Tentacles of dance reach the audience

Taane Mete, who will be dancing alongside the Atamira Dance Company at Te Wheke. Photo / Included

If you’re looking for a show to “open your mind and heart,” then “this is the one for you.”

Those are the words of choreographer and dancer Taane Mete, who will be dancing with the Atamira Dance Company in Te Wheke.

Atamira’s contemporary dance performance is based on the concept of Te Wheke, the octopus used to define family health.

Mete, who grew up in Napier and still has Whanau here, is looking forward to returning home on Wednesday 31st April.

He says Te Wheke was inspired by Māori mythology.

“It celebrates the essence of the performers through the ages,” he said.

“I choreographed some of the pieces and now I’m back on the show dancing. It’s a celebration of generations – the storytelling of the ancestors to the present day.

“It speaks to many generations with captivating music, [the] artistic imagery of digital installations and invigorating dancers. There’s something for everyone in this production.”

As an artist he says: “Whatever we create and perform, we hope to inspire people and maybe open their minds or their need to dance.”

Mete has been dancing for 40 years and says it all started with kapa haka.

“I was in school competitions and it all started from there.”

At the age of 15, Dupree Jazz paved the way to commencing formal training at the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, where he graduated with honors with a major in contemporary dance.

“It can be pretty taxing on your body, but it’s a part of me. Movement is medicine for the body.”

Taane Mete will be dancing at Te Wheke.  Photo / Included
Taane Mete will be dancing at Te Wheke. Photo / Included

Mete is also a yoga teacher and left dancing to teach. However, he has since returned to dancing and loves the fact that he can keep telling stories with his body.

He has danced with companies such as Footnote Dance Company, Douglas Wright Dance Company, Taiao Dance Company, Fusion Dance Theatre, Michael Parmenter’s (Commotion Company), The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Human Garden Dance Company, Mau Dance Company and Atamira Dance Collective. He was also a founding member and principal dancer of Black Grace Dance Company.

Today he continues his artistic journey as a solo artist. Māori culture and the rich tapestries of Aotearoa influence his artistic palette, allowing him to weave together profound, traditional works from an indigenous perspective. His collaborative art explores new territory to produce world-class performances.

Te Wheke is performed by eight dancers and eight choreographic practitioners using Tuakana Teina practice. This is a traditional Māori concept and practice that refers to the relationship between younger and older siblings or close family members such as cousins.

In a more contemporary sense, the practice has been adapted to have new meanings, such as the relationship between the experienced and the inexperienced, or the trained and the untrained.

Te Wheke starts at 7.30pm. Tickets from eventfinda.co.nz/2022/te-wheke/hastings/tickets

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