AWA is a multi-disciplinary arts spectacle weaving together stories of New Zealand’s sacred rivers and China’s famous Yellow River.
A young man, Te Uru Rangi, descended from the people of New Zealand’s Tongariro River in the central North Island, leaves his sacred homeland to work on a major river-damming project on the Yellow River in northern China. He becomes obsessed with taming the Yellow River, forgetting to honour the ancient river spirit. His physical form begins to pass between realms. The wairua of Te Uru Rangi is caught wandering in a mystical torrent and the kaitiaki / spirit guardian of the Tongariro River must bring him home, but the river spirits battle for power and control. Will the spirit of Te Uru Rangi find its way home to Aotearoa?
Told through contemporary dance and music–the rhythm of kapa haka, the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and an 80-strong choir of young artists from schools and communities across Auckland–AWA is another amazing collaboration from the team that brought you Ruaumoko in 2016.
Presented as part of Auckland Arts Festival
“The AWA project for me is about reconnecting to the natural flow in our lives and viewing the challenges that lie in front of us as an opportunity to validate our personal truths. Working across genres is exciting for me artistically, and the inclusion of our communities in the whole art experience means we can move and learn together as the work grows, ultimately unveiling a new way of seeing ourselves, and the vast potential we have as humans.”
“AWA also connects me back to my father’s journey as an engineer who passed away on the yellow river in 1996. My Father returned home in a closed casket, and my siblings and I found it hard to say goodbye without seeing him physically in state”.
Artistic Director and Choreographer Moss Patterson
Premiere | Auckland Arts Festival
25 March 2017
Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall