NZ Dance Luminaries Soar to New Heights

Okareka Dance Company presents NGA HAU E WHA Where the elements dance


Okareka Dance Company presents

Where the elements dance


Fresh from showcasing their premiere work, Tama Ma, to adoring crowds in both New Zealand and Australia; Okareka Dance Company return to the stage with their breathtaking new work Nga Hau E Wha in Wellington from June 29th.


Eight dancers roam a barren land, the earth cracked and the air hot. Human figures are transformed into unearthly creatures as they travel the world’s winds, its water, its earth and fire as dancers dare to defy the constraints of earth’s gravity, to burrow into the earthly breast of Papatuanuku, and to bathe equally in her storms and tranquil depths.


Steeped in Maori legend, Nga Hau E Wha marks the return of dance royalty to New Zealand stages; Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal. Having formed Okareka Dance Company in 2007, the pair has successfully managed to fuse contemporary dance with a number of other creative art mediums.  Fundamentally guided by Maori beliefs, the new show yet again follows their credo; Mana (Honour and Integrity), Whanau (Family) and Matataki (Challenge).


Accompanying the choreography of Mete and Royal is that of Ross McCormack. A 2001 graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance (with an award for Excellence in Choreography and acclaimed review for his graduating performance), McCormack has performed with The Royal New Zealand Ballet and recently with Belgium’s Les Ballets C dela B; a company who pride themselves as a “unique mixture of artistic visions”.


The spectacular production sees the work of Eden Mulholland (from the NZ band Motocade) creating a stunning sound-scape that also features Taonga Puoro musician Alistair Fraser and a waiata from composer Tweedie Waititi.  Okareka has also bought together the respected talents of set designer John Verryt, the costume design of Elizabeth Whiting, video and lighting from Mike Hodgson and Paul O Brien and production guru Andrew Malmo helming the show.

This is contemporary dance that haunts you long after you’ve left the theatre, once again telling bold, spiritual stories that are of and from New Zealand

Don’t miss the company named by critics as “sensational”, “extraordinary”, and “profoundly important”.

It is rare to see such complicity and love expressed on stage; their partnership is extraordinary."
-  Lynne Pringle,

"We do not often see choreography that is so deeply drawn from a core of Maori culture and personal experience... This is profoundly important theatre"
Jennifer Shennan, Dominion Post

Dancers: Taane Mete, Taiaroa Royal, Jesse Wikiriwhi, Mark Bonnington.  Levi Cameron, Kimiora Grey, Daniel McCarroll and Jonathan Selvadurai appear by kind permission of the New Zealand School of Dance Choreographers: Ross McCormack, Taane Mete, Taiaroa Royal. Composer: Eden Mulholland, Taonga Puoro musician: Alistair Fraser, Waiata composer: Tweedie Waititi, Set Design: John Verryt. Costume Design: Elizabeth Whiting. Video Design: Mike Hodgson. Lighting Design: Paul O’Brien.

  • Act 1: WIND - choreography Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal
  • Act 2: WATER - choreography Taiaroa Royal
  • Act 3: EARTH - choreography Ross McCormack
  • Act 4: FIRE - choreography Taane Mete
Further information: 

Nga Hau E Wha plays
Te Whaea Theatre: Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington

Wed 29 June - Sat 2 July 7:30pm, Sunday 3 July  4pm, Tues 5 July - Sat 9 July 7:30pm
Bookings: phone 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)
Adults $35, Child $20, Concession & group bookings(6+) $28, Student $20.
Running Time: 1 hour approx
*contains semi nudity

Contact details: 
For any publicity enquiries please contact Elephant Publicity 093684180

Written by

Elephant Publicity

14 Jun 2011