Te Manu Ahi - The Firebird
By Jenny Stevenson
What happens when Igor Stravinsky's first ever ballet-commission, The Firebird, is brought to our shores and given a New Zealand spin?
Te Manu Ahi - The Firebird as created by Moss Patterson, Artistic Director of Atamira Dance Company in Auckland in October 2014, has morphed from Russian folk-lore into a mythical Māori tale and features a cast of one 150 mostly school-aged dancers, who perform mass-movement contemporary dance sequences, accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) under the baton of Carlos Miguel Prieto.
The students are drawn from several schools including: James Cook High School, New Lynn Primary, Northcote Intermediate, Saint Kentigern College and Freemans Bay Primary and they perform alongside Atamira Dance Company members and tertiary dance students from Unitec.
Te Manu Ahi is part of the Philharmonia's Auckland Dance Project initiative which works to connect with "all sections of the community". In working on the project, Moss Patterson has established a strong guiding principle: it is "a desire for people to be empowered" he says and of "leading people through a process of change".
Te Manu Ahi has been described as an "absolute treat" and a great way for the students and dancers alike to find out about themselves, to take ownership for their work, and strive for excellence.
Read the full article (Iss. 38) Te Manu Ahi - The Firebird