workshops and performances
October 2016 premiered Tempo Dance Festival.
June 2018 North Island tour: 32 performances in theatres, prisons and Marae
August 2019 South Island tour: 17 performances in theatres, schools
Meremere is a powerful, engaging autobiographical work from an exceptional artist, Rodney Bell | Ngāti Maniapoto.
‘This autobiographical, multi-disciplinary and life-affirming survival story drew the cheering opening night audience to its feet.’ Dominion Post, June 23, 2018
‘Meremere is a complex work of art where design, AV and lighting play as significant a role as story-telling, music and dance.’ NZ Herald, October 2016
Meremere is a courageous response to an incredible series of life events; an inspirational performance with live music from the equally exceptional artist, Eden Mulholland. Developed in collaboration with director Malia Johnston and Movement of the Human (MOTH). Meremere premiered to rave reviews in 2016 and has won Rodney the 2017 Arts Access Artistic Achievement Award, and the 2016 Attitude Artistic Achievement Award. In the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards Rodney won The Grant Tilly Actor of the Year for Meremere, Eden won Sound Designer of the Year For Meremere and Rushes (another MOTH production), Rowan Pierce won Excellence for AV Design and Malia won Director of the Year for both productions.
Meremere is layered and compelling: an autobiographical performance work that integrates documentary footage, interviews, movement and imagery into 54 extraordinary minutes. It is an inspiring multi-faceted survival story with a focus on Rodney’s time living rough on the streets of San Francisco. An impressionistic and surreal experience of an extraordinary artist’s life.
A critically acclaimed dancer and performer, Rodney is internationally renowned for his physically integrated performance. In 2007 Rodney joined AXIS Dance Company (USA) as principal dancer, touring 32 states until 2012. After finishing with AXIS and before his return to New Zealand, Rodney experienced a period of homelessness on the streets of San Francisco: a life changing experience that inspired the creation of Meremere. The work is insightful, surprising, very personal and incredibly engaging.
‘Meremere is a small but beautifully formed production that takes us on a journey of undiminished hope and wonder’ Theatreview, June 23, 2018
Performer Rodney Bell Director Malia Johnston AV Design Rowan Pierce 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
Funded by CNZ with support from Touch Compass Dance Trust
Meremere promo - short
Show record available on request
Meremere - Blues Harp
Streets of San Francisco, Eden Mulholland
Montage of images from Meremere and Rodney’s time in San Francisco