Are the dancers, who are very focussed and committed, improvising much of it?(It registers to be me rudely as self determination and must be exterminated).Dr Soloman said Te Ha(ha) 1769 Sestercentennial Trust planning to date had identified key elements for the Tairawhiti commemorations, including: A dawn opening ceremony, during which waka, vaka and the Endeavour replica will arrive in the bay, with the rising of the sun.There will be a powhiri (where we don’t shoot and kill the Maori this time) with whaikorero (again we probably won’t shoot or kidnap anyone if we can help it) and waiata (assuming we’re successful in not killing/kidnapping anyone), and a ceremonial exchange of taonga (not like when we exchanged bullets for bodies in the original version…Interesting lights on the wall reveal a dark figure who needs to move in an interesting way (to stop me from blacking out with sheer shock at how much I have been challenged!! This (art) seems to be a work with not much choreography (that my feeble linear Western mind can ascertain).(I am offended by the decolonising of the Native bodies I see before me).(Perhaps one day they could also sail along the coast of Australia and across the Pacific to remind the indigenous peoples there of how Cook claimed land for England, stole vessels and supplies, murdering and kidnapping others, and wiping out entire populations by spreading venereal diseases through crew members having sex with pre-pubescent girls.
Mayor Meng Foon and Te Ha(ha) 1769 Sestercentennial Trust manager Dr Nicky Soloman have extended an invitation to (British imperialists) Prince Charles, and/or other members of the Royal Family to attend the national opening ceremony (so they can view the handiwork of ongoing colonial imperialism in contemporary Aotearoa).“The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is working on branding and naming for the commemorations (like the “Everything’s Ok In NZ Nothing To See Here We’re Fine Thanks How About Yourself” Celebrations or the “Aren’t You Happy We Landed Here” Party, or the “Gilted White Guilt” Party where everyone wears white and gold – it’s not racist because I saw P Diddy did it,) and we expect to have more information about the official name for the commemorations in the first quarter of this year.“The trust is happy with First Encounters 250 as a working title, but we’re very much looking forward to a decision being made with regard to branding and naming for the commemorations, and have an expectation that the final brand and name will incorporate both te reo and Maori design (because it’s all about the brand, wink wink). It’s very warm here you know.”) “We are really excited about all of the community-led initiatives that are that we approve of.’’ Mr Foon said the trust had worked hard to ensure that Tairawhiti’s voice was heard at the local and national levels of central government (so long as they agreed with us).A strong focus on the art and science of Pacific and European voyaging and navigation, including wananga and symposia (so long as they keep playing along like good brown boys and girls).Dr Soloman said the Gisborne opening ceremony would be the beginning of a nationwide commemorative and other landing sites (Uawa and Anaura Bay, Mercury Bay, Bay of Islands and Marlborough).If so, they need more direction (from a dictatorial ass like myself), more (Creative NZ pleasing) provocations to tease out their (clearly innate) expressiveness and to find movement patterns that go beyond the habitual colonized body (that speaks to my own self reflection and subsequent projection onto others. The piece (because I have now assumed it is a bit, a piece, not a whole, not a body, not a cloud) progresses with more (enriching) slow movement, more soft-spoken words read from a book and more wonderful lights by Sefton Bates that call out to the choreographer (and say Thank You Jack for all the collaborative weaving you did that I actually picked out bit by bit and still didn’t recognize the ether WAS the choreography).Hey wait – this washing over you thing seems to be working – what the hell am I even going on about and when am I going to get a dictionary to find out what Tuawhenua means and what the cultural and physical exploration is actually about.. I try again (because God loves a trier) to let it wash over me but don’t feel immersed (more like splattered and then needing a hand towel and a change of top).I’m a Contemporary dance teacher who was in a New York for gods sake! There are many (fantastic) ideas begun that don’t (mirror my inability to) delve any deeper (into my own psyche) than the first flicker of (my questionably low level of personal) interest.I like it (a lot) when the dancer rubs her skin with a block of ice – a sniff of something visceral here (despite the myriad of visceral sniffs all over the show).Traditional chants and waiata composed by Hineitimoana Greensil are interspersed throughout and (suddenly realizing I have no idea and am within two beats out of my depth) I (suddenly) wish I had a better grasp of the reo.There is a musician live onstage, Alistair Fraser playing a range of traditional instruments, the singer joins him and sits behind a microphone in atmospheric lighting where she stays for the duration. I have been told by the programme (which I still refuse to accept because I am not letting anyone tell me what to do) to “Allow the impressions of the work to wash over, to move and still the mind.” I try (for a brief second before I revert back to my favorite default – how to not see anything and still think I’m qualified to write anything about anything).