Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival presents

Shel We?

Gisborne Gisborne
Wed 16 Oct


159 Bright Street, Gisborne

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CONCESSION 65+ with Gold Card, Student (Student ID Required), Community Services Card
CHILD 12 years & under*


CHILD 12 years & under*


Running Time: 55 minutes


159 Bright Street, Gisborne

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Tickets are also available at:

Shel We? and Meremere Combo
Buy a ticket to both our dance shows and get tickets at a discounted price.

A touching tribute to the work of Shel Silverstein and the environment that has made a man.

Tupua Tigafua is a highly accomplished dancer and one of the most ingenious storytellers of his generation. After dancing with some of Aotearoa's creative elite such as New Zealand Dance Company, Black Grace and MAU, Tupua has masterfully created an enchanting, playfully intriguing and visually stunning dance show. Inspired by the works of renowned American writer Shel Silverstein, Shel We? is an invitation. 

Shel Silverstein was a critically acclaimed writer of children’s books such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up and most notable The Giving Tree. He was a talented lyricist and wrote iconic ballads such as Sylvia’s Mother for Doctor Hook and A Boy Named Sue for Johnny Cash. Shel’s off beat style and brilliant use of metaphorical imagery in his poetry and illustrations is what inspires Tupua’s choreography - ultimately, delivering a tribute to his parents, his family and the environment that has inspired him over the years. 

This work has been presented at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland for the Pacific Dance Festival, as well as at the Measina Festival at Te Auahā in Wellington City and Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua. Hundreds of primary school children rose to their feet in applause, the young hipsters were in awe after the show asking how they could become contemporary dancers, and senior citizen lovers held hands and gazed into each other’s eyes after hearing an old Samoan love song that brought back memories of the vibrant 70s. Shel We appeals to different generations from all walks of life.

Theatre box office and refreshments open one hour before each show.

A strict lock-out policy will be in place once the show starts. So, please ensure you are on time.

*Due to safety and restricted viewing, children are not permitted in the first row of the Circle (Rows A, B and C upstairs).

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