WIRED: A heightened energy held in sharp focus
By Taiaroa Royal
The modern world is an artificial system of lines.
Reaching from one person to the next.
Lines that touch, speak, listen and feel.
Replacing faces with interfaces; kāore tou kanohi ki te kanohi.
Re-visioning intimacy as a place by oneself.
Being in a state of ‘Harmonious’ complication.
Re-establishing the art of simplifying one’s life,
Returning to the simple ingenious (No. 8 Wire) ways of living and communicating – non-complexities.
Thinking outside the ‘box’.
Formed in 2007, Okāreka Dance Company fuses contemporary dance with indigenous Māori themes and other genres to create authentic, diverse works. Through choreography, set design, and costume, the company strives to tell bold, spiritual stories that are of and from New Zealand. Through careful collaboration the company seeks to extend its creativity and its influence by engaging experienced artists from around the Globe – the sole driver – to create evocative, beautiful dance works that tell a story.
Presented in collaboration with Q Theatre, WIRED is the latest work by Okāreka Dance Company and has its world premiere at Rangatira, Q Theatre in January 2018. Artistic Directors and Choreographers, Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal, have brought together a powerful combination of creative artists; the dynamic Sarah Foster-Sproull (choreography), the ingenious John Verryt (set), the provocative Vanda Karolczak (lighting), an energetic Andrew Foster (dramaturge), the creative Tanya Carlson (costumes), and iconic composer Eden Mulholland. Together with seven diverse dancers and performers, WIRED will re-stimulate your senses, and re-invigorate your body to re-wire(d) your brain!
Running alongside the final two weeks of rehearsals for the show, will be Okāreka Dance Company’s Summer School. The School, coming up to its seventh year, caters for students in Year 11-13 who have a passion in dance and are looking to further their studies at a tertiary level. This two-week intensive gives them a taste of what it can be like studying full-time at a tertiary dance institution.
Jag Popham is a third-time student of Okāreka’s Summer School, and is one of the dancers included in the cast of WIRED. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Jag started dancing at age 3, training in classical ballet, contemporary and capoeira. At age 17 he decided to further his training at the New Zealand School of Dance majoring in contemporary, gaining his Certificate in Dance Performance.
Having now graduated and out in the freelancing world, Jag has come full circle to be employed by the very company he trained with as an aspiring student. This is Okāreka’s educational dream come true – training dancers that will eventually feed back into the company’s repertoire as professional dancers. We are privileged and honoured to have Jag back as part of the Okāreka whanau and look forward to working with him on WIRED.