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Charles Koroneho

Charles Koroneho’s Biography

Last Updated:
21/06/2021, 11:30 am
Choreographer/Director/Public Artist/Designer
Arts Foundation Laureate 2014
Ngāpuhi, Te Mahurehure, Te Parawhau, Ngāti Hau
A protean artist, Charles Koroneho works in the fields of culture, performance, and visual arts.

"I was made into a pou and given a function to perform. My form was shaped according to that function and I became an object of culture, my eyes rolled back into their sockets, tongue protruding, hands and body trembling. After every breath, I expelled a noise and willingly accepted instruction.

Many marks adorned my form and I was captured. I was positioned in a place between my function and the world, it transformed me into a rock, then a bird and I settled on branches that were different. I became unraveled and anxious, prey to difference. I will consume myself and offer up an escape for change.

I created Te Toki Haruru to understand restriction, negotiate its contentious site and step into accepting my anxiety. The adze can also shape and form a pou, that I desire."

Te Toki Haruru - the resounding adze

A protean artist, Charles Koroneho works in the fields of performance, culture and the visual arts. He created Te Toki Haruru, a conceptual platform (est.1997) to explore cultural collaboration and the intersection between choreography, theatre, visual arts and design. Te Toki Haruru projects are presented as performances, exhibitions,workshops and research exploring the collision between Maoricosmology, New Zealand society and global cultures.

He is a founding member of Te Kanikani O Te Rangatahi, graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance and Elam School of Fine Arts. He has performed extensively in New Zealand and abroad with Te Toki Haruru, Lemi Ponifasio MAU, Michael Parmenter's Commotion Company, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Taiao Dance Theatre and worked in collaboration with Min Tanaka and Guillermo Gomez-Pena.

He shares his vision of dance and performance with IndependANCE by providing professional movement, improvisation classes and performance workshops for dancers, actors and performance artists. He supports the freelance dance community as a mentor and works as an associate artist with Lemi Ponifasio MAU.

TŪĀHU Choreographic Research Project (2013-2014)

"The traditional TŪĀHU is a sacred place for ritual practices, consisting of an enclosure containing a ceremonial platform used for divination and other mystic rites. The intention of the TŪĀHU research process is to align the traditional practice to a ‘performance of community', in order to give emergent work a cultural context while developing a contemporary hybrid practice; liminal, situational, culturally diverse and bound to the creative conditions surrounding it."

The TŪĀHU Choreographic Research Project proposes a new philosophical space for Charles Koroneho, to extend his vision of Te Toki Haruru towards a multi-layered approach where workshop, collaborative and performance outcomes takesplace under the same conceptual framework.

Projects will utilize processes of marae theatre, including aspects of the powhiri (welcome and inclusion), noho marae (living, immersed in the place), take (to originate, reason, purpose) and utu (reply, reciprocity). Works created from this project will align to indigenous communal practices, where actions of the sacred and profane convey the everyday andideas of ceremony and ritual are informed by cultural contexts.

PURE -Solo Performance

"From the darkness comes a cold wind to crush the body, prophetic shadows transform the discontinued, an unspoken community. Unearth the Tūāhu, ritual space of the unknown. Awaken body, alone, unknown and nameless, dance of anonymity. Tectonic memories petrify longing, dreams are whispered, my journey from compression to gravity's embrace, a solemn ascension. Skeletal precipice, bone cemetery, ‘Pure' rite, dance incantation, a cleansing utterance............"

Pure unfolds in a penumbra of mystery, an intercultural performance drawn from the ritual activity of the Tohunga/shaman. The ritual body, enveloped by the mythic, images of alienation narrate ancestral tales of cultural upheaval and reluctant anonymity. The choreography of Charles Koroneho becomes a Tūāhu offering, in a theatre of transgression, a perpetual cycle of transformation.