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Mana Wahine - a Journey of Strength!

Mana Wahine - a Journey of Strength!

Okareka Dance Company presents

Having already proven themselves as one of New Zealand’s most dynamic companies on a national level through their critically acclaimed tours of Tama Ma (2009), Nga Hau E Wha (2011) and K Rd Strip (2013), Okareka Dance Company is demonstrating their continual mould-breaking pieces on an international level as well. America, Australia and China have witnessed the power of their work and most recently The Netherlands as part of the Holland Dance Festival.

Once again Okareka Dance Company breaks new territory with their eagerly awaited new work Mana Wahine. Artistic directors Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete lead a high calibre creative team to present a powerful new performance that personifies the strength of women.

… our appetites are whetted – we can't wait to experience the performance in its completed form!”
- Theatreview (Mana Wahine preview, Hamilton Gardens)

The true story of Te Aokapurangi, a young maiden from Rotorua influences the storyline of this production. She was captured in battle by a tribe from the Far North and many years later she returned and single handily saved her people from slaughter. The story of Te Aokapurangi has been the pivotal inspiration behind this work. Her courage, determination and fearlessness fuels the choreographic style explored in this exciting new piece.

The basket of ideas accumulated over the last two years comes to fruition as the all-female cast carve the stage with dance, waiata and mesmerising imagery. Royal and Mete share the choreographic floor with World of WearableArt (WOW) artistic director Malia Johnston. Together with Johnston they ignite the stage with a unique movement vocabulary that is drawn from the tale of Te Aokapurangi and ancient mythology.

Okareka invites leading choreographers, dancers and designers when devising a new work and Mana Wahine is no exception. This process allows each artist to indulge their talents without restriction. It is from this that the highest level of creativity is achieved. It will also be the first time that the choreography will be layered in such a way that it becomes seamless. This co-authorship allows the work to develop organically.

The world premiere of Mana Wahine will be in Rotorua on Friday 27 June and will be followed by a national tour to 11 centres across New Zealand. Performers Bianca Hyslop, Maria Munkowits, Nancy Wijohn, Chrissy Kokiri and Jana Castillo have been selected for this work not just for their experience as dancers but, even more so, for their experience as women.

Okareka is excited to bring together a dynamic cast who will transcend ideas into their bodies, cultivating a fluid production that honours strength, honesty, integrity and energy – all beautiful attributes of women.

The beauty of the physical/dance aspects of the play is that it drives the energy and fire of the production and keeps the audience absorbed
Theatreview (Paniora)


Rotorua: 27 & 28 June, Civic Theatre
Auckland: 2-5 July, Rangatira @ Q Theatre
Dunedin: 10-12 July, Regent Theatre
Kerikeri: 15 July, Turner Centre
Whangarei: 18 & 19 July, Forum North
Kaitaia: 22 July, Te Ahu Centre
Mangere: 26 & 27 July, Mangere Arts Centre
Tauranga: 29 July, Baycourt Theatre
Hamilton: 1 & 3 August, Playhouse, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Waipawa, Hawke’s Bay: 7 & 8 August, CHB Municipal Theatre
Wellington: 13-15 August, Te Whaea

Visit for ticketing, venue and further information regarding this event.


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