Moana Nepia – Aotearoa / New Zealand, Hawai‘i
Choreographer, dancer, curator, author, painter, video artist.
Moana Nepia had an international career as dancer and choreographer before retraining as a visual artist. His recent work has explored ways in which ancestral Māori cosmologies and narratives provide precedents for articulating concepts of the void, potentiality, absence and presence. Through research and creative practice rooted in Māori epistemologies and ways of knowing, he has also sought to expand discussion about Indigneous creative practice.
As a dancer he has performed with Impulse Dance Theater in NZ, the Royal NZ Ballet, Extemporary Dance Theater, Dance Advance, Vienna Festival Ballet English National Opera, choreographed for the NZ Ballet, Taiao, Footnote Dance Company, Atamira Dance Company and devised choreographic projects for Education departments of the Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and London City Ballet Companies.
He trained as a visual artist at Chelsea College of the Arts and Wimbledon School of Art where his Honours dissertation was nominated for the 1998 annual British Art Historians’ Thesis prize. He was awarded a PhD for his practice-led thesis entitled Te Kore – Exploring the Māori concept of Void from AUT University in 2013.
Recent writing is included in Ora Nui. Journal of contemporary Maori writing, edited by Anton Blank in 2012; Of Other Thoughts. Non-traditional Approaches to the Doctorate. A Handbook for Candidates and Supervisors: From ontology to action, edited by Tina Engels-Schwarzpaul and Michael Peters in 2013; and Puna Wai Kōrero – An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English edited by Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan for Auckland University Press in 2014.
He has been a Director for DANZ Aotearoa, Trustee for Orotokare and Atamira Dance Company, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawai’i in the Centre for Pacific Islands Studies helping to develop new courses with a focus on arts and performance in the Pacific.
Image – video still from Maungauika Trilogy (2010).
Moana Nepia (2012). Whero. . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaR-b_OzSAg
Moana Nepia (2010). Maungauika Trilogy. http://www.ziln.co.nz/video/84