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K'Rd Strip - A Place to Stand


Wed 10 Jul 2013, 8:00pm
Thu 11 Jul 2013, 8:00pm
Fri 12 Jul 2013, 8:00pm
Fri 12 Jul 2013, 10:30pm
Sat 13 Jul 2013, 8:00pm

Where: Downstage Theatre, 12 Cambridge Tce, Wellington

Restrictions: R18

Listed by: Elephant Publicity

K’Rd’s vital and significant past is tackled by one of New Zealand’s most sought after and prolific dance companies – Okareka Dance Company as six performers combine dance, theatre, music and waiata to premiere the highly anticipated K’Rd Strip, playing from June 12th, as part of the NZ Matariki Season.

As a mighty Karanga beckons the many citizens of Auckland into the K Road district, the many life-forms within the sometimes extravagant, sometimes infamous Auckland drag creep out to help unfold a vibrant tale of the history of the road from the early Maori townships through to its long standing status as a hub for the LGBT community; from the 1986 Homosexual Law reform through to present day.

K'Rd Strip is Okareka’s response to an Auckland landmark that has anchored its deep roots into the veins of New Zealand history, both culturally and counter-culturally. The result is a work that is unlike anything Okareka have created before - pole dancing, drag queens, haka, contemporary dance and dramatic scenes entwined with live vocals of an all New Zealand music score from the likes of Gin Wigmore, Mi Sex, Annie Crummer and Th’Dudes.

The work also marks the debut of Okareka’s 'Matariki under the Stars' tour, which will feature an annual performance from the group every year during this time-honoured tradition as part of the Maori calendar.

As the gay community of Auckland, New Zealand and across the world have made K Road their township much akin to the Maori community in the 19th century, it is this diversity in culture and gender which has captured the attention of Okareka Artistic Directors Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete. It is both key strengths that influences their creative process and empowers Okareka’s creative team to produce a show that transcends genres as K Road transcends communities.

While technically there is only one Karangahape Road, in essence every town or city across the world has their own 'K Road'; it’s a beacon for what some may call misfits, while for others a hub of alternative culture, bohemian spirits and the odd dreg of society or two.

Under the seven stars of Matariki, performers ignite the space each drawing inspiration from the stars Waiti, Waita, Waipuna arangi, Tipuanukum Tipuarangi, Ururangi and Matariki. The group also link to the seven deadly sins of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, list, envy and gluttony; inspiring characters who possess animalistic qualities that move and sing with courage, conviction and passion.

K’Rd Strip’s six queer cast members include Taiaroa Royal, Taane Mete, Jamie Burgess, Adam Burell, Will Barling and Jason TeMete, direction by Simon Coleman and with musical direction by TeMete that link dance and theatrical scenes to complete this narrative journey in to the vibrant, dark and vulnerable soul of Auckland’s most famous street.

Okareka Dance Company has wowed local and international audiences with their high quality contemporary dance works since their inception in 2008. They have toured extensively throughout New Zealand with their acclaimed works Tama Ma and Nga Hau E Wha. Internationally they have toured to Cincinnati, Beijing, Adealide, Perth and Brisbane. Okareka is a company guided by Maori beliefs. These beliefs are brought to its work and its audiences.

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