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O'Kaadenigan Wiingashk in association with
Public Energy and Indigenous Performance Initiatives present
Photography of Workshop Perfromance at Market Hall May 11, 2013 here


May 6-25, 2013


Nozhem First Peoples’ Performance Space and Market Hall Theatre

Choreography, performance, facilitation
Charles Koroneho

Direction, choreography, dramaturgy
Alejandro Ronceria

Find out more about Charles Koroneho and Te Toki Haruru at

TŪĀHU: Project Vision

In 1997, Charles Koroneho created Te Toki Haruru (the resounding adze) as a conceptual platform to explore cultural collaboration, intercultural performance and the intersection between dance, theatre and performance art. These concepts are at the heart of Te Toki Haruru and are the means by which Koroneho examines the collision between Maori cosmology, New Zealand society and global cultures.

As a founding member of New Zealand’s first contemporary Maori dance company Te Kanikani o te Rangatahi, Koroneho was immersed from the onset in a movement of Maori performance, later to be known as Marae Theatre. The traditional marae (tribal gathering place) was the inspiration for Maori performing artists to engage with, from an indigenous perspective, New Zealand and western theatre practices.

The TŪĀHU Choreographic Research Project will utilize a multi-layered approach; with workshop, collaborative and performance outcomes taking place under the same conceptual framework.

The intention of the project is to share and exchange at the highest level, this approach to present an evolved method of Marae Theatre practices, emphasizing aspects of the Powhiri (welcome and inclusion), Noho marae (living, immersed in the place), Take (to originate, reason, purpose) Utu (reply, reciprocity). The undertaking will also address the disciplinary driven process of performance making and attempt to align it to indigenous communal practices where actions of the sacred and profane convey the everyday and ideas of ceremony and ritual are informed by cultural contexts.

TŪĀHU: proposing a new philosophical space for Indigenous Dance

The TŪĀHU Choreographic Research Project aims to extend the vision of Te Toki Haruru, and affirm the language utilized for the performance stage and workshop environment to propose a new philosophical space for the choreographic projects of Charles Koroneho.

The traditional TŪĀHU is a sacred place for ritual practices, consisting of an enclosure containing a ceremonial platform used for divination and other mystic rites. The intention of the TŪĀHU research process is to align the traditional practice to a ‘performance of community’, in order to give possible emergent work a cultural context. From a cultural perspective it is not a traditional aspiration that is re - positioned, but one that resembles a contemporary hybrid practice; liminal, situational, culturally diverse and bound to the creative conditions surrounding it.


Week One: TŪĀHU Workshop

TŪĀHU Workshop Outline and Content

An intensive 6-day performance workshop will convey The TŪĀHU Choreographic Research Project by Charles Koroneho, the research is philosophically intercultural and interdisciplinary in direction; concepts explored during the workshop are solo choreography, improvisation, performance devising and collaboration.

Performance Training Classes

Morning sessions will consist of a 2-hour hybrid training class, alternating daily between:

• MB: Muscle - Bone is dedicated to body training and spatial preparation for performance.

• MB: Mind - Body consists entirely of improvisational movement for training the imagination, how to utilize it freely within a performance training environment.

Choreographic Research Sessions

Afternoon sessions will operate as a research forum; workshop participants will experience specific exercises, improvisation and performance techniques from Dance, Body Weather and Performance Art. The work encompasses sensitivity training, structured improvisations and specific techniques for developing a body of internal landscapes, and persona by the use of imagery.

Performance Presentation

On the final day of the workshop, participants will work with Charles Koroneho devising and incorporating production elements towards a directed showing of solo performances. It is the intention of the workshop that the performance presentation is site specific and experimental.

Weeks Two & Three: TŪĀHU Solo Performance: PURE

Pure: Solo Performance by Charles Koroneho

In the Maori language ‘pure’ is the term applied to a form of ritual and karakia (incantation). An important factor in pure rituals is the action of loosening and binding. Elements regarded as dangerous are loosened from the subject of the ritual, while those regarded as beneficial are bound to it. The term expressing the loosening and binding is pure and several of the karakia used for rituals, are also named pure.

From the darkness comes a cold wind to crush the body, prophetic shadows transform the discontinued, an unspoken community. Unearth the Tūāhu, ritual space of the unknown. Awaken body, alone, unknown and nameless, dance of anonymity. Tectonic memories petrify longing, dreams are whispered, my journey from compression to gravity’s embrace, a solemn ascension. Skeletal precipice, bone cemetery, ‘Pure’ rite, dance incantation, a cleansing utterance............

Pure is a solo performance embodying the ritual loosening and binding actions of the Tohunga (shaman, skilled expert). Set in a place of thresholds, the performance works with transgression, evocative theatre and the ritual body. Collaborative processes inform Pure; the theatre design, video projection, live voice, visual language epitomize the design aesthetic of Te Toki Haruru choreographer Charles Koroneho.

Pure is the first performance work of the Tūāhu Choreographic Research Project.

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Performance Curator: Victoria Mohr- Blakenely
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