Atamira Dance Company first to represent NZ at prestigious Beijing Dance Festival

By Wikitōria Day

The Atamira Dance Company recently flew to Korea to take their show “Moko” to one of the most highly esteemed dance festivals in the world.

One of the show's producers spoke to Te Kāea before they departed overseas.

Sculpting Māori stories through the means of creative dance.

Moss Patterson says, "We want to take our Māori stories of Māori brilliance to the world through unforgettable Māori dance."

It is an exciting time for Atamira as they are the first dance company from New Zealand to be chosen for the prestigious Beijing Dance Festival.

"The Beijing Dance Festival is like a gateway to the rest of the contemporary network right throughout Asia, so it’s a really great first stepping stone for us," says Patterson.

The festival is held in high regard and signifies the level of success that Atamira has attained.

Patterson says, "We hope for the best. We never count our chickens before they hatch, so we just want to train really hard and go over there and do our very best for our people."

In addition to entertaining, connections will be re-established between Māori and those from Asia.

"I know lots of anthropological studies actually trace our history right back through Aotearoa to Polynesia right up to central Asia, so it's an opportunity to connect on that level," says Patterson.

This week, the group will get their first taste of the creative work on an international stage.