Atamira Dance Company breaks into United States market
Atamira Dance Company breaks into United States market
A successful debut tour and a memorable performance at possibly the world’s largest dance festival is a promising start to breaking into the United States market for leading Māori contemporary dance company Atamira.
The three-week tour came about as a result of showcasing their work to overseas presenters as part of Creative New Zealand’s international programme.
During July and August the company showcased their popular short works programme ‘KAHA’ throughout Maui and Honolulu in Hawaii, San Francisco, and Massachusetts, with eight performances to more than 2,500 people and more than 20 teaching workshops.
Atamira is the first Māori contemporary dance company invited to perform at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Western Massachusetts. Other tour highlights include performing at the Louis Vuitton stage at the America's Cup Village in San Francisco including a send-off Haka for Team New Zealand; at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival (Honolulu); and the San Francisco International Arts Festival.
Creative New Zealand helped fund Atamira’s United States debut through its International Presentation Fund, which supports touring of high quality New Zealand work.
“We are proud to support New Zealand touring companies like Atamira,” says Cath Cardiff, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager Arts Policy, Capability and International.
“Our international initiatives are about promoting the talent and unique contribution of our country’s artists to the rest of the world. We hope this opportunity has been a platform for Atamira to build relationships and audiences in the United States in the future.”
For Atamira, the experience was as much an opportunity for cultural exchange and sharing as it was a tour of the company's work.
“It was an amazing time for us as a team to come together strongly and present our unique choreographic work in the United States,” says Atamira’s Artistic Director Moss Patterson.
“Being cultural ambassadors for our country was a great honour, and we hope the positive connections we established with presenters and new audiences will serve us well for future tours of the USA.”
Atamira plans to tour the United States again with a full-length work in 2014/2015.
Hot off the heels of their United States debut, Atamira will next perform at the Nelson Arts Festival on 17th October, and will return to Auckland for a Tempo season at Q Theatre 18-19th October.
Atamira has also been successful in its bid for further funding through Creative New Zealand’s Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) programme for 2014/15, which they can use to develop more of the compelling and high quality Māori contemporary dance theatre that they are known for.
Creative New Zealand International
Creative New Zealand’s International Presentation Fund is open to applications from New Zealand artists and companies who have received invitations to present work internationally as a direct result of participating in one of Creative New Zealand’s international market development initiatives. Creative New Zealand awarded Atamira Dance Company $38,400 (plus GST) towards international flights for their US tour under the International Presentation Fund.
KAHA is a smart and current collection of seven short contemporary works that draw on a range of styles and themes. KAHA cleverly showcases the diversity of contemporary dance, and of the company. Atamira have created an explosive performance programme that speaks to dance lovers, family/whānau and anyone simply seeking a great night out.
Atamira’s United States tour included
• A performance of KAHA 2013 in Maui, Hawaii at the Maui Arts & Cultural Centre – this performance included a special addition of Jack Gray's 'Mitimiti'.
• A pre and post-performance talk.
• Two performances in Honolulu, as part of the Asia Pacific Dance Festival.
• A week-long workshop and lecture series at UH Manoa, University of Hawaii, where all company members taught a range of workshops, including Dance and Culture lectures, company rep and technique and design.
• Three performances on the Louis Vuitton stage at the America's Cup Village in San Francisco, including a send-off Haka for Team New Zealand.
• A performance of KAHA 2013 as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival.
• Performances and workshops as part of a combined San Francisco International Arts Festival and New Zealand American Association of San Francisco expatriate Kiwi community event.
• A special welcome ceremony by San Francisco Native American tribe Ohlone.
• Company class and rehearsal in Brooklyn, New York at 'Gallim Dance' studios.
• Inside out performance at Jacob's Pillow Festival, Lee Massachusetts.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance
Each year thousands of people from across the United States and around the globe visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts to experience America's longest-running international dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. The festival features more than 50 dance companies and 200 free performances, talks, and events. Jacob's Pillow Dance, host of the festival, is lauded worldwide as a "hub and mecca of dancing" (TIME Magazine), "one of America's most precious cultural assets" (Mikhail Baryshnikov), and "the dance center of the nation" (The New York Times).
View video footage of Atamira’s performance at Jacob’s Pillow 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIuyVUJPv5c&feature=youtu.be