Work, Best Stage Design and Most Outstanding Work for ‘Souvenirs of what I was described as Happiness’ and awarded the Tup Lang Choreographic award for development of MEME skin.

Kelly is a teacher of Contemporary Technique, Contact Improvisation, Partnering Technique, Flinchlock Release Therapy, Choreography and Somatics.

A performer in high demand with a career that has spanned 20 years Kelly is known for her performance for Douglas Wright, Shona McCullagh(NZDC), Daniel Belton, Anne Dewey, Mary Jane O’Reily and Carol Brown.

In the last few years Kelly’s interest has grown into studying text, theater, clowning and mask. Kelly performed in Pedro Ilgenfritz Comic Interludes (commedia dell’arte), has co-directed for the Northland Youth Theatre and was accepted into the Melbourne Directors Lab 2017.


The literal meaning of "atamira" is "stage" and another meaning of the word is "platform for the dead body" and the process of caring for those who have died. This new work investigates themes of death, aloneness, time, Maori culture, ageing and sexuality.

A powerful duet that reverses common known myths and histories.

" extraordinary and beautiful mix of story-telling, a taha Māori mystical weaving of memory, deep mourning and ceremony."

Francesca Horsely, Theatrescenes, 2017.

"...multifaceted subject of gender: stereotypes, and patriarchal hierarchies."

Sarah Knox, Threatreview, 2016

  • Career highlights
  • Education
  • Choreography
  • Commissioned works
  • Guest choreography
  • Awards
  • Residencies
  • Speaking
  • Performance experience
  • As a performer - Douglas Wright, Black Milk Sydney Opera House, Douglas Wright Rapt, Holland.
  • Choreographer - Indigenarchy touring America, Directors Lab Melbourne
  • Diploma of Performing Arts
  • Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts Major Dance
  • Certificate in Remedial Massage
  • Reiki Master Atua Healing Practitioner
  • Contact C.A.R.E Student Practitioner
  • Atua Healing Practitioner
  • Certificate in Small Business Management
  • Certificate in Te Ara Reo Māori Level 2
  • Animal Contact C.A.R.E course
  • Directors Lab Melbourne
  • Kiko (2022)
  • Te Wheke (2021)
  • Atamira (2017)
  • Mā (2016)
  • Indigenarchy
  • Poipoia
  • Co-directed Moko at Sky City, Atamira
  • Unitec Performing and Screen Arts Graduation Performance Dance year 3 and year 1
  • 1st Year end of year performance Actors. Choreographer for Creation Lab at Six Nations Canada for Kahawi Dance Theatre
  • Choreographer/Director for Northland Youth theatre
  • Best short Work, Best stage design, Best costume design - Tempo Dance Festival
  • Most outstanding work Metro Magazine
  • Tup Lang Choreographic Award
  • Runner up Best Dancer Tempo Dance Festival
  • Banff Residency 1 Week
  • Melbourne directors Lab
  • Creation Lab Six Nations Canada
  • Guest lecturer at New Zealand Dance School and Unitec Institute of Technology.
  • Shona McCullagh; Mad Angels, Hurtle (Film)
  • Douglas Wright; This is it, Inland, Black Milk, Rapt
  • Carol Brown; River of Tongues, Prague Quadrennial
  • Fabulous Beast - Houston Grand Opera