Atamira Dance Company
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Taonga: Dust, Water, Wind

"Did the message come to her on the wings of a fantail or the city of an owl?" 

Atamira Dance Company, named in 2006 by the NZ Herald as ‘the hotspot of contemporary dance in Auckland’, premieres new work TAONGA at Auckland Arts Festival 2009.

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TAONGA is a stunning, mesmerising and powerful piece of Māori Contemporary Dance Theatre. Inspired by Potiki-Bryant’s Aunt Rona and her 80 years of life living on the East Coast of the South Island, TAONGA weaves together dance and taonga pūoro. The legend of Rona and theMoon under pins the work, in a poetic display of dance. A Dance piece in three parts, Dust (Part One), Water (Part Two) and Wind (part three) - in each section the dancers are accompanied by Taonga Pūoro.

A unique tale, each section will explore the notion of preciousness, change and intuition.

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Dust is set in a world between worlds–between dream-state and reality. Accompanied by whale-bone and stone, the dancers inhabit a bone land–the space between living and dying where things are communicated by symbol and metaphor.

Water is inspired by the legend of Rona cursing the moon, woven with Potiki Bryant’s Aunt’s memories of washing day at Kaka Point, and her mother using the healing waters of the ocean to treat polio. The taonga for this section are the gourds in all their forms including poi awhiowhio and hue.

Wind is a dramatic and energetic section inspired by the legend of Rona’s capture by the moon.The taonga for this section will be the wind instruments, such as the koauau.

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With a powerful original sound-score by Paddy Free, (Winner of Best Music at Tempo Awards 2007 for his composition of Whakairo), and features live music by Richard Nunns. A tribute to Potiki-Bryant’s Aunt Rona and the People of the South Island, TAONGA reflects our desire to hold onto the values of the old ways in our modern world. 

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The Body Festival | 9 — 10 October 
Ngaio Marsh Theatre 

Otago Festival of the Arts | 15 — 16 October 
King's and Queen's Performing Arts Centre 

Nelson Arts Festival | 29 — 20 October 
Theatre Royal 

Manukau Festival of the Arts | 27 October 
Genesis Energy Theatre 


Tāmaki Makaurau | 12 — 15 March 
Skycity Theatre 

Show poster
OFA Taonga Poster 1 JPEG
Choreography and Video Design

Louise Potiki Bryant | Kāi Tahu 

Taonga Pūoro

RIchard Nunns 


Paddy Free 

Lighting Design

Vanda Karolczak 

Costume Design

Kristen Kemp 

Set Designer

Brett Graham