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.
"Bryrant's ongoing inter-disciplinary practice aims for a poetic balance between visual and choreographic elements." - Review of Ngāi Tahu 32 by Moana Nepia
Ngāi Tahu 32 (2004)
Ngāi Tahu 32, follows one man's journey through time to deliver a soul to a new generation. Carrying the coins for the sale of his land and the wairua of a girl who shines brightly on the horizon, his journey weaves history, whakapapa, creation and imagination. With Ngāi Tahu 32, Bryant creates a unique environment, celebrating installation, projection, choreography and a transformation of the performance space to take the audience on this journey.
Featuring: The Listener's "best female dancer for 2003", Dolina Wehipeihana and other reknown Maori contemporary dancers, Justine Hohaia, Maaka Pepene and Cathy Livermore. Original soundtrack by Paddy Free from NZ electronic band Pitch Black incorporating the unique sounds of Waimihi Hotere, and the words of the Kaitiaki for Ngāi Tahu whakapapa, Dr Terry Ryan.
"The dancers move with admirable control and a dazzling flash of wiri to put the seal on their kaupapa."
- Jennifer Shennan, The Dominion Post
Onepū is a striking and powerful new dance work. This expression of mana wahine - the intrinsic spiritual power of women has been inspired by a Kāi Tahu tradition as told by their rangatira Teone Taare Tikao in the book 'Tikao Talks — Traditions and Tales of the Canterbury Maori as told by Teone Taare Tikao to Herries Beattie'. Onepū (sand) is named to reflect the sand bank Pikopiko-i-whiti which encircles the world and upon which six atua wahine (female deities) stand within the different directions of the wind. These atua are strong forces of nature with the enormous power of controlling and releasing the principal winds of the world. Meet Hine-aroaro-pari whose echoes are heard on sea cliffs, Hine-rōriki-controller of the unruly northerly winds, Hine-aroraki, Māui’s mother whose name denotes the soaring flight of birds, Hine-pū-nui-o-toka from the south — the mother of all winds and Māui’s grandmother, Hine-rōtia who releases the west winds, one of which brings tidings of those who have passed on and Hine-hauone from the north east, who finds Māui at sea wrapped in a cloth and nurses him to life. Atmospheric lighting, unique costumes and skilled video design paint a sophisticated visual landscape. Within a black sand circle, the six transcendent performers dance to an original musical score composed by Paddy Free and Ariana Tikao, combining electronic music with the haunting sounds of taonga pūoro. Luscious solo moments of intensity merge with the power of the ensemble to embody these wild forces of nature and invoke a range of atmospheres inviting meditation on the different qualities each atua wahine brings to us.