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Arts festival sell-out shows spell success

The Tairawhiti Arts Festival got off to spectacular start with sell-out performances of Witi’s Wahine and The Bookbinder’s first show, and big crowds at Maui Putahi and Under An East Coast Moon.

Tonight (Wednesday) the arts festival brings you Henare, a story inspired by Ngati Porou composer Henare Waitoa. Performed in te reo Maori the world premiere of award- winning playwright Hohepa Waitoa’s play features Tio, a mokopuna of Henare, who returns to his father’s home. Born and raised away from Tikitiki, Tio has often wondered what Henare was like and returns home to reignite the fire — but gets more than he bargains for.

Henare will be performed at the Lawson Field Theatre at 7pm.

A preview of works in development makes up tomorrow night’s (Thursday) presentation of Sneak Peeks at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. The production will be staged again at the Lawson Field Theatre on Saturday. Admission is by koha and all proceeds go to the artists.

Starting at noon both days the show is made up of Whakapaupakihi, a musical adaptation of the feats of East Coast ancestors Taua-i-te-rangi, Mahaki-ewe-karoro and Hauiti.

Devised in collaboration with directors Jade Eriksen and Teina Moetara, Tuku is actor/director Ngapaki Moetara’s solo performance that explores the space between tukutuku (working with another being to form patterns) and to tuku (to shed burdensome energy and allow space for renewal.

Featuring translations in te reo Maori, Aroha The Musical is a tragic story of forbidden love in which the English son of a captain and the daughter of a Rangatira play out the differences of culture.

In a sneak peek at music for a concert of movie soundtrack selections, the Gisborne Choral Society, in conjunction with the Civic Orchestra and Concert Band, performs the opening movement from Mozart’s Requiem.

Tonight, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday waiata are brought to life by 24 rangatahi who bring to some of the most sacred spaces such as Tokotoru Tapu Church, Holy Trinity Church and St Mary’s Church in Tikitiki songs that range from gospel to pop.

Bookings can be made at www.iticket.co.nz

FULL HOUSE: The Bookbinder, a story of magic and mayhem, not to mention puppetry, was a popular choice for arts festival-goers. The sold-out show is just one of many offerings in the line-up for the inaugural Tairawhiti Arts Festival.Picture supplied