'The Beautiful Ones' puts new Māori talent in spotlight

By Lynette Amoroa

Acclaimed Māori writer Hone Kouka has tapped into new Māori talent by pushing them into the limelight of his new dance theatre show 'The Beautiful Ones'. The show kicked off last night at Aotea Centre in Auckland, featuring award-winning singer Ria Hall in her acting debut.

Starring as a nightclub singer is a familiar role for Ria Hall making the acting transition a natural one.

Ria Hall says, “I try to just try and find little bits of me in her so when she’s on stage she’s flamboyant and she’s kind of away from the people so she’s always elevated.”

When the acting opportunity presented itself Hall didn't hesitate to sign up for the role.

“When Hone came to me and asked if i was interested in pursuing some theatre i mean i just got back to him like 5 minutes later with a hell yeah,” says Hall.

And, she's not the only one finding her feet.

Hone Kouka says, “But basically it’s a love story gorgeous love story wtih Tia Maipi who plays Ihia and Tia was in born to dance and Manarangi Mua so it’s her stage debut as well and she is part of Waka Huia.”

“It’s a love story about two young ones who are a couple. They split apart for a while come back together again and basically by the end of it they go are they going to end up with each other and they should be with each other you can tell right from the word go,” says Kouka.

The story of love is threaded with live singing and dance and its launch couldn't come at a better time for Hall who launches her new single album next week.

Hall says, “I think this song is a reflection of the peaks and troughs of life and that its ok to use love whether it be your whanau your significant other your children to really pull yourself out of any kind of dark space so it’s a song of encouragement for everyone really.”

Her single which is also the theme song of the show is expected to catch on with viewers throughout the shows performances in Auckland up to the 26 November.