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13 - 16 September

Ātete | Resistance | ചെറുത്തുനില്പ്


Event duration icon Duration

60 mins

TAHI Taster Ticket Deal! See two TAHI x BATS shows for $30

Serving suggestion: Use the TAHI Taster pass to see both Ātete | Resistance | ചെറുത്തുനില്പ് and Tea With Terrorists on the same night.

Ātete | Resistance | ചെറുത്തുനില്പ്

Performed by Swaroopa Unni
She moves like a valley river does, placid and serene on the surface, but with strength and unswerving, powerful currents underneath.
Hannah Molloy, Theatreview

Witness the power of resistance in this mesmerising dance-theatre performance.

Ātete | Resistance | ചെറുത്തുനില്പ് is a solo dance theatre choreographed by Swaroopa Prameela Unni exploring a woman’s right to bodily autonomy within the Indian community of New Zealand. One in every 4 women in New Zealand experience family violence. Women from Indian ethnicity are part of this statistic but very little is known about the challenges they face; not just from the patriarchal culture, but also the shame and stigma attached to it as well. These women’s bodies become a site for violence in every form– emotional, physical, financial and sexual. They become a site where power is contested and negotiated.

Ātete is choreographed in Mohiniyattam, a South Indian Dance form, known for its portrayal of ideal womanhood and Swaroopa will juxtapose how this very concept shaped the pattern of violence on women’s bodies. Ātete will use spoken words, movements and digital media to narrate the stories of women who resisted against the system.

ചെറുത്തുനില്പ് (cheruthunilpu) means resistance in Malayalam, the language spoken mainly in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Content warning

Mentions of gender violence.

Creative Team

Concept, production and Choreography - Swaroopa Prameela Unni
Music - Jyolsna Panicker, Sandeep Pillai
Lighting and Sound and Tech design - Stephen Kilroy

TAHI Festival - TAHI Turns Five!

TAHI Festival is an annual celebration of solo theatre. From 6 - 16 September 2023 soloists from around the nation - from established to emerging practitioners - will gather in Pōneke to present work, collaborate and make connections across the industry. 2023 marks the fifth year of TAHI Festival, so come and join the fun with some of the best solo theatre Aotearoa has to offer!

Explore our full programme at

@tahifestivalnz | #TAHI2023

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A woman sits on the ground with her legs extended to one side. Her arms are held open, with her palms facing up. She looks to the side out of the corner of her eye and smiles widely. She is wearing a purple, white and gold sari and is wearing plenty of gold jewellery. She wears dark eyeliner, red lipstick and a red bindi (a red dot in between her eyebrows). The image sits within a bright green frame.
Photo by Marelda O'Rourke-Gallaher. Design by Aimee Sullivan