Although the central focus of Meremere is dance and its subject is an artist whose primary artform is dance, Meremere would most accurately be described as a multimedia performance.
I know there may be purists out there, dance purists or even general art purists, who shun the idea of multimedia, seeing it as the 21st century's digital and online obsession with "mash-up", but a dramatic life story surely deserves a whole-of-senses approach. Such a life story is that of Rodney Bell (Ngāti Maniapoto). Rodney was an aspiring dance professional who decided that, in order to scale the heights of the dance world, he needed to study overseas. So, in 2007, he left his native shores to see what the United States had to offer.
Unfortunately, the land of opportunity turned into a nightmare for Rodney and he ended up homeless, living rough on the mean streets of San Francisco. Meremere is Rodney's story of survival. Meremere portrays Rodney's experience through spoken word, music, dance and multimedia design.
Despite the grim nature of Rodney's experience, Meremere is, above all, a story of hope and wonderment - and a testament to the human spirit.
Rodney has developed his story in collaboration with Movement of the Human, a movement and performance design company developed by Malia Johnston who directs the piece. They have used documentary footage, interviews, movement and imagery as well as live music created by Eden Mulholland to create a piece of theatre that you will not want to miss.
Meremere (Thursday 1 August 7pm, Friday 2 August 1pm and 7pm, Saturday 3 August 7pm at The Piano)
Tickets $45 to $50 plus service fees
This compelling, award-winning piece shares the extraordinary survival story of critically-acclaimed integrated performer, Rodney Bell, Ngāti Maniapoto. Developed in collaboration with director Malia Johnston and Movement of the Human, Meremere layers documentary footage, interviews, movement and imagery into an extraordinary 54 minutes, which includes live music from the supremely talented, Eden Mulholland.
Christchurch Arts Festival 2019
The biennial Christchurch Arts Festival brings a mix of performances to Ōtautahi. The 2019 Festival highlights Christchurch creations. The 2019 Christchurch Arts Festival runs from Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August. Browse the full festival programme to see all the events, concerts, activities, and exhibitions. Visit our page on the Christchurch Arts Festival for event previews, reports and more.