Malia Johnston


Malia graduated from Unitec with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts in 1998, and since then has created a significant body of performance work. Malia is the Artistic Director of her own company, Movement of the Human, and has collaborated with other artists to create Meremere, Brouhaha, and Mana Wahine. She was awarded the Creative NZ Choreographic Fellowship for her work in 2013. Malia was the Artistic Director and choreographer of the World of Wearable Art Awards Show from 2002-2014. She has worked on public and commemorative events including the opening of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in 2015 and the New Zealand Day performance at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Malia grew up in a series of tiny South Island towns including Otira, Clandeboye, Hinds and North Loburn, which, looking back, don’t seem so far removed from Billy’s fictional home town of Easington. There was barely a shop to be seen, let alone dance classes. So at the age of 11, she forced her parents to let her travel long distances on buses every week to larger towns where she could learn to dance. Not surprisingly, Malia feels a strong connection to the character of Billy - one of the many reasons she was inspired to work on this production.