National Dance Forum partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are thrilled to announce acclaimed New Zealand-based artist Lemi Ponifasio as the first keynote artist-in-conversation for NDF2015.
Lemi is a leading voice in contemporary dance and theatre making internationally, based in the Asia-Pacific, performing and collaborating worldwide. He will be in conversation with NDF2015 co-facilitator Fiona Winning on the afternoon of Thursday 19 March.
The second keynote and the full list of speakers will be unveiled in early February.
Theatre artist Lemi Ponifasio founded the MAU in Auckland in 1995, a collaboration of communities and artists from all over the world.
MAU is a Samoan word that means a declaration to the truth of a matter or revolution as an effort to transform.
In his artistic universe, Ponifasio orients the modern individual towards other dimensions of consciousness by way of the decelerated rhythm of his strict aesthetic, making use of striking images, movement and dynamic interplay of light and darkness. A pioneer at the international frontier of dance and theatre art, his theatre vision transcends the barriers between genres and cultures and transmits the universal power of art. Lemi Ponifasio presents his productions in such places as the Avignon Festival, BAM, Ruhrtriennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Theatre de la Ville Paris, London's Southbank, Holland Festival, Luminato Festival, Vienna Festival and Berliner Festspiele.
I AM, Ponifasio’s most recent work, premiered at the Avignon Festival 2014 followed by seasons at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, Germany, and I AM MAPUCHE for Festival Santiago a Mil, Chile. His other creations include Birds With Skymirrors responding to the disappearing Pacific Islands, homelands to most of his dancers and devastated by climate change; Tempest: Without A Body, concerning our collective paralysis in the face of truth, symbolized by increased and unlawful use of state power post 9/11; Le Savali: Berlin confronting the imperial City of Berlin with its own communities, the young generation of immigrant families in search of belonging and constrained by threat of deportation; The Crimson House probing the nature of power and subjectivity in our panoptic state – a world that sees all and no longer forgets; and Stones In Her Mouth, a work with Maori women as transmitters of a life force through oratory, ancient chants, choral-work and dance. In 2012 Ponifasio staged the epic opera Prometheus by Carl Orff for the Ruhrtriennale.