Onepū is a striking and powerful new dance work choreographed by Louise Potiki Bryant.
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.
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
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.
Kirikiriroa | 28 June
Gallagher Performing Arts Centre
Whangārei | 3 July
Kaitaia | 5 July
Te Whanganui-a-Tara | 19 — 21 July
Soundings Theatre, Te Papa Tongarewa
Ngāmotu | 22 July
TSB Showplace, Winter Fest
Ōtautahi | 2 August
James Hay Theatre, Chirstchurch Arts Festival
Premiered as part of KOTAHI I
Tāmaki Makaurau | 4 October
Q Theatre, Tempo Dance Festival
“A moving and powerful piece... mesmerising.”
Dione Joseph, New Zealand Herald