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Saturday 10 October 2009

Taane and Tai dance around NZ

Posted in: Performance
By Matt Akersten - 13th June 2009

Two acclaimed Kiwi contemporary dancers are taking their celebrated dance work on the road, starting in Hamilton on 17 June and moving through Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Acclaimed dancers: Taane Mete & Taiaroa Royal
Tama Ma, which Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal premiered at Tempo Dance Festival in Auckland last year, shows the real life experiences - love, life, joy and sorrow - of two Takataapui men on their journey from boyhood and manhood. The five part act moves from a short dance film projected on stage to a drag queen's journey to femininity and the return back to masculinity. A young boy's connection tohis Whanau (family) and Iwi (tribe) and a mature man's ideas of identity are also deeply explored.

Taane Mete tells that certain acts in Tama Ma may surprise audiences. "It depends what people have seen before. We're very honest about presenting our stories - it's autobiographical, beginning as boys in our own towns and growing up with our families. Tai and I grow into male dancers.

"The nudity in Tama Ma may be confronting for some. We also appear in full drag, taking it off as we dance. But we've done it in a way that's honest to us. It's not intentionally out to shock people."

Taane & Taiaroa drag up
Along with sellout crowds and rave reviews at home, Taane and Tai have also appeared on New York's Broadway and in Cincinnati, along with dates in Europe and Australia with a wide variety of dance companies. Later this year he'll visit Tonga to choreograph a youth project there, and they're home again to perform and choreograph at the World of Wearable Arts awards in Wellington this September.

Taane has been dancing professionally for 27 years now, keeping in shape with a strict fitness regime. "Along with yoga, I use weights to maintain strengthen my torso and legs. It's ongoing - it's just part of producing a show."

He's also a dance teacher - and a busy one: "The influx of TV programmes about dancing has opened up a whole stream of dancing students around the country. All the classes available are full to maximum, and its great to see so many people interested in dancing."

Metro magazine named Tama Ma as the 'Best Dance' in Auckland in 2008, and the dancing duo won four awards at the official Tempo Dance Award ceremony. Now due to popular demand they're taking the show to audiences all around New Zealand. Locations, times and booking details are below.

Tama Ma travels around New Zealand:

Hamilton Playhouse, 17 - 20 June, 7.30pm
Book tickets through Ticket Direct - phone 0800 4 Ticket (0800 4 842538)

Maidment Theatre 24 - 28 June, 7.30pm
Bookings through: 09 3082383

Te Papa Tongarewa Soundings Theatre, 7 - 10 July, 7.30pm
Bookings through: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)

James Hay, 6 October, 7.30pm
$20/$16 (as part of Body Festival)
Bookings through: 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)

Matt Akersten - 13th June 2009

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