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Kōwhiti 2013 – Atarau Indigenous Contemporary Dance Festival

Kōwhiti 2013 – Atarau Indigenous Contemporary Dance Festival and Academic Symposium

November 6-9

Wellington Opera House, Te Papa Tongarewa and Whitireia Performance Centre

Indigenous dancers from around the world to converge on Wellington in November….

For the first time ever, indigenous dancers from North America, South Africa and Australia, (including the Torres Strait Islands) will share the stage with Aotearoa’s leading Māori contemporary dance artists in a dazzling festival of light, sound, colour and rhythm. 

In their third Festival to date, Kōwhiti Productions presents Atarau – A Beam of Light: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Festival, which includes performances at the Wellington Opera House, an academic symposium on intercultural dance and free dance workshops and a forum at Te Papa.  The Festival is being presented with the assistance of Creative New Zealand and the Wellington City Council.

With the support of the US Embassy, a ten-strong company of First Nation artists from Santa Fe in the United States, Dancing Earth (, will present their newest work Walking at the Edge of Water, fresh from their New York season at the Downtown Dance Festival.  A recent review of the company states: “Pay attention, world! Mother Earth has birthed a new life: aboriginal contemporary dance”. Rosalie Jones (Daystar).

Also in attendance will be the irrepressible Nkosinathi Chamo from South Africa who, in 2011 brought his ten-strong troupe to perform at the Kōwhiti Festival during the Rugby World Cup.  He will be presenting his newest solo work based on South African traditional dance forms.

Rita Pryce will be bringing the 8-strong Baiwa Dance Company from the Torres Strait Islands who recently appeared in the opening ceremony of the World Indigenous Network Conference.  Their colourful dance features extraordinary headdresses and painted faces and bodies.  Also appearing are Australian Aboriginal dance artists Tammi Gissell and Mariaa Randall.

Leading Māori contemporary dance artists appearing at the Festival include the companies of Merenia Gray and Tanemahuta Gray, members of the Atamira Dance Company as well as acclaimed solo artists, Louise Potiki Bryant and Future Fame.


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