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NZ Dance Royalty Leaps into the Spotlight

New Zealand Dance Royalty Leaps into the Spotlight

MEDIA RELEASE: for immediate release

10 July 2008

New Zealand Dance Royalty Leaps into the Spotlight

Okareka Dance Company presents
Tama Ma

Two of New Zealand's most acclaimed contemporary dancers launch their new company Okareka Dance Company with a premiere performance of Tama Ma at Tempo - New Zealand Festival of Dance.

Tama Ma tells the story of two men who travel from boyhood, to manhood, and the real life tale of love, life, joy and sorrow. The five part act moves from a short dance film projected on stage to a drag queen's journey to femininity and the return back to masculinity. A young boy's connection to his Whanau (family) and Iwi (tribe) and a mature man's ideas of identity are also deeply explored.

Presented as a five act autobiographical dance journey; each segment of Tama Ma is choreographed by a renowned New Zealand choreographer and powerfully performed by Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal; the distinguished Douglas Wright choreographs Act 2 while the extraordinary talents of Michael Parmenter shape Act 4. This is the first time that the celebrated choreography skills of Douglas Wright and Michael Parmenter have ever been presented in the same show.

Also collaborating on Tama Ma are Mark Summervile and Heather Lee from 'Zoomslide' who are directing and producing a short film that will be played in Act 1 of the performance while also creating a documentary about the process of making the dance. Eden Mulholland is also on board as musical director, using his vast talents to create a magical soundscape.

Okareka Dance Company is a vibrant contemporary New Zealand dance company formed in 2007 and led by Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal with the aim to fuse contemporary dance with other creative art mediums. The essence of Okareka Dance Company is guided by Maori beliefs, these beliefs – Mana (Honour and Integrity), Whanau (Family) and Matataki (Challenge) are brought to its work and to its audiences.

Through choreography, set design, and costume, Okareka Dance Company strives to tell bold, spiritual stories that are of and from New Zealand. Through careful collaboration the company seeks to extend its creativity and its influence by engaging experienced choreographers, musicians, film producers and performers to create evocative, beautiful dance works that tell a story.

Taane Mete and Michael Parmenter, a brilliant partnership, producing stunning dancing. They combined strength and vulnerability, with Mete's subtle and elegant physicality complementing Parmenter's rugged, tormented introspection."

-New Zealand Listener

Taiaroa Royal is the anchorman of Aotearoa." - 'Black Milk' reviewed by Jennifer Shennan - Dominion Post.

Act One: Pito
8min 16mm short dance film projected on stage without live performance.
Dancers: Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal
Choreographers : Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete in collaboration with Mark Summerville
Film Director: Mark Summerville
Film Producer: Heather Lee
Music Composition: Eden Mullholland/ Linda Lepou

Act Two: Tama Ma
Dancers: Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete
Choreographer: Douglas Wright
Music Composition: David Guerin realises piano recording from composer Provokiev
The dramatic and almost tragic metamorphosis of femininity returning to masculinity. Drag queen's who lose their fabulousness to again become ordinary men. This act explores the emotional, physical and physiological characteristics of the drag queen and her regression back to a man.

Act Three: Rangatahi
Dancer: Taane Mete or Taiaroa Royal
Choreograher: Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete
Music Composition: Eden Mulholland
A solo that remembers the connection to the whanau ( family ) and the iwi ( tribe ). It is a progression of the dance from childhood to adolescence and the pathway to becoming a dancer. Performed by Taane or Tai in alternating performances.

Act Four: Hand to Hand
Dancers: Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal
Choreographer: Michael Parmenter
This act centres on the issue of identity. Central to this issue is the polarity of being same or being different and the exploration of the tension contained in this polarity. The choreography will investigate the difficult territory between improvisation and set composition.

Act Five: Whanaungatanga
Dancers: Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete
A return to spirituality and the importance of whanau ( family). This act pays homage to the fathers of Taane and Tai, both whom have passed away. A moving piece that see both men reflect on the important life lessons learnt from their fathers' tautoko (support) and korero (talking, speaking).

Ta Mama plays as part of the 2008 tempo – NZ Festival of Dance

The Edge / Concert Chamber

09th - 14th October 2008, 7.30pm

Tickets will be released through The Edge mid July.

$15 - $30 + any applicable transaction fees


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