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New Zealand Dance Theatre Work, MĀUI, comes to the Sydney Opera House


SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH FRESH MOVEMENT COLLECTIVE MĀUI


New Zealand’s Fresh Movement Collective will bring their vibrant dance theatre work MĀUI to the Sydney Opera House for an Australian premiere tour from 29 – 31 August.


The MĀUI ensemble performing at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, NZ. Photo Credit: Nina Pouesi
The MĀUI ensemble performing at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, NZ. Photo Credit: Nina Pouesi

MĀUI tells the story of the heroic demi-god who appears as a prominent figure in Pacific folklore. The show opens with the shared origin story of migration across the Pacific, before unfolding in seven chapters that each delve into a personal trait of Māui – including love, resilience, joy and power. Contemporary and traditional Pacific dance forms are showcased alongside elements of theatre, spoken word, live music, hip-hop, haka and capoeira, with stunning animated projections by Harley Campbell that create an evocative live experience.


Based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (Auckland, New Zealand), Fresh Movement Collective has been making waves in the street dance scene in New Zealand since 2012. The Australian tour will feature a 30-strong ensemble, including the collective’s four founding members who will perform on stage together for the first time in six years – Hadleigh Pouesi (he/him, Māori/Samoan), Christopher Ofanoa (he/him, Tongan/Pakeha), Chantelle Huch (she/her, Samoan) and Byron Fa'aui (he/him, Tongan/Samoan). MĀUI weaves together the movement patterns and languages from many cultures of the Pacific region including Aotearoa/New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Tonga, reflecting the diverse heritage of the performers.


Artistic Director of Fresh Movement Collective, Hadleigh Pouesi says: “Our vision is to be a waka (boat) for stories, and with this season we get to live that vision literally by bringing culture across the Tasman, and continue the ancient traditions of travelling and storytelling. To perform MĀUI at the Sydney Opera House is a dream come true and a really exciting moment in the story of our company. We’ve brought together an all-star cast from the last decade of Fresh to perform MĀUI in Australia for the first time, and we can’t wait to get there.”


Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott says: MĀUI encapsulates the best of contemporary storytelling, fusing artforms to envelope us in the magical world of Māui. Fresh Movement Collective bring bold physicality and authenticity to their work that has an infectious impact on the audience. This a work powered by young people, sharing myths and stories of rich age-old cultures – it’s timeless and something so special for our audiences.”


MĀUI will also be presented at the Gold Coast’s HOTA prior to the Sydney Opera House season.

 

Photo Credit: Nina Pouesi
Photo Credit: Nina Pouesi

KEY INFORMATION

WHAT: MĀUI

WHEN: 29 – 31 August, 2024

WHERE: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

PRICES: Full price $59.90, Concession $50.90 + booking fee. 

PRE SALE: Sydney Opera House Insiders - 9am, Tuesday 21 May

GENERAL PUBLIC ON SALE: 9am, Wednesday 22 May

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