Diverse collection of local artists join line-up for Kia Mau Festival
23 May 2017
New Zealand’s only contemporary indigenous theatre and dance festival has announced a second wave of performances in Wellington from Friday 2 – Saturday 24 June.
Debuting at BATS Theatre in Wellington Central from June 8 – 10, Friday’s Flock is a shining addition to the Festival line-up. Produced by Te Pūanga Whakaari Theatre Productions, Friday’s Flock is directed by company founder Karla Haronga, who produced and wrote this show grounded in the stories of the company’s rural community with her husband Reihana.
Friday’s Flock explores the weekly ritual of heading into town for supplies and a bit of a yarn, with all characters portrayed by Reihana Haronga in a compelling solo effort. Committed to producing professional contemporary theatre for their local Manawatu audiences, with a focus on promoting and supporting the Feilding community as much as possible, Te Pūanga Whakaari Theatre will showcase their work to a Wellington audience for the first time. Featuring quintessential kiwi humour and recognisable characters that will be familiar to all who have had a classic New Zealand upbringing, the story will resonate with the kiwi in all of us.
Established in 2015, iKenso Productions is Wellington’s freshest theatre company to join the rich local landscape. Founded by Victoria University and Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School graduates Sarita So and Natano Keni, the pair will debut their show Riverside Kings as part of the Festival this year, with Keni making his first outing as director. Rough and idyllic and set in a world of contradictions, Riverside Kings is inspired by the suburb of Timberlea, Upper Hutt, and centred on the story of Samoan brothers and the themes of friendship, boxing, and growing up.
The world premiere will be held in the heart of the suburb that the show plays homage to at Expressions Whirinaki in Upper Hutt on Friday June with a matinee and evening session, followed by a full season at the central city’s BATS Theatre from June 13 – 17. Told with a physical prowess Riverside Kings is a dance of brotherhood, as the boys return to their stomping grounds.
Specialising in Pacific Contemporary Dance and theatre, Le Moana is a company providing a vessel for the exchange of stories, concepts and ideas. Le Moana will be presenting their celebrated show Purple Onion at Wellington Central’s Hannah Playhouse on June 16 and 17 as part of Kia Mau in 2017. Written and directed by Tupe Lualua, Purple Onion peeps into the nefarious world of Wellington's infamous burlesque parlour by the same name.
Graduates of the internationally renowned Whitireia Performing Arts School, the Le Moana collective have built a reputation for building cultural bridges and aiding in the development of Pacific contemporary dance on a local and global scale with their innovative works. This show first debuted in 2015 and explores the characters that became regular clientele at the club in an eye-opening insight into the local landmark.
A boundless development platform led by Tawata Productions, Breaking Ground presents a new work by playwrights Victor Rodger, Barbara Hostelek, and Tammy Haili’ōpua Baker. Showing at The Pit, Te Ara Hihiko at Massey University on June 8 and 10, Breaking Ground is focused development of new ideas, previously known as the acclaimed Matariki Development Festival. As performance art-forms continue to merge, Breaking Ground is a platform from which new stories, new movements, and new ways of making emerge. It is open to the public and completely free of charge.
Also open to the public and free of charge, DANZ Aotearoa are throwing open the doors of BATS Theatre for lunchtime conversations with the dance artists and companies presenting at the Kia Mau Festival 2017. A chance to share sandwiches and stories with artists from Aotearoa and around the world, Dance Talks: Conversations with the Artists provides the rare opportunity to korero with some of the brightest minds of the performing arts world, taking place on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Festival from 12.30 – 1.30pm.
These five performances and events join an expansive programme that features the already announced Tiki Taane Mahuta, Manaia, NeoIndigenA and Fire In The Water, Fire In The Sky, with one further line-up announcement to come.
About the festival
The Kia Mau Festival is the brainchild of Wellington-based Tawata Productions, co-founded by Hone Kouka and Miria George, who produce theatrical and multi-media works by Māori and Pasifika writers. Providing a platform for Wellington-based arts companies to showcase their work, and network with visiting international festival and venue directors, the heart-warming cultural celebration is now into its third year.
The Kia Mau Festival is a unique and innovative opportunity for whānau and communities across the Wellington region to engage with today’s tangata whenua and first nations artists from across the globe. A final announcement to complete the programme will be announced soon.