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October arts explosion in Tairawhiti

BOTTLED OCEAN: The multi-artform, multi-layered arts festival that spans three weekends from October 4-20 includes the installation Manawa Moana, an evolution of artist George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean exhibition. Picture supplied


Maui Putahi

Director/artist Teina Moetara’s work Maui Putahi opens the Tairawhiti Arts Festival on Friday, October 4, at Marina Park.

“From the time Maui used the wisdoms of Murirangawhenua and founded this land-mass, lifted Hikurangi from the sea, and captured time and light, Te Tairawhiti has been the home of challenge, synchronicity and innovation. Set at the confluence of the Taruheru, Waimata and Turanganui rivers, this event — part performance, part ceremony, part interactive experience — is an invitation to all to explore the edges of the Tairawhiti flair and officially open the festival.”

Manawa Moana

Installed in the War Memorial Theatre foyer, Manawa Moana is an evolution of artist George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean exhibition. The work presents a super-sized manifestation of global consciousness about the proliferation of plastic in the ocean and in our everyday life. George will create works of scale alongside our community, schools, and all those interested in participating, to create a giant manawa (heart) that represents our “feeling about plastic”. The giant roro (brain) represents our “thinking about plastic” and ngakaunui (big heart) represents “engaging our hearts and minds” to find the solution. Participants from across the community to create this large scale work will be sought. Keep an eye on the festival website and Facebook page for details on how to get involved.

The Bookbinder

Performed in the Poverty Bay Club’s library room, award-winning company Trick of the Light Theatre present The Bookbinder, a story of mystery, magic and mayhem. Dark and whimsical, The Bookbinder blends puppetry, shadow play, paper craft, storytelling and live action to tell the tale of a bookbinding apprentice.

Ka Hao: Tira Waiata

Mentored by Rob and Cilla Ruha, a group of young creatives are developing their skills as a performing choral group and as arts producers. From gospel hits to reversioned pop, Tairawhiti anthems and waiata Maori, these new voices will move through Christ Church in Raukokore, St Mary’s in Tikitiki, the Holy Trinity in town and Toko Toru Tapu.

Henare

Tawata Productions’ Henare, a story inspired by Henare Waitoa, will rehearse at venues around the coast before opening at the Lawson Field Theatre. Award winning playwright Hohepa Waitoa and producer Hone Kouka use waiata, korero, and contemporary and traditional puoro to tell the story of one of Ngati Porou’s most prolific composers, from the kitchen of a homestead in Tikitiki.

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

Performed by an all-female cast of six, a stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s poetry collection, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, is described as dark, evocative, sharply witty and savagely brutal.

Reb Fountain

Once described as “Lucky Strike cool and Jamesons raw, with a voice born of fire and river run, mountain strong and feather soft”,

Reb Fountain performs at the Dome. Fountain has previously performed and recorded with Neil Finn, Marlon Williams, Don McGlashan, Tami Neilson and Julia Deans. Her album, Hopeful and Hopeless, won the Tui for Best Country Album/Artist in 2018 APRA Best Country Song for its title track in the same year.

Cellfish

Cellfish, a play in which a woman teaches prison inmates Shakespeare, is brought to Gisborne by Taki Rua and Theatre of Auckland. “Eight counts of unlawful entry using imagination, five counts of reckless use of Maori mythology, four counts of possession and cultivation of Shakespeare, and one count of dangerous operation of a voice class. Two actors, eight characters and a superb piece of multi-layered theatre comes to life in this whodunnit.”

NZSO - Te Mapouriki

Under the baton of German-Japanese conductor Jun Markl the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra brings the world premiere of Kenneth Young’s Te Mapouriki audiences to the festival. The programme includes popular classics, such as Mozart’s vigorous Paris Symphony, Richard Strauss’ first horn concerto, Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage (Op.27), and Robert Schumann’s first symphony, Spring.

Shel We?

Choreographer Tupua Tigafua paints a lyrical and poetic picture in Shel We? a tribute to American cartoonist and poet, Shel Silverstein.

Witi’s Wahine

Written and directed by Nancy Brunning, Witi’s Wahine is a tribute to the women of writer Witi Ihimaera’s worlds, both fictional and real. The world premiere of this play marks a theatrical celebration of some of the most formidable wahine Maori characters to have graced the pages of New Zealand fiction.

“Of course for those of Witi’s whanau, these characters have real life counterparts and for many of us, they remind us all of the women of this place.”

Tukutuku

This is a collaboration between the Gisborne International Music Competition, Gisborne Girls’ High School, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Jolt Dance Company. A series of creative workshops between musicians, dancers and students with disabilities, Tukutuku is an inspirational programme that challenges our assumptions and attitudes about arts access.

Meremere

Performed by critically acclaimed dancer, Rodney Bell, Meremere merges spoken word, music, dance and multimedia design to tell Bell’s story from a childhood spent under the eaves of Te Tokanga-nui-a-noho, a wharenui completed under the direction of Te Kooti, to scaling the heights of an artistic career and living rough on the streets of San Francisco. Meremere explores the human response to the ebbs and flows of fortune, the transformative journey to inner strength and the call of home.

Respect!

In 1967, Aretha Franklin dropped her smash-hit version of Respect and the song became an anthem for a strong woman all over the world and is as potent now as it was then. With Respect! Annie Crummer, Bella Kalolo, Ria Hall and Jackie Clarke pay tribute to one of the world’s most inspiring musicians.

Under An East Coast Moon

Audiences are invited to join Dave Dobbyn, Anika Moa, Annie Crummer, Maisey Rika, Rob Ruha,Teeks and other New Zealand musicians in Under An East Coast Moon at the Outdoor Theatre on Sunday October 6. “Under An East Coast Moon is a love song to the rugged realness of our place — here in our own slice of heaven.”

Barbecue

A script-in-hand reading at Smash Palace of American playwright Robert O’Hara’s exploration of race and family dynamics. Director/actor Anapela Polataivao directs a cast of locals in a rehearsed reading of O’Hara’s Barbecue. O’Hara’s dark comedy explores the issue of race. It begins with the dysfunctional white trash O’Mallery family who come together over a barbecue to stage an intervention for their druggie sister Barbara.

Music for Intimate Spaces

Curated by Mere Boynton in partnership with Tairawhiti Museum, Music for Intimate Spaces is a situational musical installation that travels through C Company Memorial House, Wyllie Cottage and the SS Star of Canada.

Show Me Shorts

Free screenings of documentaries at the Dome and Whirikoka include director Lisa Taouma’s Marks of Mana, and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, a tribute to the late Merata Mita. The screenings will include post show talks from the directors of each film.

Ko Au, Ko Matau – Native Voices

Curated by Kaaterina and Tai Kerekere, in association with Toi Hauiti, Te Ara i Whiti – The Light Trail is a series of light installations that will connect spaces along Marina Park.

Taonga Moana

The national chamber choir of Aotearoa, Voices New Zealand joins forces with New Zealand composer Warren Maxwell, eclectic Finnish composer Jaakko Mantyjarvi, and multimedia artists Tim and Mic Gruchy for a choral celebration of our oceans.

Vai

Created by Lina Marsh and taking place free-of-charge at Lawson Field Theatre for the duration of the festival, Vai is an intuitive installation that explores the spirit and visual characteristics of water.

Up, Up and Away! Manu Aute Kite Day

The Eastland Community Trust sponsored, free family event Up, Up and Away! Manu Aute Kite Day will be held on Saturday October 5 at the Outdoor Theatre. “Featuring a line-up of local and global talent, from kaihaka to kaumoana (performers to voyagers) and including Anika Moa performing some of her famous Songs for Bubbas, the day will be full of musical performances.”

For the full programme, dates and ticketing information, visit www.tetairawhitiartsfestival.nz

Maui Putahi

Director/artist Teina Moetara’s work Maui Putahi opens the Tairawhiti Arts Festival on Friday, October 4, at Marina Park.

“From the time Maui used the wisdoms of Murirangawhenua and founded this land-mass, lifted Hikurangi from the sea, and captured time and light, Te Tairawhiti has been the home of challenge, synchronicity and innovation. Set at the confluence of the Taruheru, Waimata and Turanganui rivers, this event — part performance, part ceremony, part interactive experience — is an invitation to all to explore the edges of the Tairawhiti flair and officially open the festival.”

Manawa Moana

Installed in the War Memorial Theatre foyer, Manawa Moana is an evolution of artist George Nuku’s Bottled Ocean exhibition. The work presents a super-sized manifestation of global consciousness about the proliferation of plastic in the ocean and in our everyday life. George will create works of scale alongside our community, schools, and all those interested in participating, to create a giant manawa (heart) that represents our “feeling about plastic”. The giant roro (brain) represents our “thinking about plastic” and ngakaunui (big heart) represents “engaging our hearts and minds” to find the solution. Participants from across the community to create this large scale work will be sought. Keep an eye on the festival website and Facebook page for details on how to get involved.

The Bookbinder

Performed in the Poverty Bay Club’s library room, award-winning company Trick of the Light Theatre present The Bookbinder, a story of mystery, magic and mayhem. Dark and whimsical, The Bookbinder blends puppetry, shadow play, paper craft, storytelling and live action to tell the tale of a bookbinding apprentice.

Ka Hao: Tira Waiata

Mentored by Rob and Cilla Ruha, a group of young creatives are developing their skills as a performing choral group and as arts producers. From gospel hits to reversioned pop, Tairawhiti anthems and waiata Maori, these new voices will move through Christ Church in Raukokore, St Mary’s in Tikitiki, the Holy Trinity in town and Toko Toru Tapu.

Henare

Tawata Productions’ Henare, a story inspired by Henare Waitoa, will rehearse at venues around the coast before opening at the Lawson Field Theatre. Award winning playwright Hohepa Waitoa and producer Hone Kouka use waiata, korero, and contemporary and traditional puoro to tell the story of one of Ngati Porou’s most prolific composers, from the kitchen of a homestead in Tikitiki.

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

Performed by an all-female cast of six, a stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s poetry collection, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, is described as dark, evocative, sharply witty and savagely brutal.

Reb Fountain

Once described as “Lucky Strike cool and Jamesons raw, with a voice born of fire and river run, mountain strong and feather soft”,

Reb Fountain performs at the Dome. Fountain has previously performed and recorded with Neil Finn, Marlon Williams, Don McGlashan, Tami Neilson and Julia Deans. Her album, Hopeful and Hopeless, won the Tui for Best Country Album/Artist in 2018 APRA Best Country Song for its title track in the same year.

Cellfish

Cellfish, a play in which a woman teaches prison inmates Shakespeare, is brought to Gisborne by Taki Rua and Theatre of Auckland. “Eight counts of unlawful entry using imagination, five counts of reckless use of Maori mythology, four counts of possession and cultivation of Shakespeare, and one count of dangerous operation of a voice class. Two actors, eight characters and a superb piece of multi-layered theatre comes to life in this whodunnit.”

NZSO - Te Mapouriki

Under the baton of German-Japanese conductor Jun Markl the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra brings the world premiere of Kenneth Young’s Te Mapouriki audiences to the festival. The programme includes popular classics, such as Mozart’s vigorous Paris Symphony, Richard Strauss’ first horn concerto, Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage (Op.27), and Robert Schumann’s first symphony, Spring.

Shel We?

Choreographer Tupua Tigafua paints a lyrical and poetic picture in Shel We? a tribute to American cartoonist and poet, Shel Silverstein.

Witi’s Wahine

Written and directed by Nancy Brunning, Witi’s Wahine is a tribute to the women of writer Witi Ihimaera’s worlds, both fictional and real. The world premiere of this play marks a theatrical celebration of some of the most formidable wahine Maori characters to have graced the pages of New Zealand fiction.

“Of course for those of Witi’s whanau, these characters have real life counterparts and for many of us, they remind us all of the women of this place.”

Tukutuku

This is a collaboration between the Gisborne International Music Competition, Gisborne Girls’ High School, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Jolt Dance Company. A series of creative workshops between musicians, dancers and students with disabilities, Tukutuku is an inspirational programme that challenges our assumptions and attitudes about arts access.

Meremere

Performed by critically acclaimed dancer, Rodney Bell, Meremere merges spoken word, music, dance and multimedia design to tell Bell’s story from a childhood spent under the eaves of Te Tokanga-nui-a-noho, a wharenui completed under the direction of Te Kooti, to scaling the heights of an artistic career and living rough on the streets of San Francisco. Meremere explores the human response to the ebbs and flows of fortune, the transformative journey to inner strength and the call of home.

Respect!

In 1967, Aretha Franklin dropped her smash-hit version of Respect and the song became an anthem for a strong woman all over the world and is as potent now as it was then. With Respect! Annie Crummer, Bella Kalolo, Ria Hall and Jackie Clarke pay tribute to one of the world’s most inspiring musicians.

Under An East Coast Moon

Audiences are invited to join Dave Dobbyn, Anika Moa, Annie Crummer, Maisey Rika, Rob Ruha,Teeks and other New Zealand musicians in Under An East Coast Moon at the Outdoor Theatre on Sunday October 6. “Under An East Coast Moon is a love song to the rugged realness of our place — here in our own slice of heaven.”

Barbecue

A script-in-hand reading at Smash Palace of American playwright Robert O’Hara’s exploration of race and family dynamics. Director/actor Anapela Polataivao directs a cast of locals in a rehearsed reading of O’Hara’s Barbecue. O’Hara’s dark comedy explores the issue of race. It begins with the dysfunctional white trash O’Mallery family who come together over a barbecue to stage an intervention for their druggie sister Barbara.

Music for Intimate Spaces

Curated by Mere Boynton in partnership with Tairawhiti Museum, Music for Intimate Spaces is a situational musical installation that travels through C Company Memorial House, Wyllie Cottage and the SS Star of Canada.

Show Me Shorts

Free screenings of documentaries at the Dome and Whirikoka include director Lisa Taouma’s Marks of Mana, and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, a tribute to the late Merata Mita. The screenings will include post show talks from the directors of each film.

Ko Au, Ko Matau – Native Voices

Curated by Kaaterina and Tai Kerekere, in association with Toi Hauiti, Te Ara i Whiti – The Light Trail is a series of light installations that will connect spaces along Marina Park.

Taonga Moana

The national chamber choir of Aotearoa, Voices New Zealand joins forces with New Zealand composer Warren Maxwell, eclectic Finnish composer Jaakko Mantyjarvi, and multimedia artists Tim and Mic Gruchy for a choral celebration of our oceans.

Vai

Created by Lina Marsh and taking place free-of-charge at Lawson Field Theatre for the duration of the festival, Vai is an intuitive installation that explores the spirit and visual characteristics of water.

Up, Up and Away! Manu Aute Kite Day

The Eastland Community Trust sponsored, free family event Up, Up and Away! Manu Aute Kite Day will be held on Saturday October 5 at the Outdoor Theatre. “Featuring a line-up of local and global talent, from kaihaka to kaumoana (performers to voyagers) and including Anika Moa performing some of her famous Songs for Bubbas, the day will be full of musical performances.”

For the full programme, dates and ticketing information, visit www.tetairawhitiartsfestival.nz

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