Kaitiaki: Striking Lava

Isabella Whāwhai Waru (Ngati Tūkorehe, Te Ati Awa) (VIC)

  • Auslan interpreting
  • Language no barrier
  • Wheelchair access
  • Blaktix

How do we reform in the face of relentless violation? When our lands, our bodies, our languages, and our communities are under fire?

Isabella Whāwhai Waru’s, Kaitiaki: Striking Lava is a new dance work honouring Indigenous resilience and vitality. The work responds to the ongoing violation of Indigenous lands and peoples with an incantation for strength, tenderness, and protection, channeling the forces of an evolving, growing, grieving, and rising land and community.

All across the world, Indigenous bodies hold the frontlines while under constant strain of persecution and violence – from the desecration of sacred lands and waters such as Ihumatao and Pukeatua in Aotearoa, birthing trees on Djab Wurrung country, VIC, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i, pipeline threats on Wet’suwet’en lands, so-called Canada, the burning of sacred lands across so-called Australia, California and the Amazon. Indigenous peoples are the sovereign protectors, guides and healers of their lands and peoples around the world.

Kaitiaki: Striking Lava is an honouring of Indigenous peoples. The earth and her children. A mountain that remakes itself. A land that heals itself and returns stronger every time.

Content Warnings

This production contains mature themes. It may also contain some dynamic sound and lighting.  

Dress weather appropriate as the show is outdoors, bring pillows/blankets if desired for comfort and warmth.

Mature themes: themes relating to abuse of power and privilege, themes of racism and references to racism and references to oppression.  

Mature themes: some movement in this production may cause distress to audience members due to associations with violence, colonisation and intergenerational trauma.  

Mature themes: references to current environmental, cultural and political issues which may cause distress to some audience members. 

Read more (possible spoilers)…

Kaitiaki: Striking Lava is supported by Maribyrnong City Council Community Grant Program, Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Lucy Guerin Inc and the Victorian Government through the Multicultural Festivals & Events Program.

All profits from Kaitiaki: Striking Lava will be donated to Indigenous organisations working towards justice for their land and communities. This performance is FREE for all First Nations audience (discount code: manaaki). If you wish to donate via the performance, you are also welcome to purchase $10 Blaktix.

Creator and performer: Isabella Whāwhai Waru
Collaborators: Denys Mason
Design and photography: Ella Rowe, Irihipeti Waretini
Mentors: Lindsay Poutama
Costume Designer: Remuse

‘E mihi tēnei ki te mana whenua o nga iwi Moemoea. 
Nga kaitiaki o tēnei whenua, Ko Ngati Boonwurrung, me ko Ngati Wurundjeri o te iwi Kulin. 
E mihi nui ki te tupuna, ki te rangatira, ki te kaumatua, ki te tangata whenua o te ao. 
E nga kaitiaki a Papatūānuku me a Rangi nui. 
Nga mihi tino nui tòku whānau me toku whenua, ko ngati Tūkorehe, ko Te Ati Awa, ko te whānau Meihana-Waru, ko Te whānau Coogan, ko te whānau Blakeney – the blood, seed, birthplace and burial ground of everything that I am and will ever take form as.

Thank you to the ones who allow me to walk with them, who allow the cultivation of love, partnership and evolution in our shared space.
Thank you to all who guide, reflect, feed, protect and nurture this earth, its Indigenous peoples and/or me. Caring for the land and its peoples, in the end and in the beginning, are (and must be) the same thing.’ 

Isabella Whāwhai Waru (Ngati Tukorehe, Te Ati Awa, European) is a creator, performer & healer unsettled on sacred Wurundjeri lands. A diasporic sovereign, queer, fluid, femme occupation. Waru navigates spaces, sensations & states of being through movement, voice, visual design, writings, ritual & performance facilitation. They create to realise and reimagine, emerging from the body as the initiator for resurgence//healing//transmutation//incantation//communication//manifestation//clearing, and the vessel for personal, ancestral and environmental memory.