After-performance talk with Lemi Ponifasio
9 November 2012
Lemi Ponifasio established the MAU in 1995 as the name for his work and platform for critical reflection and creativity with artists, scholars, activists, intellectuals and community leaders, MAU meaning a declaration to the truth of a matter, or revolution, as an effort to transform.
Preferring to work in a community context Ponifasio creates radical and ceremonial visual stagings, which intersect and transcend conventional ideas of theatre and dance and civic activism. Without ingratiating to Western aesthetics or South Pacific clichés, his works appropriate states of awareness; hauntingly beautiful and unrelentingly disturbing, they address our past, present and future.
Globally, Lemi Ponifasio’s epic productions including “Tempest”, “Birds With Skymirrors”, “Le Savali“, “Requiem” and “Paradise” have provoked controversy and attention. "Requiem" commissioned for the Mozart Anniversary in Vienna is a ceremony concerning themes of hope and transformation, “Tempest”, which features the Maori activist Tame Iti, is a series of works responding to the escalation of state powers and unlawful detention in the post 9/11 world. “Le Savali” reflects on power and life in cities of empire, and “Birds with Skymirrors” is a meditation on our Human relation with Earth in time of climate change.
Ponifasio presents his work in major international festivals and theatres throughout the world including Theatre de la Ville Paris, Holland Festival, Southbank Centre London, Vienna Festival, the Lincoln Center New York, Edinburgh International Festival and the Pacific Islands.
Lemi Ponifasio / MAU is based in Auckland, New Zealand.