"As artists who have been nurtured deeply by Street Style art forms and their communities, we wanted to offer another kind of space to the talented and brilliant Street Style artists that we have the honour of knowing. With this in mind and in partnership with Basement Theatre, we offer 'THE NEST: Street Style Solo Dance Festival', an inaugural festival that platforms, amplifies and centres Street Style dance artists and forms. This festival seeks to develop the personal practice of the artists and to share their stories, their whakapapa and creativity in new spaces. THE NEST seeks to open more pathways and opportunities for performance and experimentation, as well as offering some resources and sustainability within the creation and development process.
THE NEST acknowledges that it exists on the whenua of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, and is also underneath Basement's Matariki Festival. THE NEST seeks to align itself with the kaupapa that Basement has in place for this special season.
THESE DANCERS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES ARE BUILDING RITES OF PASSAGE, RENAMING TRADITIONS AND SHARING KNOWLEDGE THROUGH THE PHYSICAL CEREMONY OF MOVEMENT AND COMMUNITY.
Within these Street Styles that we are in relationship with, we acknowledge that we are guests in the houses of these styles, and they have come from Black people, Black culture and Black genius, including pioneership and genius from Latinx communities. We affirm that being a part of these Street Style communities means that we undertake the ongoing anti-racism work and decolonial work that is needed to honour the whakapapa of this shared movement and to centre indigenous worldviews.
For Te Moana Nui-a-Kiwa communities here, Street Style culture, community and artistry has been a gateway to uncovering the ancestral memory archive within our bodies, especially for those who are claiming their bodies back. We also honour our peers, friends, elders and young people in Street Styles who we both are continuously growing with, and whose lateral leadership and love for dance we aim to reflect in this festival. These dancers and their communities are building rites of passage, renaming traditions and sharing knowledge through the physical ceremony of movement and community.
Funding or not, platform or not, these communities of Street Style are HERE, have been here and will always be here; looking after each other, pushing the form, experimenting with new ideas, honouring the pioneers, telling their stories and encouraging their young people. So we hope that you will come and witness these solos from our amazing artist line-up, as well as support the communities they represent with their ongoing artistry."
By JAHRA WASASALA, Co-Curator of THE NEST: Street Style Solo Dance Festival.