Louise Potiki Bryant

Louise Potiki Bryant is a Ngāi Tahu choreographer, dancer, and video artist. With her practice Louise aims to honour her whakapapa (genealogy), kaupapa Māori (Māori principles and practices), mana wahine (the intrinsic spiritual power of women), and our relationship with te taiao (environment). Louise is a founding member of Atamira Dance Company for whom she has choreographed six works, including Ngāi Tahu 32,Te Aroha me te mamae, TAONGA: Dust Water Wind and Onepū. Louise has also choreographed for companies such as The New Zealand Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company, and Ōrotokare, Art, Story, Motion.

Louise also has a body of solo and collaborative works which draw upon her whakaahua and interdisciplinary practices. These works include Nohopuku (‘Stand–out Performer’ award, the Dunedin Fringe Festival 2010), Tumutumu, a collaboration with taonga pūoro authority Dr Richard Nunns (awarded ‘the most innovative choreography’ at Kowhiti Dance 2011) and the acclaimed work Kiri, a collaboration with clay artist Paerau Corneal. Her latest solo work Ngarois a collaboration with multi-media artists Rona Ngahuia Osborne and Paddy Free. Both Kiri and Ngaro have been the Tuakana works to open the Tempo Dance Festival.

In 2014, Louise was awarded the Harriet Friedlander Residency by the Arts Foundation, which supported Louise to live in New York City for a period of choreographic and artistic inspiration. Other residencies include the Ngāi Tahu Artist in Residence at the Dunedin School of Art, and a Wild Creations Residency. In 2009 Louise was supported by Creative New Zealand to undertake a choreographic internship with multidisciplinary artist Santee Smith, the founding and managing artistic director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.

Louise designs installations for her own dance works, and is often responsible for the design, production and editing of the projected video elements - an integral part of each performance. Her video art practice also includes the creation of dance films, video installations and music videos as well as designing video for music events, operas and contemporary dance productions. Her recent work has included the video design for three of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s productions; Re-Quickening, Blood Tides and the solo work Blood Water Earth by Santee Smith. Louise also collaborated with Santee to develop the Blood Water Earth 3-channel video installation which premiered at the Auckland Arts Festival 2019 at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery.

(Photo by John McDermott; taken from Lumina)