Day 18 - Amount Raised - $8755, days to go - 13
It’s been a few days since my last blog and a lot has happened! We reached the target over a week ago now which is astonishing. You’re all amazing. We’re a breath from the finish line and still aiming to raise an additional $1240 to have enough to master the album as well. We’ll see how it goes but I’m so happy with having hit the target at all. THANK YOU!
The reason I’ve not been blogging is that I’m in Wellington visiting the NZ International Arts Festival as part of my new mahi. In the last few days I’ve seen 4 shows and had a chance to catch up with the talented people who made them.
The Performance Arcade.
The first night down I went along to Wellington’s gorgeous waterfront to see the opening of the Performance Arcade, an installation of performance artists and their work. Even on a cold, wet night the warmth of this installation was present in the skewered treats of fruit and pastries being offered by curator and team. The works themselves are interactive and provocative, inviting and confusing at the same time. Closes tonight so get along if you can.
Birds with Sky Mirrors.
This work from MAU Company and the visionary Lemi Ponifasio is sublime. I’m embarrassed to say this was my first time seeing MAU and their work but it certainly won’t be the last. The commitment of performers and dancers to their narrative and powerful delivery left me on the edge of my seat, much like a child seeing something exciting and new for the first time. The movement was fine tuned and spoke with a sharp subtlety, as did the cry for environmental responsibility that underpinned the entire show.
An intimate insight into the life of writer and performer, Nina Nawalowalo. I loved this piece, which combined theatre, dance and the magic of illusion to present the remarkable story of her parents’ love. Quiet, charming, and with a lilting stillness that spoke volumes of the humility of the writer.
Michael James Manaia.
A one man work performed by Te Kohe Tuhaka and directed by Nathaniel Lees at Downstage, this was an epic piece of theatre. Filled with pain and tragedy but delivered through energetic truth and the cushion of humour. It broke my heart. The audible gasp that engulfed the theatre at the climax of the show made me glad for the karakia that opened the performance. Ultimately a show about love, this is a powerful work.
Coming straight from seeing Michael James Manaia at Downstage to Pipitea Marae for TU was an interesting way to transition from one story to another that dealt with a similar thread of the effects of war and separation on the capacity to love and generational cycle of loving through pain and loss. This is a beautiful love story, delivered by an incredible cast. I love the way theatre and good storytelling can access parts of your emotional fingerprint without asking your permission. Words and phrases that have powerful resonance for us all that dropped delicately in your lap force you to acknowledge all your inner workings. “Wider than the mightiest sky.” A line that keeps revisiting me.
There are more shows to come and I’m looking forward to them all, The Maori Troilus and Cressida, Walk a Mile in my Shoes, Words in Motion. I love my new mahi!