SEPTEMBER 2023 | Volume 231


Production image

Te Tangi a te Tūī Ft Eve Gordon & Paku Fernandez. Photo by Ben Sarten.

TeTangi ā teTūī
by Amber Curreen and Tainui Tukiwaho
TeRēhia Theatre and The Dust Palace (Aotearoa / New Zealand)
The Cultch and Urban Ink
York Theatre
Oct. 19-29
From $29 or 604-251-1363

Circus meets Māori culture in the exhilarating world premiere of TeTangi a teTūī

The Cultch and Urban Ink are thrilled to announce the world premiere of TeTangi a teTūī, a collaboration between Aotearoa's (New Zealand) TeRēhia Theatre and The Dust Palace. TeTangi a teTūī comes to the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl'ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations October 19-29, 2023, at The Cultch's York Theatre.

The Tūī (Indigenous songbird) soaks up the world around it and responds in song. Though beautiful, his tune now is a faint echo from when Aotearoa was blanketed in the ngāhere (forest), flutes of patupaiarehe (fairy folk) filled the trees and Māori alone walked gently upon their mother. The loss of the original voice of the Tūī parallels the forces of loss and regeneration of tereo Māori (Māori language). Telling a tale that spans generations, this show weaves together ancient stories from the land with urban experiences like assimilation and the breakneck "urban drift" of Māori that led to detachment from land, language and mātauranga (knowledge).

This powerful story told entirely in tereo Māori is a collaboration between TeRēhia Theatre Company—an acclaimed Auckland Māori theatre company—and The Dust Palace—the renowned cirque theatre company Vancouverites know from The Goblin Market and Wonder Wombs. The two companies, well known in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in their respective disciplines, were offered a commission from The Cultch and Urban Ink to create a piece, and TeTangi a teTūīwas created—first offered as a documentary about the making of the show, which was a part of Urban Ink and the Cultch's digital TRANSFORM Cabaret Festival in spring 2023, and now as an extraordinary live experience that fuses Māori culture with the artistry of the circus.

"For me the coming together of the circus and the theatre, what we are able to offer people," says co-writer Amber Curreen, "is that they can be engaged in story and be really in their body at the same time. They are seeing these bodies doing these amazing things that make your heart rate rise, pull you forward in your seat, then push you back, and it positions you really in your body, not just your mind."

Creative Team:
Writers: Tainui Tukiwaho & Amber Curreen
Director: Tainui Tukiwaho
Circus Directors: Geoff Gilson & Eve Gordon
Lighting and Set Design: Jane Hakaraia 
Technical Director and Rigging: Andrew Gibson
Sound Design: David Atai and Crescendo
Producer: Rachael Dubois
Stage Manager: Edward Peni

Ellyce Bisson
Amber Curreen
TeRongopai Curreen-Tukiwaho
Joe Dekkers-Reihana
Paku Fernandez
Eve Gordon
Freddy Matariki Carr
Luis Mierelles
Tainui Tukiwaho
Mia van Oyen

WHEN: OCT 19–29, 2023
FRI, OCT 20, 7:00 PM
SAT, OCT 21, 7:00 PM
SUN, OCT 22, 2:00 PM
WED, OCT 25, 7:00 PM
THURS, OCT 26, 7:00 PM
FRI, OCT 27, 7:00 PM
SAT, OCT 28, 2:00 PM
SAT, OCT 28, 7:00 PM
SUN, OCT 29, 2:00 PM

WHERE: York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC.

TICKETS: Tickets from $29. Pay-What-You-Choose and Anniversary Pricing for select performances. Single tickets on sale now through The Cultch's Box Office: 604-251-1363 or

Supported by:
The Cultch
Urban Ink
Canadian Arts Council
Creative New Zealand
Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage
Ronald S. Roadburg Foundation

About TeRēhia Theatre:
TeRēhia Theatre, established 2012, is a proudly Māori theatre company, championing Māori playwrights, tikanga Māori arts practice, tereo Māori & the presentation of our diverse stories. The company is led by Amber Curreen and Tainui Tukiwaho and based at TePou – the Auckland home of Māori Theatre.

We have presented five annual years of TeReo Māori theatre for youth and three tereo Māori works for theatre He TūrūMāu (2018), E Kore A Muri E Hokia (2017), Purapurawhetū (2016).

We keenly support Māori playwrights; regularly presenting the work of Albert Belz Regan Taylor & Tainui Tukiwaho. The most recent of TeRēhia's works include; Black Ties with Ilbijerri Theatre Company for Auckland Arts Festival 2020, Front Yard Festivals & Rawiri Paratene's Peter Paka Paratene.

About The Dust Palace:
Established by Eve Gordon & Mike Edward in 2009, The Dust Palace is now the leading cirque theatre company in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We exist to elevate contemporary circus culture, and build multi-generational creative capacity in circus, holding the next wave of talent, encouraging better practice & empowering a bold future for the art form.

Collaborations include Dawn & Midnight with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Heavenly Bodies with Auckland Arts Festival; international tours of The Wonderwombs & Goblin Market with The Cultch, & stadium collaborations, Ithaca, Le Cirque Volé & Human. Recent credits: HAUS of YOLO at Splore, Right Royal Cabaret and Hamilton Arts Festivals, and The Ice Cream Is Melting! commissioned by Auckland Live.

About Urban Ink:
Based on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl'ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in Vancouver, Urban Ink uplifts Indigenous and diverse voices through storytelling and performance. Founded in 2001, and currently under the Artistic Direction of Corey Payette, our circle of artists have broken barriers through groundbreaking productions created through collaboration and innovative practices.

About The Cultch:
Since 1973, The Cultch (formally the Vancouver East Cultural Centre) has been one of Vancouver's most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hubs. The organisation operates three theatrical venues, a gallery, various ancillary spaces in the heart of East Vancouver, as well as our RE/PLAY digital platform that reaches international audiences. The Cultch offers dynamic contemporary programming in theatre, dance, music, and the visual arts, bringing world-class cultural presentations to thousands of citizens each year through its own programming and through providing rental opportunities for community users. Our purpose is to provide a venue for performance that serves a diverse and engaged public and provides space for artistic experimentation and development, building an audience for local companies and presenting cutting-edge national and international work.

The Cultch is located on the unceded Indigenous land of the xwməϴkwəýəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil‑Waututh) Nations.







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Vancouverplays: Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews


Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews