Okareka Shares K'Rd With New Zealand and the World
Auckland’s iconic Karangahape Rd - “K’ Rd”- has a colourful yet significant past. It is this history and the tales of the misfits who roamed in and out of the shadows up the infamous strip that Okareka Dance Company tackles in K’ Rd Strip - A Place to Stand. The show that saw 21 sold-out shows in 2013 will return to Auckland for six nights before hitting the road.
K’ Rd Strip – A Place to Stand will open at Auckland’s Q Theatre on 14 July, Rotorua’s Blue Baths on 22 July and then Hamilton’s Meteor Theatre (dates TBC). It will then head to London where the company will do some promotional shows before a widely coveted season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 5 to 31 August.
K’ Rd Strip is a multi-faceted, collaborative dance theatre piece about an iconic piece of Auckland road that has anchored deep roots into the cultural veins of New Zealand history. The result is unlike anything Okareka has created before - ancient Māori mythology and intoxicating tales are entwined with contemporary dance, theatre, haka, drag and live vocals.
Sexy, provocative and humorous, K’ Rd Strip flows as a stream of consciousness, twisting dramatic scenes into a whirlwind show, set against a backdrop of New Zealand music including Gin Wigmore, The Exponents, Th’Dudes, Crowded House, Split Enz and more.
The captivating story is brought to life by a band of superbly talented men - some of our very best contemporary dance and musical theatre performers: Adam Burrell, Jesse Wikiriwhi, Jason Te Mete, Taane Mete, Taiaroa Royal and William Cooper Barling.
Formed in 2007, Okareka Dance Company was established to fuse contemporary dance with Māori themes, and other genres, to create authentic, surprising and diverse work. Led in collaboration with artists and creatives by co-artistic directors Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal, and General Manager / Producer Rachael Penman, Okareka has become one of New Zealand’s most sought after and prolific dance companies.
Okareka is quickly establishing itself on the international market. K’ Rd Strip will be the company’s second international tour - in 2014, Tama Ma travelled to the Holland Dance Festival, where sections were also performed at the Gala opening that was attended by members of the Royal Family. In 2014, the highly-praised new work Mana Wahine undertook an intensive domestic tour of 11 cities.
Of their work, Okareka Co-Artistic Director Taane Mete says, “It is important for Okareka Dance Company to produce powerful art that upholds integrity, intention and Mana. It was our intention to create a show across a variety of disciplines that harnessed Māori culture yet would travel successfully around the world. This contemporary fusion exposes a new genre of theatre that we believe will strengthen the fabric of contemporary dance in New Zealand and place Aotearoa on the map for developing ground-breaking art.”
Praise for K'Rd Strip:
"…hilarious, heartbreaking, informative, entertaining and spiritually profound.” - Metro
".... nothing short of genius." - TheatreScenes
"A poignant piece of theatre, which incorporates a number of genres in a very slick and believable fashion” - DANZ
“The physicality of the dance is inspirational. The power of the singing is remarkable. The stories and lives are vivid and compelling.” - Theatreview