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Kahilu Theatre Presents Okareka Dance Company

December 12, 2017, 9:59 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 4:16 PM
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Okareka Dance Company: Mana Wahine courtesy photo.

Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela on Hawai‘i Island will present Okareka Dance Company: Mana Wahine on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at 7 p.m.

Mana Wahine, or “powerful women,” is a contemporary dance and mixed-media celebration of female strength. Drawing on traditional Maori culture, this stunning collage of imagery and movement transcends time and space.

Mana Wahine is inspired by the true story of Te Aokapurangi, a legendary young maiden who was captured in battle, and many years later, returned to single-handedly save her people from slaughter.

The five powerhouse dancers who comprise the cast of this performance embody these stories through a culmination of physical dexterity, control, balance, strength and grace.

Their own intimate ancestral stories, as well as the stories of those who have sculpted them as Mana Wahine, are also embedded in this work.

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Ancient Maori practices of karakia (prayer), waiata (song) and mythology are woven throughout the performance to enhance cultural connection from Aotearoa New Zealand to the rest of the world.

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Three of New Zealand’s best choreographers have taken the story of Te Aokapurangi’s courage, determination and fearlessness and constructed a commanding routine to uplift the spiritual status and empower women everywhere.

From the stunning opening to the spine-tingling finale, this collaboration of movement, exquisite lighting and audio visual design, and wealth of cultural wisdom is magic, the event press release said.

Formed in 2007, Okareka was established to fuse contemporary dance with indigenous Maori themes and other genres to create authentic, diverse works. Led by senior performers Taane Mete and Taiaroa Royal, Okareka has become one of New Zealand’s most sought-after and prolific dance companies.

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Through choreography, set design, and costume, the company strives to tell bold, spiritual stories that are of and from New Zealand. Though careful collaboration the company seeks to extend its creativity and is influence by engaging experienced artists from around the globe to create evocative, beautiful dance works that tell a story.

Okareka is a company guided by Maori beliefs. These beliefs are embedded into its work and shared with all who come to see.

This performance is generously sponsored by Carol & Clive Davies, Sherm & Elaine Warner, the Kirk-Landry Ohana, and Conception S. & Irwin Federman.

Tickets are $25, $48 and $68, and can be purchased online, at (808) 885-6868 or in person at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Kamuela.

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