Urban Maori love story comes to Aotea
A Maori theatre show is converting a group of dancers into actors.
Stage production The Beautiful Ones follows a romance between two performers working in a nightclub.
The show is written and directed by award winning Maori stage and screenwriter Hone Kouka, a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to contemporary Maori theatre.
Wellington-based Kouka says the show was about giving himself a challenge to create a piece away from a text based work.
‘‘The Beautiful Ones is the result (of) a hybrid of art forms and cultures and to have so many incredible artists to collaborate with is daunting and exciting.’’
Kouka’s plays have been produced internationally and throughout New Zealand. He has also worked in film having recently been an executive producer on Mahana and co-written hip hop film Born To Dance.
The Beautiful Ones has a range of components including live music, beats and projected imagery.
‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a show like this before,’’ choreographer Teokotai Paitai says.
The Ponsonby resident and Pride Festival organiser says The Beautiful Ones is unusual in that it only has one professional actor with eight dancers taking up scripts.
‘‘I’ve usually worked with theatre where we’re trying to compose movement onto actors,’’ Paitai says.
The show is staged by Welling- ton company Tawata Productions, which produces work of Maori and Pasifika writers while specialising in shows involving multi-media.
The Beautiful Ones performed in Wellington last year and was described by The Dominion Post as ‘‘loud, brash and youthful’’.
‘‘And while it is all of these it is also poetic, lyrical and highly original with some exquisite dance routines... a uniquely satisfying and very entertaining work,’’ The Dominion Post said.
The show features live vocals from recording artist and Maori Television presenter Ria Hall along with Tia Maipi ( Born To Dance) and Scotty Cotter ( The Rehearsal).
The Beautiful Ones runs in the Lower NZI space in the Aotea Centre on Mayoral Drive from November 19 to 26.
Visit Ticketmaster.co.nz for tickets and more information.