A performance autobiography integrating the life stories, journeys and the talents of Rodney Bell, a performer who left New Zealand over 12 years ago to pursue a career in integrated dance on the international stage.
Rodney performed and created work with dozens of companies but spent most of his time with Axis Dance Company after which he had a short but intense period living on the streets of San Francisco, which unfolded a series of incredible discoveries about who he is, what he wants to achieve and what coming home back to his country, back to his Marae and to his hometown of Te Kuiti means for the next phase in his life.
This work is an autobiographical performance work that integrates documentary footage, interviews, dance and imagery into a 60 minute work. An impressionistic and surreal experience of Rodney's life.
Whilst Meremere is a solo in its presentation, it was created by a range of people whom hail from a variety of professional and personal communities that Rodney has engaged with over the past 20 years. Guest artists and their contributions helped build the foundation of the work.
Performer: Rodney Bell Director: Malia Johnston AV Design: Rowan Pierce Operators Owen McCarthy + Charlie Draper Music: Eden Mulholland Dramaturgy: Emma Willis Cultural Advisor: Tūī Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield Set Design: John Verryt: Photography: Tom Hoyle Graphic Design: Ian Hammond
Producer: Romola Lang Partnership: Touch Compass Dance Trust Funded by: CNZ and in Partnership with TOUCH COMPASS DANCE TRUST
Three artists commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company to develop new performance work as they launch their 25th anniversary season.
Malia Johnston, Kate Parker and Katie Wolfe each present a new work in the early stages of development over a festival style weekend.
Moon is the NEW WORK by artists from MOTH. Moon is created in collaboration with Eden Mulholland and Rowan Pierce. Itis a dance-theatre piece inspired by the night sky.We now use our mobile phones to navigate and connect, but the cosmos was the original internet guiding and connecting explorers, dreamers, scientists and hunters. We have invited 9 young writers to contribute their own words as starting points for the work. We invite the audience to add their voice and responses to Moon.
We will keep you posted for the next installment of MOON
Show Dates Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October 2017. ASB Waterfront Theatre Auckland.
MOVEMENT MAKERS & PERFORMERS: Cuba Haslam, Claire O'Neil, Sean McDonald, Melana Khabazi, Taniora Motutere, Braedyn Humphries, Olivia Foley
SET DESIGN: John Verryt
LIGHTING: Andrew Malmo
DIRECTION: Malia Johnston
NEW MUSIC: Eden Mulholland
AV DESIGN: Rowan Pierce
Award winning NZ company celebrates contemporary Maori culture in world premiere commission
A Pacific explosion of dance, music and urban street culture will enthrall everyone when award winning New Zealand company Movement of the Human (MOTH) premieres Hurihuri from 13-15 April at Festival 2018, the arts and cultural program of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).
Commissioned especially for the Roundabout Stage at Broadbeach, presented by The Star Gold Coast, Hurihuri (the Maori word for ‘spin’)features skateboarders, kapa haka and poi dancers, and a live soundscape of drums, electronic loops and traditional Maori instruments - taonga pūoro.
Multi-award winning integrated dancer Rodney Bell stars in Hurihuri, performing in an aerial duet alongside dance Brydie Colquhoun that repurposes the wheelchair as a sculptural element and an inspiration for hip hop infused movement design.
Festival 2018 Gold Coast Co-Creative Director Yaron Lifschitz says Hurihuriepitomises the theme of ‘Aspire’, the title of the festival’s third and final act.
“Hurihuri is an ambitious new commission from New Zealand, a tremendous celebration of diversity and a colourful blend of traditional and contemporary Maori culture.
“I’m particularly excited to bring Rodney Bell to Festival 2018 Gold Coast after searching all around the Commonwealth for an artist of his calibre.
“Rodney’s ability is extraordinary, and he is just stunning to watch” Mr Liftschitz said.
Hurihuri is directed by MOTH founder Malia Johnston, a prolific New Zealand choreographer who has spent 20 years creating a repertoire of small and large scale performances.
The live soundscape is composed and performed by Tom Scrase, who toured the Asia Pacific for seven years as a musician with New Zealand’s Strike Percussion, and co-founded the internationally chart-topping Thomas Oliver Band.
The exclusive Australian season of Hurihuri will also feature guest artistsfrom the Award winning Gold Coast based kapa haka group, Tūranga Ake (Or Gold Coast Maori Community)
Hurihuri debuts at Festival 2018 Gold Coast, 12 action-packed days of culture taking over the Gold Coast from 4-15 April to celebrate GC2018.
For full program details and more information on Festival 2018 visit
RUSHES will be performed in Partnership with Te Papa at Circa Theatre from 23rd February - 5th March 2018
RUSHES is an immersive social performance experience where design, light, sound and movement design inhabit a variety of spaces for the audience to explore. It premiered in partnership with Auckland Live in February 2018.
This live performance experience is choreographed and presented by an ensemble of 30 movement makers and performers from across New Zealand
Video Design Artist Rowan Pierce uses video projection and spatial design that set the scene for each vignette providing surreal poetic light imagery.
Composer Eden Mulholland with brother Joel Mulholland play live during the entire exhibition, you can hear him throughout the building as you navigate your way through the spaces or find him and simply enjoy his music.
John Verryts set creates a beautiful blank canvas made from paper Transforming circa entirely, it is filled with nooks and crannies to enter into and spaces to peer through. Tears and holes ripped into walls.
The audience negotiates their own pathway through the performance spaces. The work will give you a unique performance experience you can pursue the spaces equally or spend more time in one, its up to you. Like a Gallery, the space is designed in a loop so that spaces can be re-visited once the circuit has been rotated. All the spaces are activated but develop through time. No evening is the same and new 'Secret' guest artists are invited to perform with the cast each night. There is a social area where you can grab a refreshment which you can carry with you around the work. If you like you can keep your device on and record and photograph images to take away.
You effectively create your own story and engage with what captures you.
the first unedited print of a movie, surge of emotion, rush of the wind, pleasurable sensation, tufted marsh plants, great urgency, natural kinetic sculptures, move, act or progress with speed.
Not your average show
Cut 2 rushes opening night - Auckland Live
Rushes in rehearsal
Published on Apr 21, 2017
Dancers + Movement Makers: Matthew Moore, Joshua Feleatua & Celina Torres Producer: Faux Italic Director: Eden Mulholland DOP: Dave Cameron Choreographic Direction: Malia Johnston Focus Puller: Lee Allison DIT: Larryn Rae Runner: Alex Leonhartsberger Song produced by Neil Baldock/Eden Mulholland Engineered/Mixed by Neil Baldock Mastered by Andrew Edgeson Studio 301 Drums Nick Gaffaney, Bass Geoff Maddock
Filmed by Christian Tjandrawinata Edited by Lisa Cooper Grading by Mike Carpinter
Dancers: Grace Pritchard, Cuba Haslam, Georgia Beechey, Tui Hofmann, Natasha Kohler, Jazz Yahel, Celina Torres, Anu Khapung, Terry Morrison, Britnay Kohler, Kura William, Rosie Tapihana, Bella Wilson, Jan Rivera, Zildjian Robinson, Greer Anderson.
'Promises of Eden' - McLaney & Malik
ART OF COLOUR
Summer in the square - ART OF COLOUR
TRIPARTITE SUMMIT 2016
On 16-17th May 2016 the Tripartite Summit was held at the ANZ viaduct events centre at the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand.
Delegates from Los Angeles, Guangzhou and Auckland came together for this multi-day event, which showcased Auckland’s broad business and investment landscape, expertise in key growth sectors and our unique culture and experiences.
Movement of the Human was commissioned by Tempo Dance Festival's Carrie-Rae in collaboration with Auckland City Council to make a unique and new movement work for the Summit Dinner, guests included diplomats, ambassadors and New Zealand's Prime Minister. We brought together 6 dancers, hailing from Guangzhou’s Modern Dance Company, LA’s Contemporary Dance Company and Auckland. With these dancers we made a new work that focused on the key themes of the summit and that ultimately created a work where the movers from each city had equal and valued input into the creation of the piece.
Rowan Pierce created dynamic AV material to support the work and to provide impact inside this arena.
“Malia Johnston's Brouhaha perfectly balances the play of light and projected image with fantastically danced movement” – Bernadette Rae
“Malia Johnston’s Brouhaha set to Eden Mulholland’s charismatic score, was a tour de force of dance, music and light. An abstract, sophisticated work, it gathered momentum in an exuberant ball of energy…a genius at composition, producing a play board of characters searching and reaching out, each dancer occupying a separate space in a moving kaleidoscope.” - Francesca Horsley
Direction and Movement Design: Malia Johnston Choreographers and Performers: Dancers from New Zealand Dance Company AV Design: Rowan Pierce Music: Eden Mulholland Costume and Set Design: Kasia Pol
Brouhaha is a commision by New Zealand Dance Company
The World of Wearable Art Awards is held annually in Wellington each year. This unique event is performed to an audience of over 50,000 annually
WOW® is a renowned international design competition that attracts hundreds of entries from all over the world
Using the human body as a blank canvas designers create works of wearable art to be exhibited in the annual Awards Show. Designs are brought to life in this spectacular stage performance – a world where theatre, fashion and art collide.
The World of WearableArt® competition has encouraged an explosion of creative activity, inspiring designers from a wide range of backgrounds including art, fashion, textile and industrial design, jewellery, architecture, law and home making, to name a few.
The range of garments produced for the event is epic, as the rules of competition mean that anything that is in any way wearable can find a place on stage, as long as it is original, beautifully designed and well-made.
WOW® gives entrants freedom of expression without the constraints of commercialism it encourages lateral, original thinking and provides the opportunity to be innovative and inventive.
Malia along with founder Suzie Moncrieff and their design team worked collaboratively to build up the creative content for each show including music, costumes, dance, AV and set design. Malia directed over 180 performers each year that hailed from diverse backgrounds, ages and cultures. Each year the season would run over a 3 week period. Malia also directed their international mini shows and their participation in the Hong Kong International Arts Festival in 2012
PUKEAHUA WAR MEMORIAL PARK OPENING
IN MOTION MATAARIKI
Movement of the Human directed the Creative Content for this Event held on the Auckland Water Front June 10th 2017 collaborating with Touch Compass performers, alumni and special guests.
Auckland's first ever illuminated all-wheels parade!
People gathered at The Cloud in Auckland's CBD where a magical journey beneath Pre-Matariki night sky began. A fully marshalled, family-friendly all-wheels ride for bikes, scooters, wheelchairs and more wound its way around the waterfront with music and performances along the way and included fantastic large illuminated floats created by Lucid Dream Bike of Wellington. This unique, family-friendly journey ended at Silo Park with a spectacular performance on the gantry.
BODY FIGHT TIME
“Choreographically and visually satisfying, it also stimulates intellectually” – Ann Hunt, Capital Times
Interweaving movement, music and moving image, Body/Fight/Time is a large-scale full-length dance piece created by Malia Johnston and Emma Willis in collaboration with Footnote Dance. Starting from ideas of the body under attack, the work playfully explores images of collision, impact and conflict. By various turns absurd, moving and exposed, the work is an engaging look at how our bodies define us.
The cast of Body/Fight/Time was an eclectic mix of some of the most interesting dancers performing across the country, ranging in experience and age from a New Zealand School of Dance student to seasoned veteran and NZ dance icon Kilda Northcote.
Body/Fight/Time employed the motif of the body and its shadow to explore physical and psychological conflict at an abstract level. The ensemble performance used flighting as the basis for the work’s choreography, which featured movement patterns abstracted from gestures of kicking, striking, jumping and evading. The work’s scenes collapsed the distinction between inner and outer violence and explored the interconnectedness of violence between individuals and groups.
Choreography and Direction: Malia Johnston Dramaturgy and Co-Direction: Emma Willis Producer: Adrianne Roberts for SHOW PONY Performers and Co-Creators: Mariana Rinaldi, Kilda Northcote, Paul Young, Francis Christeller, Lucy Marinkovich, Emily Adams, Olivia McGregor, Emmanuel Reynaud, Carl Tolentino with contributions from Josh Rutter, Natalie Hona, Jingwen Xu, Alice Macann Composer: Eden Mulholland Set Design: John Verryt AV Design: Rowan Pierce Lighting Design: Brad Gledhill Marketing Photography: Robin Kerr Performance/Rehearsal Photography: Philip Merry
Body/Fight/Time was made possible by the support of Creative New Zealand funding.
body / fight / time trailer
Malia Johnston, Taiaroa Royal and Taane Metecome together to create a powerful collage of imagery and movement that transcends time and space. Through a collaborative and co-authroship process these 3 choreographers worked together with the design team to create a surreal and transcendent work that, through strong imagry, reflects themes of death, life, spirit, creature and culture. The true story ofTe Aokapurangi,a young maiden from Mokoia Island, influenced the starting point of this production. She was captured in battle by a tribe from the far North. Many years later she returned and single handedly saved her people from slaughter. Te Aokapurangi has been the pivotal inspiration behind this work. The story of her courage, determination and fearlessness provides Okareka with the challenge to create a vision of strength that empowers women around the world. Mana Wahine is a commanding work that will uplift the spiritual status of “the woman” within us all. This is a 70min performance that has toured extensively throughout New Zealand. Premiered June/July 2014. On tour 2016 to Auckland and Wellington
“Mana Wahine is above all a rich fusion of choreography, music, tikanga Maori and performance practices, AV, lighting and performance design … enriched and enlivened by the dancing of five powerhouse performers.” Raewyn Whyte, Theatreview
AV Design - Rowan Pierce, Music - Victoria Kelly, Lighting - VandaKarolczak, Set Design- Tracey Collins, Costume Design - Elizabeth Whiting. Dancers Nancy Wijohn, Bianca Hyslop, Jana Castillo, Maria Munkowits, Chrissy Kokiri
“Powerful, evocative, moving and beautiful” – Alexa Wilson, Theatreview, 2007
"Dark Tourists is painfully well-named. Bleak and dislocated and caustic and critical and sharp and sinewy and voyeuristic and nihilistic and darkly comic and absolutely stunning. Its territory is a mix of Hieronymus Bosch, Bill Hammond and Samuel Beckett, in a post-modern, post-Al Gore era.” – Jennifer Shennan, Dominion Post, 2008
A provocative dance-theatre work, Dark Tourists explores our attraction to sites of death and disaster. In a world filled with birds, salt, empty coats and exploding televisions screens, tourists come ready to pluck souvenirs from the aftermath.
Dark Tourists was developed over an extensive creative development period and presented in the Auckland Arts Festival in 2007, and subsequently re-developed and toured to Te Whaea Theatre, Wellington, where it won ‘Best Dance Production’ in the 2008 New Zealand Fringe Festival Awards.
Dark Tourists was inspired by the term, “dark tourism,” coined by tourism scholars to describe the tourist practice of visiting sites of atrocity and disaster. The work explored how memorial sites employ attempt to enable to tourists to “feel” the force of the past.
Dark Tourists featured two layers: one that showed individuals struggling in the aftermath of an un-named disaster, and another that showed dark tourists who followed in its wake. The performance was a blend of dance and theatre where narrated text, dialogue, monologue and song were interwoven with choreographic sequences. The post-catastrophic stage – a debris-strewn set featuring jackets, shoes and hair and radio tape recorders – was marked by a series of material and psychological traces. The hanging jackets created a landscape of empty forms, shoes were carefully carried about in piles, and images of the performers’ hair were used to suggest their disappearance. These objects were responded to as if they were bodies.
Choreography and direction: Malia Johnston Dramaturgy and co-direction: Emma Willis Live music and composition: Eden Mulholland Producer: Michele Powles Cast and co-creators: Peter Daube, Paul Young, Malia Johnston, Julia Harvie, Claire Lissaman, Sean MacDonald Eden Mulholland, Sally Stockwell, Paora Taurima, Mia Blake. Lighting: Martyn Roberts (2007), Paula VanBeek (2008) Set design: Grant Wackrow, Amy Marketing photos: James Ensing-Trussle Performance photos: Philip Merry
Dark Tourists was made possible by the support of Creative New Zealand funding.
“Flip Pivot Boom is a clear vote for technique, talent and a recognisable art.” – Bernadette Rae
Direction + Movement design: Malia Johnston Choreographers and Performers: Dancers from FOOTNOTE DANCE COMPANY AV Design: Rowan Pierce Music: Bevan Smith Costumes + Set: Movement Of The Human
commissioned by FOOTNOTE DANCE COMPANY
Terrain is a movement installation performance. It has been performed over 100 times throughout New Zealand and Australia.
An exploration of landscape, scale and place, Terrain is a performance in which the miniature and the giant collide in a distinctly human exploration of precariousness and the inevitability of change.
Presented on an installation consisting of a tiny kitset plywood stage, artificial turf, miniature props and vintage music played on a retro hi-fi, Terrain is at once profound and universal, with a distinct folk sensibility. It playfully subverts traditional ideas about what dance can be, combining it with physical theatre, visual imagery and high energy partnering, as it if were just as much an art exhibition in motion.
Direction and Design: Malia Johnston and Guy Ryan Choreograhers and Performers: Malia Johnston, Guy Ryan, Anita Hunziker, Luke Hana Set Design: John Verryt Props, Sound, Lighting: Malia Johnston and Guy Ryan
“Feral, fierce and surprisingly funny investigation of some of the deeper aspects of human nature” – Raewyn Whyte, New Zealand Herald
Featuring two men fighting for survival in a precarious environment. Amanimal is a witty look at animals, men and the worlds they build and break apart. The visceral and funny work features MOTH'S characteristic blend of striking performance, absurd comedy, live music and compelling audiovisual imagery.
Amanimal premiered at Q Theatre in February 2013 as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival, where it won two Auckland Fringes Awards: 2013 Best Production, Dance; Best Performance, Dance (Ross McCormack).
The work underwent further development in 2014.
Direction: Malia Johnston Dramaturgy and Co-Direction: Emma Willis Original Performance and Choreography: Ross McCormack, Paul Young Performance and Composition: Eden Mulholland Guest performer: Alex Leonhartsberger Set design: John Verryt AV design: Rowan Pierce Lighting design: Amber Molloy
Amanimal was made possible by the support of Creative New Zealand funding.