|Louise Potiki Bryant|
Louise is one of New Zealand's most exciting new Māori artists. She has been widely praised for her work as a choreographer with the Atamira Dance Collective, with whom she has created four works since 2000:
Whare Tangata, "A strong and beautiful work" NZ Listener
Paepae, presented at the Auckland Celebration of the Arts 2001
Te Aroha Me Te Mamae, for which Louise was named the NZ Listener's "Best New Choreographer" in 2003
Ngai Tahu 32, which was named "Best Contemporary Dance Production for 2004" by the NZ Listener
In addition to her work as choreographer, Louise designs installations and set pieces for her works, and is responsible for the design, production and editing of the projected video elements—an integral part of each performance. Her works draw on mana wahine, whakapapa and history and have a strong interdisciplinary focus.
In 2003 Louise was supported by Toi Māori Aotearoa as a Toi Māori choreographer. This support led to the concept development of the work Ngai Tahu 32 which premiered at the Auckland Tempo Festival in 2004, and was toured nationally around New Zealand in August 2005. Ngai Tahu 32 follows one man's journey from Te Waiora a Tane (the living waters of Tane) through time to deliver a soul to a new generation. Carrying the coins for the sale of his land and the wairua of a girl who shines brightly on the horizon, he travels through a series of tukutuku patterns, sometimes described as "the oceans between the carvings," and leaves behind him a trail of history, whakapapa, creation and imagination.
Louise was the Ngai Tahu Artist in Residence at the Otago Polytechnic School of Arts in 2003, the outcome of which was the installation, performance and film Whakaruruhau—he mihi ke Araiteuru. This work combined dance, performance, video, sound and light to chronicle the destruction of Araiteuru marae by arson and its subsequent rebuilding. The film Whakaruruhau has been shown at the 9th Festival of Pacific Arts in Palau, as well as The Body Festival in Christchurch.
Other work includes choreography, performance and touring since 2000 with the interdisciplinary performance Turanga in collaboration with Rachael Rakena. Louise has a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts with a major in contemporary dance and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Māori studies. She has been a guest lecturer at Eastern Institute of Technology, Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, The University of Otago, and the Otago Polytechnic School of Art.