LOUISE POTIKI BRYANT
Choreographer - Dancer - Video Artist
Louise Potiki Bryant is one of New Zealand’s most exciting Māori choreographers. In 2014 Louise was the Caroline Plummer Fellow in Community Dance 2014 at the University of Otago, undertaking the Whakaahua: Coming to form Project. Louise has been widely praised for her work with Atamira Dance Company, with whom she has created five works, including NGAI TAHU 32 ('Best contemporary dance production 2004', NZ Listener), TE AROHA ME TE MAMAE ('Best New Choreographer 2003', NZ Listener), and TAONGA; dust water wind which was awarded ‘Best Production’ ‘Best Music’ and ‘Best Scenography’ at the Tempo Dance Festival 2010.
Louise has also choreographed dance works for companies such as Curve and Black Grace Dance Company, and has an on-going collaboration with researcher and composer Prof Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, with whom she created the new whare tapere dance work; TE KĀROHIROHI: The Light Dances. In 2014, Louise is choreographing a new work; IN TRANSIT for The New Zealand Dance Company.
Alongside her group works, Louise also has a strong body of solo works, which draw on her interdisciplinary practice, and her unique movement vocabulary and performance abilities. For her performance of the solo work NOHOPUKU – dreams of space shifting, Louise was awarded ‘Stand–out Performer’ Award at the Dunedin Fringe Festival 2010. Louise also won ‘the most innovative choreography’ award at Kowhiti Dance 2011 for her performance of her solo; TUMUTUMU, made in collaboration with taonga puoro authority Dr Richard Nunns. Her most recent solo KIRI is a performance installation, developed in collaboration with Paerau Corneal. KIRI is performed alongside the UKU RERE exhibition currently touring galleries around the country. An excerpt of KIRI was performed at the Kowhiti Dance Festival in 2013. In 2014, KIRI will be performed at The Body Festival in Christchurch and will be the TUAKANA performance at the TEMPO Dance Festival. KIRI WAI is another collaboration with Paerau Corneal and is a video installation exhibited in 2014 as part of The Slip Cast Exhibition at The Dowse Gallery.
Louise’s works have a strong interdisciplinary focus. She 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. She has made three dance films, WHAKARURUHAU, AORAKI and NOHOPUKU. The music video she created for Ariana Tikao’s song TUIA was awarded ‘Best Music Video’ at the ImagineNATIVE film festival in Toronto, Canada.
Louise’s practice has also included collaborations with other artists, such as TURANGA, a collaboration with video artist, Rachael Rakena, and KOHATU, a collaboration with lighting designer Vanda Karolczak, which was presented at the Auckland Festival of Arts in 2007. In 2003, Louise was supported by Toi Maori Aotearoa to develop the concept for one of Atamira Dance Company’s signature works; NGAI TAHU 32 . Atamira Dance Company have gone on to perform NGAI TAHU 32 to acclaim, both nationally and internationally. Also In 2003, Louise was the Ngai Tahu artist in residence at The Otago Polytechnic School of Art, where she developed the installation, performance and short film WHAKARURUHAU he mihi ki Araiteuru. The film WHAKARURUHAU was exhibited for one and half years at the Pasifika Styles Festival in Cambridge, U.K. and has also been presented at The Pacific Arts Festival in Belau.In 2007, Louise was awarded a Wild Creations Residency. Living at Aoraki / Mt Cook village for six weeks, she created the short dance film and solo dance performance AORAKI, which premiered at The Body Festival in 2007. The film AORAKI has been screened at the Nelson Festival of the Arts, The Body Festival 2007, Pool 07 International Film Festival, and the International Dance Film Festival in Yokohama Film Festival in Japan, and was exhibited in the ‘Dateline Return’ Exhibition at the Govett Brewster Gallery.
In 2009, Louise undertook a choreographic internship with Santee Smith, the artistic director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, in Toronto, Canada.
Louise has created several music videos and has designed video for live performances of both music and dance. She has designed video for Ariana Tikao’s live shows TUIA and OHAKI as well and the music videos for Ariana's singles TUIA & TE HEKE. In 2012, Louise designed the video projections for Toni Huata’s album launch HOPUKIA, as well as the video design for the new opera presented by the NZ Opera Company; HOHEPA written by Jenny McLeod, and directed by Sara Brodie. Other video design work includes the design for MEMOIRS OF ACTIVE SERVICE and TE HOUHI - two works choreographed by Maaka Pepene. In 2013, Louise created the music video for Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal’s song LET TIME BE STILL based on the lyrics of a poem by James K Baxter with the same title. Her most recent video design was for the animated film WHAKAIKA NEI a collaboration with Mozart Fellow Jeremy Mayall.
Louise has a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts with a major in Contemporary Dance and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Maori Studies. Her teaching experience has included positions at The University of Otago, The University of Auckland, and the Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, teaching courses in choreography, interdisciplinary practice, whakaahua dance practice, and video - dance. Louise is also a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. She teaches Iyengar yoga at Piha Yoga and at Herne Bay Yoga.