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Vula - From BATS to The Barbican


From BATS to The Barbican and Beyond

Ground breaking New Zealand Theatre work Vula from director Nina Nawalowalo, which took the Sydney Opera house by storm in 2007, is back in Wellington for a Fringe Festival season before embarking on an extensive tour to Europe including a six city tour of Holland and a 10 night season at London's Barbican Theatre as part of their prestigious BITE programme.

The season at The Barbican, described by The Times as "the worlds top arts centre", is part of a programme which includes companies such as The Ninagawa Company, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, the Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg, Ronnie Burkett's Theatre of Marionettes, Cheek by Jowl and Peter Brook's Theatre des Bouffes du Nord is a huge achievement for a production which began life with practically no budget at BATS Theatre in 2002.

Nina Nawalowalo, recipient of the 2007 Creative New Zealand Pacifica Excellence and Innovation Award is thrilled to realise a life time goal to take Pacific Island theatre back to Europe. It has been a steady journey of six years hard work to achieve this, taking the work through a constant process of refinement and national and international touring.

Nawalowalo and The Conch are proud to represent the wealth of Pacific and New Zealand performing arts on the world stage.

For the first time the show will incorporate a Maori performer in the shape of Toi Whakaari graduate and former Mai Time presenter Ngapaki (Marama) Emery. Responding to a challenge laid down by a Kaumatua from Sydney's Campbell town Maori community that a Pacific show from Aotearoa should have its indigenous culture incorporated Nawalowalo is excited by having Ngapaki on board.

"The time is right to take this next step with the work and we are very lucky to have Ngapaki on board," says Nawalowalo. "Setting a Maori woman performer in a Pacific context is a deep recognition of the powerful web of connections that weave us together as Pacific Island people."

Vula (Fijian for 'moon') is performed on a stage flooded with water, combines magic and illusion with traditional song and dance to create a captivating piece of Pacific Island visual theatre. Vula explores the sensual and spiritual relationship between Pacific Island women and the sea - a space where the worlds of the natural, mythological and everyday coexist. Under the power of the moon and swayed by the constant motion of the tide, Vula takes the audience on a journey through a Pacific day and night. The performers move and dance over, in, and through the water, creating image upon sensual image while moving from intense spirituality to uproarious comedy. .

'Nawalowalo is the master of the hypnotic image.' THE HERALD, AUCKLAND

'Nothing short of awesome. a must see.' THE DOMINION POST, WELLINGTON


14-16 February @ 7.30pm, Sat 16 Matinee 2.30pm, Sun 17 Matinee 2.00pm

Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison St, Newtown

Bookings: Ticket Direct 0800 4 TICKET or

Cost: $20/15/14


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