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TUAWHENUA (Beyond the Earth Beyond the Flesh)

TUAWHENUA (Beyond the Earth Beyond the Flesh)
A new dance work by Jack Gray

Wed 17-Sat 20 September, 8:30pm
Bats Theatre
1 Kent Tce

Phone: (04) 802 4175

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TUAWHENUA is a poetic Maori contemporary dance theatre performance about the nature of love and loss, turmoil through separation and a transformation into a new life.

Meaning 'hinterland' or 'interior', TUAWHENUA also implies something beyond the earth and beyond the flesh – a spiritual release like a heartfelt sigh. Nature acts as a metaphoric canvas for the troubled heart, evoking sensations of ice, ocean, butterflies, clouds and pine trees.

Dancers Nancy Wijohn (Atamira) and Shannon Mutu (BackLit) embody perspectives of the "lover" and the "departed" and represent aspects of their subconscious, in a meandering story about discoveries that come from heartbreak and resurrection. The dance is experienced through a delicate unfolding of time and space, inspired by Kabuki Theatre and Chinese Zen Gardens.

TUAWHENUA is expressed through contemporary dance directed by Jack Gray, set to an electronic soundscape produced by Charlotte 90. The show also features live taonga puoro by Wellington's Alistair Fraser, with narration by actress Ngapaki Emery (Vula) and waiata composed by Hineitimoana Greensil.

The Company

Jack Gray Dance is an Auckland-based Maori contemporary dance company that collaborates with contemporary and traditional performing artists. Their recent works include: Electrify Walk Bride (Generation Project 2007) and View from the Gods (The Body and Tempo Festival 2006).

A freelance dance artist since 1999, Jack Gray (Ngati Porou/Ngapuhi) has worked internationally in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Malta, Serbia and Taiwan. He has just recently performed with Atamira Dance Collective in New Caledonia, in a showcase that featured two of his works "Hail"(2003) and new work in progress "Maapuna".

TUAWHENUA is both his Dance Your Socks Off Festival and Bats Theatre debut. His work also features the same nights as fellow Atamira Dance Collective dancer Cathy Livermore whose production "Dont Feed the Man Fish" is on at 6:30 pm. Come and see two shows that showcase the diverse and versatile talents of Atamira's independent company members.


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