Tanya Soliali’i Muagututi’a
Sāmoan Producer / Artist (Theatre, Music, Events) based in Christchurch, Aotearoa
Postcards Unlocked #3
MEET ME AT THE DOG HOUSE by Pacific Underground
Named after a famous Christchurch take away joint – The Dog House, this new show is an ultimate jam. A return to the 90s when Pacific Underground (PU) jammed with Beats’n’Pieces led by Antsman, Scribe, Charmed One, and The Traveller who freestyled with DJs Ali and Pause who jammed with Mara TK or called up Sheelahroc and so on, and so on. The show also marked PU’s 25th year. What the..?
Pos emailed out and asked for his buddies to return home for the one-night-only show. My job was to put it together remotely (ie no one lives in Christchurch anymore).
The starting point was Steve Apirana and Joe Tamaira – legendary musicians, our role models back then. They said yes as did Dallas Tamaira (Fat Freddys Drop), Ladi Tamati and Brent Parks (Ladi 6), Malo Luafutu (Scribe), Mara TK, Malcolm Lakatani, Mark Vanilau, Richie Mills aka DJ Pause, Hiliako Iaheto (‘Koile), Sarah Tamaira (Sheelahroc), Dru Sione (D’sendantz), Iona Ulaula, Seta Timo (Judah Arts), Talia-Rae Mavaega, Josephine Mavaega, Lijah Mavaega, Mike Watt, Flo Lafai and Raniera Dallas. All have played with us in the past 25years and like back in the day Malo, Mark and Bella Kalolo joined us on the day. That’s just how we roll. A final surprise to us all was the old Dog House sign flown into the show. The sign and the show, symbols, not only of what we lost but, what we’ve survived.
I spent most of my life in Christchurch growing projects from scratch, finding funding for them and PU. Branching out in Auckland before the earthquakes, led to our eventual move and survival there. Working with Pos, my sis Mish, Pip Laufiso, Hiliako Iaheto, Ole Maiava, Dolina Wehipeihana, Tama Waipara and Taiaroa Royal enriches my arts experience. Also, time at Auckland Theatre Company, The Court Theatre, Mangere Arts Centre and my return home to work at the Christchurch Arts Festival with Artistic Director George Parker. His invitation to present Meet Me at The Dog House allowed me the time to be an artist in my place of origin- something I miss.