Wired is a journey towards exploring identity interfaced with the relationships and culture. Inspired by the will to change from withdrawn to abundant, Wired pulls influence from both Māori and Pākeha mythology. Gods and demi-gods provoke a landscape of courage, battle and embrace – bringing these worlds together to come face to face. Wired examines the connections that bind people together, both physical and spiritual, and reconciles the chaos of modern life with something more primal and deeply human.

Wired is Okareka Dance Company’s newest collaboration and is currently in the rehearsal process. The World Premiere of Wired is coming in early 2018.


World Premiere  〉  January 2018

Dates and venues to be announced shortly


No.8 Wire is available for future bookings from 2018 onwards.
For further information and to request a Media Pack please contact Rachael Penman, Okareka General Manager Rachael@okareka.com



Aaron started his performing career as an aerialist for the all-female stiltwalking company Empress Stiltdance. Shortly after he was picked up by travelling New Zealand circus, Circus Aotearoa, as their Chinese Pole performer and sound man. Aaron travelled to and from stands at the big top and Empress Stiltdance performances for six months.
After touring New Zealand he took part in a month long artist-in-residency in Cairns, Australia; progressing and polishing the Empress show, Kahuku. With Empress he has also performed tissu for Chinese New Year in Hong Kong and stilt adagio/aerials for Australia Day in Sydney.
He has trained handstands, straps, tumbling and flexibility at the Beijing International Art School (Zhongguo Zaiji Tuan). Soon after his return to New Zealand he won Best Aerialist and People’s Choice Award at the Golden Canaries, Wellington. He has also performed in Magenta Diamond’s Cabinet of Curiosities, Same Same But Different, Knock Knock, and Jungle Fantasy – as well as in a number of private performances and corporate functions.


Jag Popham, born in Auckland, New Zealand, started dancing at age 3 training in classical ballet, contemporary and capoeira. At age 17 he decided to further his training at the New Zealand School of Dance majoring in contemporary, gaining his Certificate in Dance Performance.
During his time at NZSD Jag performed in World of Wearable Arts in 2014 under the direction of Malia Johnston and Victoria Colombus. In 2015 he performed a duo in Y-Chromozone as part of Tempo Dance Festival. In 2016 he performed Malia’s ‘Minatures’ at Tempo Dance Festival and Choreographed a short work, Obelus, for NZSD’s Choreographic Season, ‘SCOPE’.
Since graduating he has worked with Australian based Expressions Dance Company performing in several seasons. ‘Black’ premiered in Brisbane 2016 at QPAC and later on that year the show toured to China. Jag performed in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jiangmen, Dongguan and Huizhou.
Through different avenues Jag has had the privilege to work with established artists such as James O’Hara, Kuik Swee Boon, Thomas Bradley, Xing Liang, Natalie Weir, Tomislav English.


Aloalii is a freelance artist of Samoan descent based in South Auckland. He frequently works in both Berlin, Germany and Auckland, New Zealand.
Throughout his career Aloalii has developed a passion for dance theatre, experimental film and improvised dance. In 2015, he began developing his movement workshop Lofty. Aloalii premiered his solo work, Urban Soul Cafe, under the direction of Christoph Winkler in March 2016 in Ballhaus Ost, Berlin. In November 2016 he was awarded the Der Faust award for the Best Dance Performance in 2016 for his performance in Urban Soul Cafe, which is considered the highest honour in German theatre. Reviewers in both New Zealand and Germany comment on his presence, charm and spontaneity in performances.
Aside from his dance career, he is passionate about the character development of young people in South Auckland, having previously worked as a mentor and academic coach in the region.
In 2017, Aloalii toured Urban Soul Cafe in theatres and festivals around Germany. His work “An Ode To Auntsui”, which he choreographed with Freshmans Dance Company, premiered in Auckland in April 2017.


Ngati Kahungungu me Ngati Koroki

Taane Mete graduated with honours from the New Zealand School of Dance in 1988. His performing experience has seen him dance with companies such as Footnote Dance Company, Douglas Wright Dance Company, Taiao Dance Company, Fusion Dance Theatre, Michael Parmenter’s Commotion Dance Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Human Garden Dance Company, Mau Dance Company and Atamira Dance Collective. In 2005 and 2006 Taane worked as a television presenter for the program Takataapui. Taane graduated from the Leadership New Zealand Program in 2008 and continues to advocate a leadership role in the dance community. Now into his 30th year as a performer Taane continues to develop exciting new projects for the company repertoire.

Te Arawa, Kai Tahu, Ngati Rauwaka, Uenukukopako

Taiaroa trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, graduating in 1984 with a Dip. Dance. He has performed with many of NZ’s major dance companies both at home and abroad, including Limbs Dance Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Douglas Wright, Michael Parmenter’s Commotion Dance Company, Black Grace, Orotokare and Atamira Dance Company.
In 2010, Tai was awarded the Te Tohu Toi Ke – Making A Difference Award from Te Waka Toi for his contribution to Maori Contemporary Dance. He is the first dancer and the fifth recipient of this award. Later that year he was honoured in the Tempo Dance Festival’s ‘Honouring a Dancer’, where the industry, along with close friends and family, celebrated Tai’s long outstanding successful career in the New Zealand dance community. In 2011 Tai accepted the Koowhiti Lifetime Achievement Award outlining him as one of Aotearoa’s outstanding Maori Dancers and Choreographers.
Tai has choreographed for Brancott Estate World of Wearable Arts Awards,
Wellington; Christmas in the Park, Auckland; New Zealand School of Dance,
Wellington; NAISDA Sydney, Australia; Dominion Rd The Musical, and
choreographed and associated directed for NZ Opera. Tai is also a part-time teacher at the UNITEC Bachelor of Performing Screen Arts, and has taught at NZSD and private dance schools.
In 2007 Tai formed OKAREKA DANCE COMPANY alongside Taane Mete.


sara-foster-sproullSarah Foster-Sproull is a graduate of New Zealand School of Dance. Her career to date has seen her work with Douglas Wright, Michael Parmenter, Raewyn Hill, Malia Johnston, Footnote, Kristian Larsen and Guy Ryan in New Zealand. In 2008 she returned from Europe where she worked with Frauke Requardt, Magpie Music Dance, Sylvain Meret and Dante or Die Theatre.
Sarah has made several choreographic works for Footnote Dance Company and the New Zealand School of Dance including Tragic Best (2010), I Changed (2010), Second Life (2010) and Crossed Fingers (2009). In 2009 Sarah was the choreographic fellow at the New Zealand School of Dance, where she has also been named distinguished graduate. In 2008 Sarah was named ‘Best Female Performer’ at the Tempo Dance Festival for her role in Michael Parmenter’s TENT.
In 2011 Sarah travelled to Tel Aviv to spend time at Batsheva Dance Company, funded by Creative New Zealand. And in 2012 received funding from Creative New Zealand to create and present her first full length work. In 2013 Sara became a founding member of the New Zealand Dance Company as a dancer and choreographer.


Set designer for shows across theatre, opera and dance, John Verryt is largely responsible for the look of a performance. His extensive bio includes several works with the NBR New Zealand Opera, dance designs for Black Grace Dance Company, Michael Parmenter Dance Company and more, and sets for theatre performances from Death of a Salesman to Badjelly the Witch. He also contributed to The Millennium Show at the Auckland . John has been Okareka’s set designer from the beginning in 2007.


Elizabeth Whiting headshotElizabeth has designed costumes for The NBR New Zealand Opera, Auckland Theatre Company, The Silo, Court Theatre, Okareka Dance Company, Red Leap Dance, Black Grace, Douglas Wright Dance, Michael Parmenter, Atimira and Shona McCullagh, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. She designed costumes for Pop-Up Theatre in London which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival. Opera design credits include Faust, Carmen, La Bohème (twice), Falstaff, Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro (twice), Così Fan Tutte (NZO), Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci for the Opera 2011 winter season and Acis and Galatea, and Don Giovanni in 2013. Theatre design credits include In the Next Room, Mary Stuart, Well Hung, Equus, Cabaret, Into the Woods, Sweet Charity, Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Duchess of Malfi, Pillow Man, My Name Is Gary Cooper, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Glass Menagerie, and Anne Boleyn (ATC); The Country Wife, La Cage aux Folles, The Great Gatsby and Cabaret (Court Theatre); Tartuffe, Top Girls, Three Days of Rain, Irma Vep, The Scene, Holding the Man, When the Rain Stops Falling, Assassins, and Tartuffe (The Silo).


Trained as a dancer and an also as a director in film and television, Rachael Penman has been a producer of theatre and dance since 1992. Working with NZ’s dance royalty MJ O Reilly, Douglas Wright, Shona McCullagh, and Neil Ieremia she worked as a stage manager, production manager and a producer. Rachael spent 5 years in London as a producer for West End Musical Theatre, with Bill Kenwright, and with her own theatre in the West End. She also advised for theatre companies around Europe. In 2005, Rachael came back to NZ to raise a family and moved into the commercial world of business and marketing. Rachael has been drawn back to her true love by the passion of Tai and Taane and their company Okareka and brings a wealth of international theatre touring and business experience to the company.



Originally from Montreal, Vanda has been living and working in New Zealand since 1999. Her design work covers theatre, dance, television, fashion, and music during time spent living in North America and the U.K as well as New Zealand spanning 30 years . For 10 years with the Atamira Dance Company, Vanda produced designs for the award winning Ngai Tahu 32 and Taonga as well as Memoirs of Active Service, Te Houhi and the popular Kaha series. Most recently designing for Red Leap Theatre’s SEA she had the opportunity to cement her love of the ocean into her work.
Other work includes ongoing design projects with the Auckland Philharmonia and Trash to Fashion plus production work on music projects with Tihi Productions. Vanda also works for the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and is an active lifeguard at Piha beach.
Accomplishments this year are National Open Womens Champions for Dragon Boating and female lifeguard of the year for the Piha SLSC. She is the proud mother of 3 talented children.


Well respected within the NZ Theatre Industry as a director, actor and designer, over the years Andrew has worked with most of the country’s major theatre companies and has become known for his contribution to the development of new works.
Andrew has collaborated on a great number of premier works: including scripts by Eli Kent, Jo Randerson, Oscar Knightly, Gary Henderson, and Duncan Sarkies. He is currently developing a work about Bert Potter’s Centrepoint community with writer Anders Falstie Jensen for ATC.
His Dramaturgy for dance includes collaborations with Malia Johnson, and Sarah Foster-Sproull.
A passion has been the developing large-scale immersive presentations, combining his skills as Director, Designer and Dramaturg. These include devised adaptations of A Clockwork Orange (for Silo Theatre at the Auckland Festival) and in 2013 he directed and designed Apocalypse Z, an immersive theatre work about a Zombie Apocalypse in Auckland’s Aotea Square.


Australian choreographer Gareth Belling danced with Queensland Ballet between 2002 and 2012. He made his choreographic debut with Collusion Music in Evocations 2005. Since then he has created works for Queensland Ballet, Collusion Music, Expressions Dance Company and Queensland University of Technology.
In 2011 Gareth was mentored by internationally renowned choreographer Nils Christe and his participation in the Swiss International Coaching Project for Choreographers and an Impulstanz Research Project was co-funded by a JUMP Mentorship and Arts Queensland Career Development Grant.
Gareth created bittersweet for Queensland Ballet’s 2012 International Gala and Scorched Earth for Brisbane Festival’s Dance Energy in 2012. He premiered his first full-length work, Transient Beauty with Collusion Music in Restrung Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Now pursuing a freelance career, he is undertaking a Master of Fine Arts (Dance) at QUT. Intimate Distance premiered in Ausdance.


Benjamin Greaves has enjoyed a significantly varied career as a freelance violinist and violist. For 11 years he has administered and performed for Collusion Music. A founding member of Collusion, he has enjoyed performing rarely heard musical gems with visual artists, dancers, choreographers, clowns, acrobats, animators, actors and narrators at venues including the Brisbane Powerhouse, Judith Wright Centre, and the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium of Music where the ensemble was Ensemble in Residence from 2013-2015. He has been an integral force in the groups ongoing development, production and management.
Along with Gareth Belling, since 2013 he lead the ensemble to all new heights with his ambitious vision of DESIRELINES – the chamber ballet for the Brisbane Festival in 2015. The production received wide-spread critical acclaim from independent reviewers for its complete re-imagining of dance and live music collaborations.


Thomas Green has a reputation in Brisbane as a versatile composer whose focus is finding a musical home between many and varied streams, often seamlessly melding classical and contemporary idioms. He is the recipient of various government grants, commissions and is a prize-winner in national composition competitions.
His compositions have premiered around Australia and internationally, with performances in Italy, France and Scotland in recent years. He has composed and arranged music for The Melbourne Sinfonietta, The Sydney Symphony (with Josh Pyke), The Australian String Quartet,Plexus (Melbourne), and the Brisbane-based ensemble Collusion Music. He also lectures in music theory at the Queensland Conservatorium.