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Dance theater company celebrates the strength and pride of the Maori people.

July 11, 2013
Maui Weekly

"We are passionate about sharing our stories, and asserting the unique and important voice Maori have in New Zealand. We create dance work that reflects these values, and contributes to the collective voice of contemporary Maori art."

This is the mission of the contemporary dance theater company, Atamira, as they share their work with Maui in a program called KAHA, onstage in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (The MACC) on Thursday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Based in Auckland and founded in 2000, Atamira Dance Company is New Zealand's leading Maori contemporary dance company, a diverse collective with tribal connections around Aotearoa. Critically acclaimed, the company is renowned for their inventive and dramatic dance theater works that meld modern dance with haka and waiata (Maori chant and dance).

Article Photos

Atamira Dance Company is New Zealand’s leading Māori contemporary dance company, a diverse collective with tribal connections around Aotearoa.
Photos: John McDermott

Atamira strives for innovation and experimentation, while respecting and drawing from their cultural heritage. The choreographers and dancers express their experience of being an indigenous people in a contemporary world by creating innovative works that reflect Aotearoa's history, legends, societal issues, and whakapapa (genealogy/tribal links).

KAHA, the program they will present on Maui, celebrates the strength and pride of Maori people. It is a collection of short works choreographed by the members of Atamira, featuring different aspects of both traditional and contemporary culture:

Moko explores the art of body tattoo in Maori culture;

Haka is a contemporary work fusing traditional movement and modern dance;

Te Paki refers to the tradition of watching and listening to waves to find internal rhythms;

Mitimiti is an edgy piece depicting isolation and evolution in a small community;

Paarua is an energized look at sporting culture;

Indigenarchy highlights the public perception of the indigenous person;

Pou Rakau is an exciting new twist on the art;

Poi E is the full ensemble version of the popular dance as seen in the hit movie "Boy."

Prior to the concert from 6 to 6:30 p.m., "The Mana of Dance" will be presented by Artistic Director Moss Patterson. Admission to the talk is free.

This program promises to be full of rich and fascinating dance theater, with important messages from a Pan-Polynesian culture. If you are interested in Maori tradition, modern dance--or even if you just like to watch hakas--you will not want to miss this show.

Tickets for Atamira are $12, $22, $32 and half-price for keiki 12 and under, with a discount available to MACC annual donors. The Box Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 242-SHOW (242-7469) to charge by phone. You may also purchase tickets online at



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