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Sean MacDonald

Sean MacDonald
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa

Atamira Dance Company

Sean has worked as a freelance contemporary dancer in Aotearoa for over 25 years. He trained at Auckland’s Performing Arts School (1991-1992) and Wellington’s New Zealand School of Dance (1994). He has been in association with Atamira Dance Collective since its inception in 2000, firstly as an audience member and then as a dancer/performer from 2006.

He has performed in Maaka Pepene’s “Memoirs of Active Service”, Moss Paterson’s “Moko” tour to Beijing and Seoul, Kelly Nash’s “Ma”(Manaia Season) and “Atamira” and Gabrielle Thomas's "Tomo". Sean is part of "Te Wheke" a major new Atamira work which premiered in 2021. As a choreographer Sean has also worked with the New Zealand Dance Company to create the family work "Matariki for Tamariki".

His new work "Ngā Wai" with Atamira premiered in November 2020 and traveled to Sean's whenua Waimarama in 2021


Drawing on mythology and historical figures set against the backdrop of Te Motu-o-Kura, Ngā Wai is a new full-length dance work from one of Aotearoa’s most distinguished dance artists – Sean MacDonald (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa)

Seers, shapeshifters, warrior protectors, lovers and thwarted romance from both history and mythology form the essence of this poetic new work inspired from the sacred waters and whakapapa of Waimārama, Sean’s ancestral home in the Hawkes Bay. Ngā Wai is about water and how that flows with everything, is in everything, the pool and flow of the moon and the maternal. It flows with connection, history and strength following the journey of Takitimu (migration waka) from Samoa to Waimārama.

"The name adhering to the plurality of waters that exist in ourselves, landscapes, and the cosmos we inhabit, we flowed into community to share stories. The Q Theatre was moving with whānaunga gathered... it was a maze of re-activating relationships inclusive of our lingering gaze, and touch."

Dr Tia Reihana-Morunga