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New Dance work a memoir of love, life and war

27 August 2006

“One person who appreciates life is the man on the front-line”
– Maaka Pepene

Atamira Dance Collective presents

New Dance work a memoir of love, life and war

This November, Auckland audiences will be treated to a unique and poignant dance work commemorating love and the year of the veteran.

Memoirs of Active Service, a new dance work by critically acclaimed Maori dance company Atamira Dance Collective, opens at the Maidment Studio on November 15 for a five-day Auckland season. Choreographer and ex serviceman, Maaka Pepene has devised a piece based on his Grandfather’s diary, recorded during his service in WWII and inspired by the 28th Maori Battalion.

“Remember. I am always thinking of you sweetheart, no matter how long I am away from you, don’t worry my dearest, I’ll come back to you. Yours till the stars lose their glory, your own darling Paddy.” - Charles Jack Murphy, 29 July 1944 (Maaka Pepene’s Grandfather)

A moving and beautiful love story inspired by the keeper of the diary, Memoirs of active service is about ordinary New Zealanders being asked to do extraordinary things. We watch the journey of five characters from a rural Maori community, their transformation from pre- war to enlisting, training and then afterwards, but always at the heart is the love and the sacrifices made by New Zealander’s during this time.

A one hour show, the dance will be linked with excerpts from the diary and video projected imagery from the 1940s.

Atamira Dance Collective is one of New Zealand’s most prolific and talented contemporary dance groups and feature this country’s top young Maori dancers and choreographers. Drawing on their experiences as Maori in contemporary NZ, Atamira share their stories through dance. Critically acclaimed the company is renowned for their inventive and stunning pieces.

Prior to his dance career, choreographer Maaka Pepene spent six years in the New Zealand Armed Services reaching the rank of honourary Regimental Sergeant Major. His experiences in the army and travels abroad were further motivation to share the contribution of the Maori Battalion and all New Zealand veterans in this new dance work.

“mastery of singular images… told from the heart… mesmeric, powerful and moving”
NZ Listener

Memoirs of Active Service stars Sean McDonald, Jack Grey, Justine Hohaia, Taane Mete, Kelly Nash, Peter Sears and music by Paddy Free

Memoirs of Active Service plays at the Maidment Studio 15 – 19 November
Wednesday –Sunday 8pm. Tickets $18- $28 from Ticketek (booking fees may apply).
Extra shows: Thurs 16 November at 12:30 special veteran show. Veteran Price $10.00
Fri 17 November – School Matinee 11.30pm; Saturday 18 November – 2pm Matinee


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