High performance dance – high performance makeup

High performance dance – high performance makeup

The latest production from the inspirational Okareka Dance Company, Mana Wahine, earned rave reviews everywhere it was performed in New Zealand.

Mana Wahine was inspired by the true story of Te Aokapurangi, a young maiden from the small island of Mokoia in Lake Rotorua, who is credited with single-handedly saving her Te Arawa iwi from slaughter.

Created by Okareka’s two artistic directors, Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete, along with co-creator Malia Johnston, Mana Wahine is a powerful performance by five women dancers that transcends time and space to reflect the life force of women around the world.

Wendy Hill Cosmetics is the makeup provider to this leading contemporary New Zealand dance company, and Wendy Hill makeup products were used exclusively throughout the performances. Wendy Hill makeup artist and trainer, Sylvia Honan, designed the look for the show and the images used in all the advertising and promotional material, and worked with the female dancers during pre-production to show them how to apply their makeup.

Taiaroa Royal says the makeup performed flawlessly throughout all the 71-minute long performances.

“We were delighted at how well the makeup performed during the dancers’ rigorous and high energy performances under hot lights, and particularly how it stayed in place throughout the highly energetic routines,” he says.

“Contemporary dancers tend to perspire freely because of the high energy involved in their performances, so we need a makeup that won’t slide or run into the eyes, and that’ll look good throughout the whole show.

“We’re delighted to have the support of Wendy Hill Cosmetics – but we know how good it is having worked with it during our earlier productions and at the World of WearableArt Awards Shows.”

Wendy Hill Cosmetics General Manager, Tiffany Clarke, says as a New Zealand created and owned makeup brand, the company is very proud to be the exclusive makeup partner of Okareka.

“It’s a privilege for us to be the makeup supplier for this unique and hugely innovative contemporary dance company,” she says, “and we think it’s marvellous that Okareka, as a major New Zealand arts organisation, recognizes and is so supportive of unique New Zealand companies like ours.”

Celebrating the successful opening night of Mana Wahine at Q Theatre, Auckland,  are Wendy
Hill Cosmetics General Manager Tiffany Clarke (left) with Taane Mete, Sylvia Honan and Taiaroa Royal

The Reviews:

In reviewing this stunning performance, the New Zealand Herald’s theatre reviewer said of it:

Okareka Dance Company has hit the jackpot with this exploration of the strength, the spirit, the wiles and the primal beauty of women, specifically Maori women. Five extreme dancers, three choreographers at the top of their game, a totally in-tune composer, exquisite lighting and audio visual design, and a wealth of cultural wisdom come together in one of the best contemporary dance performances seen in years.

Sharu Delilkan, writing a review for, said:

Never had I seen an audience so transfixed, so attentive, so mesmerised, so moved all at the same time. And the audience erupting in a spontaneous standing ovation clearly depicted that the crowd was just itching to show their delirious euphoria.

Posted: Thu 05 Feb 2015