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Awkward Altars

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Friday, 1 March 2013


Basement, The


Age Restrictions

How do we navigate spaces for ourselves amongst the fissures and collisions of this awkward place? Where can we feel safe to be vulnerable?

Wedged uncomfortably between a village and a metropolis, the social complexities of Auckland city become a source of provocation for Cat Ruka’s new performance work Awkward Altars. Featuring a collective of 10 independent practitioners who between them have created over 100 performances, this work celebrates the beautifully dissonant nature of how we as Aucklanders relate to each other.

“I have deliberately brought together an unlikely ensemble of local artists who offer a multi-generational, inter-cultural and diverse spectrum of life experience,” says Ruka. “In this performance we take genuine risks with each other and aren’t afraid to cultivate our social differences.” Included in this cast are veteran dancer Jenny De Leon, actor and director Hori Ahipene and budding choreographer Zahra Killeen-Chance.

Awkward Altars will be the first large group work for this award-winning choreographer, whose politically charged performances have given her artistic acclaim both locally and internationally. Her most radical work New Treaty Militia, an improvised duet that examines the Maori/Pakeha binary, toured internationally last year with a final performance at Te Papa National Museum on Waitangi Day. “My work has been political in the sense that I try to reveal a connection between very personal experiences and a wider political climate. Awkward Altars functions in the same way, but in this instance I have a diverse collection of personal experiences to work with that aren’t my own.”

An incredibly rare performance work that truly examines the fringes of our city and our people, Awkward Altars is set to be an integral component of the Auckland Fringe Festival 2013.



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