Tradition combines with contemporary

Photo: Peter McIntosh
Photo: Peter McIntosh
Twirling LED poi during rehearsals for the show Wairua, before its premiere in the Dunedin Arts Festival last night, is New Zealand dancer and choreographer Taiaroa Royal.

The Dunedin production, at the Mayfair Theatre, draws on traditional Maori and Western contemporary forms of movement and theatre, re-imagining a symbolic ritualistic narrative.

Producer Philippa Keaney said it had been a long journey for Wairua, which is a culmination of about 13 years’ work for playwright and theatre practitioner Rua McCallum.

Keaney described the show as meditative and visceral — speaking to the mind, body and soul.

"We hope that everyone in the audience is moved, and perhaps changed, by the experience of Wairua.

"We are honoured to premiere at the Dunedin Arts Festival and launch our mahi in Otepoti."

• Wairua is on again today, tomorrow and Friday.

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