Te Ope o Rehua
Contemporary Performing Arts
This committee was formed in 1988 to promote the growth and development of contemporary Maori dance and drama.
- Stephen Bradshaw, Pouwhakahaere (Auckland)
- Moss Patterson (Auckland)
Initially, a funding scheme helped raise the profile of the committee. The committee hosted workshops on the traditional performing arts. These proved popular with tertiary students who wanted access to this training.
in 1998, the "National Hui on Contemporary Maori Performing Arts" at Tuhono Marae in Porirua, featured artists presenting papers and case studies towards the development of a strategy for the performing arts. Speakers included Tama Huata, Wi Kuki Kaa, Keri Kaa, Piri Sciascia, Hone Kouka, Jim Moriarty and Roma Potiki.
The issue of a base for Maori dance/theatre was discussed. Taki Rua Theatre in Wellington had developed a reputation for encouraging the mounting of Maori performance. It still continues to be a strong producer and tour agency for theatre.
Another issue was the revival of a full time Maori Contemporary Dance Company. Tai Ao was the most recent full-time company. The establishment of Ahi Wai, Atamira, Mika Torotoro and Merenia Gray Dance Company showed promise. There were concerns for the sustainability of Maori dance choreographers and dancers. Work in mainstream companies was available and few Maori choreographers were developing work for production. The increasing number of Maori performing arts tutors in the tertiary sector is a promising area for development.
Kapa Haka continues to provide the principle area of performing arts for Maori. The contemporary choreographic elements filtering into this area are promising.
That drama and dance is central to contemporary Maori arts.
- To maintain and develop the networks related to drama and dance
- Identify and nurture pathways to provide professional careers
- Promote quality and integral performances with a unique point of difference.
- Facilitate crossovers from drama and dance to other art form for artists and audiences through the networks of Toi Maori Aotearoa
- Develop choreographers and evaluate level of capability
- Develop international networks
- Free the art of dance for Maori
- Collate information, evaluate and disperse
- Update database of practitioners
- Produce events as creative and financial promotional avenues
- Develop joint ventures and partnerships with other Toi Maori art form committees as well as other drama and dance organisations
- Grow funding base through subscriptions and projects
- Aitanga Descendance Maori Contemporary dance national summit
- Stephen supporting industry people through advice and assistance
- Funding sponsorship and grants
- Australian and Canada connections developed
- Displays and presentations at MAORI ART MARKet and other industry related events
If you would like more information on Contemporary Maori Dance, and would like to stay updated with the latest news, visit www.contemporarymaoridance.com