"Born to Dance" film premieres in Auckland

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Born to Dance is the newest New Zealand dance film to hit the big screen.  It's directed by Tammy Davis and features first-time actor Tia-Taharoa Maipi from Huntly.

The film has just featured at Toronto Film Festival, Canada, but tonight is the premiere in Auckland.

The movie includes some of New Zealand's biggest names, like world-renowned choreographer Parris Goebel, Stan Walker, and P-Money.

It's also Tammy Davis' directorial debut.  He says, “It's about a young kid, Tūmanako Kaea.  He doesn't know what to do with his life. He has a dream but he's at the recycle factory with his mates Benji, and his roads of opportunity are all coming to an end but he loves to dance.”

Davis says, “The Hollywood reporter or Variety did a write up on him, compared him to a young Channing Tatum.  Oh bro, that's huge props.  Because that was when the story of those Step Up sagas were actually really good.  Channing brought something good to it, don't know about that Magic Mike XXL?”

It's praise that is well-earned says director Tammy Davis, who pulled the budding talent and former Te Wharekura o Rākaumangamanga student from obscurity in Huntly.

He says, “He's not looking at the performance and then deciding what he does with it, he just brings himself to the performance and that's what really stuck with us and I think that's what, you know, audiences in Toronto and I think audiences here and all around the world are really going to see.”

Talented hip-hop star Parris Goebel not only featured in the film but also choreographed every dance move.

Davis says, “Parris was amazing mate, she choreographed the entire film in 2 and half, 3 weeks, that’s incredible.  You tell me someone out there that can choreograph all those dance sequences in 3 weeks.

We actually based our production around here because of all her commitments all around the world.  She has creative integrity, she's amazing.”

The film is due to be released in cinemas tomorrow but Tammy says there is something special about it.

“There's wairua in there, there's heart in there and that's what you see, and that's what the people in Toronto saw and that's why they loved it.  That's what I believe anyway.”

The film officially hits theatres across New Zealand tomorrow.