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Whakaari - Designers

Vanda Karolczak - Production Manager and Kaihoahoa Tūrama/Lighting Designer

Originally from Montreal, Quebec on Turtle Island. Vanda has been living and working in Aotearoa since 1999. Her lighting design work spanning over 30 years covers theatre, dance, television, fashion, and music during time spent living in North America, the U.K, as well as New Zealand. She has a strong background in working in the music industry during her time in the UK and Canada touring with such acts as Robert Plant, Erasure, and Alexandre O’Neil and spent 5 years touring with Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens. Since coming to NZ Vanda has been involved in the Indigenous contemporary dance space; working with established companies such as Okareka Dance Company and Atamira Dance Company producing designs such as the internationally acclaimed signature work, Mana Wahine (Okareka Dance Company) as well as Manawa, Wired, and Hōkioi me te Vwōhali which premiered at the International Arts Festival in Wellington 2020. Her work for Atamira includes the award winning Ngai Tahu 32 and Taonga as well as Onepu, Memoirs of Active Service, Tomo, Mitimiti, Te Houhi and Ngā Wai which premiered in 2020. She continues to work with both companies as well as freelance on other dance projects in New Zealand. Vanda also works in Biosecurity Compliance and is based in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, Tamaki Makaurau and is a long-serving member of the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club.

Marama Lloydd - Kaihoahoa kākahu/Wardrobe Designer

Marama was born, raised and still lives in Auckland and is a mother of 2 adult sons. Strongly committed to supporting indigenous sovereignty globally, Marama became Executive Director of Atamira in June 2018, bringing 30 years of experience in the Māori contemporary dance sector to the role.

Her dance career began in training with Te Kanikani o Te Rangatahi in 1987 then she became an original company member of Taiao Dance Theatre, the company which pioneered the indigenous expression of the art form of dance in Aotearoa.

Marama also has a strong understanding of the wider dance industry following 13 years on the board of the NZ Dance Festival Trust, teaching curriculm dance at secondary school level and working as Education and Community Programme Manager at Auckland Arts Festival from 2012-2018.

Internationally she attended 3 dance residencies in the Aboriginal Arts Programme at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and as a result of this has a strong and valued Turtle Island Dance Network of colleagues and friends. Attendances at Talking Stick and Mòshkamo Indigenous Arts Festivals in 2019 and 2020 have rekindled and furthered these connections.

Louise Potiki Bryant - Kaihoahoa Ataata/Video Designer

Louise Potiki Bryant is a choreographer, dancer, and video artist who has choreographed for companies Atamira Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company and The New Zealand Dance Company. Louise has choreographed six works for Atamira. Louise also collaborated with researcher and composer Prof Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, with whom she began the development of the somatic and dance practice called Whakaahua Dance and choreographed the whare tapere dance work; TE KĀROHIROHI: The Light Dances. In 2014 Louise was the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance at the University of Otago, during which time she continued the development of the Whakaahua Dance practice. Louise has a strong body of solo and collaborative works, which draw upon her interdisciplinary and whakaahua practice. She has made seven dance films. The music video she made for Ariana Tikao’s song TUIA was awarded Best Music Video at the imagineNATIVE lm festival in Toronto, Canada.

Louise has been awarded several residencies. In 2014, Louise was awarded the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, an award which supported Louise to live in New York City for a period of choreographic and artistic inspiration. Other residencies include the Ngāi Tahu artist residency at the Dunedin School of Art in 2003, and a Wild Creations Residency in 2007 which supported Louise to the make dance solo and lm Aoraki whilst living at Aoraki/Mount Cook. In 2009, Louise was supported by Creative New Zealand to undertake a choreographic internship with Santee Smith, the artistic director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, in Toronto, Canada.

Paddy Free - Kaihoahoa Oro/Sound Designer

Paddy Free is one of New Zealand's most respected electronic musicians. Recording and performing internationally with Pitch Black and as a solo artist, he has written music for film, theatre, dance, television and multimedia art, as well as acting as producer and engineer for many world-renowned New Zealand artists.

As a producer/engineer and keyboard player, Paddy has worked with a diverse range of New Zealand and International artists such as Crowded House, Killing Joke, Salmonella Dub, Kora, The Adults, Neil Finn, Oceania, Moana and The Tribe, the Auckland Philharmonia and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.

John Verryt - Kaiwhakatauira Papamahi/Set Designer

John Began designing for performance in 1979, training at Theatre Corporate and Mercury Theatre. John is freelance and works regularly for many of New Zealand’s foremost performing arts companies and artistic directors including Silo Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Indian Ink, Red Leap, The Large Group, Nightsong, Theatre Stampede, Opera NZ, Douglas Wright, Malia Johnston, Michael Parmenter, Atamira Dance, Okareka Dance, Black Grace Dance, John was production Designer for The World of Wearable Art from 2009 to 2016. some memorable recent designs are Once on Chunuck Bair - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Rendered - The Haka Party Incident - ATC, MittiMitti - Nga Wai - Atamira Dance, The Book of Everything - HIR - Silo Theatre, The Mooncake and the Kumara - AAF, Mere Mere - Rushes - MOTH, The Magic Flute - Opera NZ, 360 - Nightsong and Theatre Stampede.