Te Arawa dancer takes the spotlight

By Te Ao Māori News

A Māori dancer has caught the eye of the New Zealand Dance Company. The raw talent of Chrissy Kokiri has gained her a spot to work with some of the best choreographers and dancers in the country. As well as an opportunity to play a challenging role at the premiere of a dance production, The Absurdity of Humanity. 

Kokiri of Te Arawa descent has never been one for fame, but her star keeps rising with a memory of her Aunty to help push her through.

“We had a creative team at church growing up and she led that, so we did lots of singing and dancing and acting everything that I hated when I was that age. She forced me to do things like she would stand there and be like, 'Christine Marie do it'."

Kokiri would prefer her dance skills do the talking, something that has made an impression on the New Zealand Dance Company. 

New Zealand Dance Company Chief Executive, Shona McCullagh says, “She moves like quicksilver, you know she has this mercurial quality, she can get in and out of the floor very quickly she's intensely committed to her art form she has incredibly high standards, she’s a perfectionist.”

Being accepted into the New Zealand Dance Company is a feat for Kokiri considering her late start in the dancing arena. McCullagh puts it down to her work ethic, “She just has amazing tenacity, amazing drive and even though she started quite late as a dancer which is challenging because just from a flexibility point of view she has worked incredibly hard."

But Kokiri says it has been a natural part of her upbringing, “I reckon I got that from my Dad, he works so hard and I’m 100% a perfectionist, totally.”

Tonight she will work on role playing a crazy clown in The Absurdity of Humanity production at the Q theatre, Auckland.