Atamira Dance Company
Kelly Nash
Artistic Manager
Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pakeha
Kelly headshot TW

A whānau member of Atamira Dance Company she has been an integral part of the company as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, healer and director since 2006. Throughout her time she has performed in the acclaimed productions such as Ngā Tahu 32, Memoirs of Active service, Te Houhi, Kaha, Moko, Mitti Mitti and Kiko. Kelly has choreographed Indigenarchy, Poipoia, Mā and Atamira and was the co - choreographer for Moko and co-director, choreographer and rehearsal director for Te Wheke which toured Aotearoa, Hawai, New York, and San Diego.

Kelly’s first short work for Atamira ‘Indigenarchy’ which was presented and performed at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, San Francisco, Hawaii and toured throughout New Zealand.

Kelly Nash likes to work in queer, cross-cultural spaces, incorporating her skills and experiences in somatic practices, high performance training and wellbeing. Her long artistic career has grown alongside her study and specialisation in the treatment of trauma and physical impacts, becoming a ConTact C.A.R.E practitioner and foundation instructor.

One of Kelly’s artistic skills is working collaboratively with other artists, incorporating holistic and cultural practices inspired by Te ao Maori, visual art, film, avant garde theatre, comedy and healing. An award winning independent choreographer Kelly and her partner and collaborator Nancy Wijohn produce and direct works under the umbrella of Body Island to include the works ‘Āhua’, ‘Lick My Past’, I(s)land Body( Helsinki collaboration), Body Island and Neke.

Their films included in their Body Island film series have been officially selected to screen in Aotearoa, Toronto, Matriarchs Festival, Japan, Vancouver and LA, winning Best Sound Score and Best Nature Film in the LA Experimental Dance Festival and Best New Director at Japan’s International Film Festival.

In previous years 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”. She has performed for Pedro Ilgenfritz in Comic Interludes ( commedia dell’arte), co-directed for the Northland Youth Theatre and had residency’s at MAP, Melbourne Directors Lab and the Banff’s Art Centre in Canada.

A teacher of contemporary technique, contact Improvisation, Flinchlock® Release Therapy and choreography, Kelly has been a performer in high demand with a career that has spanned over 20 years, performing internationally in Prague, Vienna, USA, Australia, Holland and Texas . She is known in NZ for her performances for Douglas Wright, Shona McCullagh (NZDC), Micheal Parmenter, Daniel Belton, Anne Dewey, Mary Jane O’Reily, Carol Brown, Ahi Wai, Curve Dance collective, Bianca Hyslop and Rowan Pierce and Atamira Dance Company.

Atamira Body Island KIKO 16120679 JC00018 highlights lores

Te Hā Te Kā - KIKO (2022) 

In 2021, Body Island produced a series of films and photography thanks to Creative NZ funding.

This work is an experimentation of the relationship to those films and live performance.

Ngahere - KIKO (2022) 

We are in the forest.

‘What sickens in the wake of your crescent armature? Your body judders. The steel moon bounces. Your fingers quiver as if to sense the world. Your dream-like wiri is the belly of a tired and irate Earth.

The bite of your eyes makes my skin dance with the imminent recognition of liveness or mortality or the wicked, teeth-grinding pleasure of the senses of an ending-…?’ Amit Noy

"Despite the bulbous costume Wijohn and Mete go match-for-match in dance athleticism, and in a fluid gender interplay, keep flipping roles back and forth, so enigmatically that gender appears only to disappear."
- Jaqs Clarke, Theatreview (2022)

ADC Atamira 4

Atamira (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.

" extraordinary and beautiful mix of story-telling, a taha Māori mystical weaving of memory, deep mourning and ceremony."
- Francesca Horsely, Theatrescenes, 2017

ADC Manaia 6

Mā - Manaia (2016) 

A powerful duet that reverses common known myths and histories.

"...multifaceted subject of gender: stereotypes, and patriarchal hierarchies."
- Sarah Knox, Threatreview, 2016

Kelly Nash's work