Atamira Dance Company
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Ngāi Tahu 32

Ngāi Tahu 32 is a powerful and unique contemporary dance work incorporating choreography, visual imagery, set design, and a powerful sound score.

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Following one man’s journey through time and whakapapa (genealogy) to deliver a soul to a new generation, Ngāi Tahu 32 is a masterful work by choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant. Drawing on her personal family history and whakapapa (genealogy/tribal links), Ngāi Tahu 32 not only reflects thoughts and experiences of contemporary Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand), but is a universal tale of struggle, loss, and ultimately, redemption.

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Ngai Tahu 32 is performed alongside a shallow pool which represents‘oceans between carvings’ a description of tukutuku panels (traditionalMaori art). The protagonist of the piece, Wiremu Potiki, metaphoricallytravels through timethrough the tukutuku panels.Projected images onto a black curtain at the end of the pool mingle withstunning lighting design by Vanda Karolczak that bounces off the pooland the walls, creating a dream like atmosphere filled with dance, karanga, waiata, and haka. 

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Ngāi Tahu 32 presents one man’s journey through time and whakapapa to deliver a wairua from te waiora a Tane (the living waters of Tane) to anew generation. He travels through a series of tukutuku patterns, sometimes described as “the oceans between the carvings”. Carrying the coins from 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.

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“Whakapapa relates to genealogy. It relates to family trees, but I believe it is far deeper than that when you look at word; whaka is to create, is to become, and Papa what a beautiful word is Papa. Papa is a rock, Papa isa stone, Papa is mother-earth Papatūānuku it all relates, Papa is an anchor within oneself, Papa is a foundation ”

Dr Terry Ryan

Show poster
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Louise Potiki Bryant | Kāi Tahu