Eyes on trophy as teams up tempo

Thursday August 02, 2018 Written by Published in Culture
Ohiva Williams performs in the title role of Takitumu’s ute based on the legend of Taakure. The photo was taken on Monday night at the National Auditorium. PHOTO: Lawrance Bailey 18073114 Ohiva Williams performs in the title role of Takitumu’s ute based on the legend of Taakure. The photo was taken on Monday night at the National Auditorium. PHOTO: Lawrance Bailey 18073114

The crowds are getting bigger, the final night is inching closer, and the pressure on performers to nail every inch of the national auditorium into the memories of those present is intense.

Three reo tupuna/pe’e chants from Vaka Takitumu, Tongareva and Mangaia revived the “tupapaku”- spirit world feel of the Arapo onstage, and, with a night moon lighting up the way for what felt like close to 1000 outside under the domes, the scene was set for some onstage magic.

It was another sellout night for ticketed families, VIPs and those wanting to see the real thing, but the numbers were pretty balanced between those inside the auditorium and the crowds enjoying the free close-up access to the stage via the big screens, the BSP ATM, Bluesky top up tent, and local food vendors were well on target to head towards empty by the end for the night, 11 items later.

The pe’e chants, because of their storylines, history, and delivery, are closest to reviving the Arapo, a time of invoking the Gods of planting, fertility, fishing, and all activities linked to our traditional phases of the moon.

For the friends of Takitumu who composed, put to song, choreographed and costumed the vaka Takitumu performers, the pe’e was a dip through the different phases and activities from the Tiroe through the Motu arapo, just before the new lunar cycle begins.

Tongareva and Mangaia sat on the extremes of the Arapo story in their chants: Tongareva looking to God and the origin of man in their pese composed by Tumukorero Manata Akatapuri. Mangaia’s promise to make the hairs on our skin start crawling was delivered with ‘etene’ effect with their pe’e on the nights when spirits/ghosts rise - the arapo marangi, the turu, rakau, and rakau akaoti.

Another section where stronger narratives are delivered through lyrics is the ute section, with Pamati, Rakahanga and Mauke presenting their unique take on harvesting from nature’s cupboard. For Pamati, the team composition and costumes using stark contrast between striking pink, and the white feathers of the tavake told the story of how the island community organises, collects and then shares the birds.

Rakahanga’s rousing ute, composed by Rua Greig, was a feisty celebration of te po marama, when the moon is at its brightest, in contrast to te po kau poiri, when the island is in total darkness. Closing off the Ute section for the night, Mauke’s Uriaau George, mama Metua Tereia, and Akerongo Teatai took their composition inspiration from the Marangi phase, when the Tapura-iti signifies the best times for planting and fishing.

In the kapa rima action song category, Mitiaro, Atiu and Manihiki took to the stage- Mitiaro first with their instructive journey through the arapo, beginning with the Anga runga – the best nights for reef fishing, and progressing to the anga raro, where the light wanes to the darkness. Costume design for this group composition came from Tuvaine Tou Numanga. Atiu stunned with a composition from Tuaine Unuina supported by Mann Unuia and Tangata Patia Vainerere. The story of Atiu’s warrior woman Aketairi, who used the arapo to go into battle to defend her tribe. This beautifully rendered legend was dedicated to the late paramount queen of Atiu, Ada Rongomatane, who is a direct descendant of Aketairi.

The drum dance section rounding off both the first and second halves of the program- Aitutaki taking the lead with the ura pa’u from the creative minds of Teremoana Aurupa and Kurataunga Moetaua in a powerful drumming sequence that showcased the best of Aitutaki, with some edge to keep the younger hearts happy. The ura pau left no stones unturned on the fertility practices which are tied to the arapo. Oire Nikao and composer Piritau Nga brought the theme back to the middle ground with a run through the moon phases of Nikao, including the moving narrative around new birth and growth. On the second night of Te Maeva Nui, the delight of dance, embedded in our legends and stories, provide the compelling magic that keeps the crowds coming.

Photos from Tuesday night’s performances, pages 8&9.

            - Lisa Williams-Lahari

The crowds are getting bigger, the final night is inching closer, and the pressure on performers to nail every inch of the national auditorium into the memories of those present is intense.

Three reo tupuna/pe’e chants from Vaka Takitumu, Tongareva and Mangaia revived the “tupapaku”- spirit world feel of the Arapo onstage, and, with a night moon lighting up the way for what felt like close to 1000 outside under the domes, the scene was set for some onstage magic.

It was another sellout night for ticketed families, VIPs and those wanting to see the real thing, but the numbers were pretty balanced between those inside the auditorium and the crowds enjoying the free close-up access to the stage via the big screens, the BSP ATM, Bluesky top up tent, and local food vendors were well on target to head towards empty by the end for the night, 11 items later.

The pe’e chants, because of their storylines, history, and delivery, are closest to reviving the Arapo, a time of invoking the Gods of planting, fertility, fishing, and all activities linked to our traditional phases of the moon.

For the friends of Takitumu who composed, put to song, choreographed and costumed the vaka Takitumu performers, the pe’e was a dip through the different phases and activities from the Tiroe through the Motu arapo, just before the new lunar cycle begins.

Tongareva and Mangaia sat on the extremes of the Arapo story in their chants: Tongareva looking to God and the origin of man in their pese composed by Tumukorero Manata Akatapuri. Mangaia’s promise to make the hairs on our skin start crawling was delivered with ‘etene’ effect with their pe’e on the nights when spirits/ghosts rise - the arapo marangi, the turu, rakau, and rakau akaoti.

Another section where stronger narratives are delivered through lyrics is the ute section, with Pamati, Rakahanga and Mauke presenting their unique take on harvesting from nature’s cupboard. For Pamati, the team composition and costumes using stark contrast between striking pink, and the white feathers of the tavake told the story of how the island community organises, collects and then shares the birds.

Rakahanga’s rousing ute, composed by Rua Greig, was a feisty celebration of te po marama, when the moon is at its brightest, in contrast to te po kau poiri, when the island is in total darkness. Closing off the Ute section for the night, Mauke’s Uriaau George, mama Metua Tereia, and Akerongo Teatai took their composition inspiration from the Marangi phase, when the Tapura-iti signifies the best times for planting and fishing.

In the kapa rima action song category, Mitiaro, Atiu and Manihiki took to the stage- Mitiaro first with their instructive journey through the arapo, beginning with the Anga runga – the best nights for reef fishing, and progressing to the anga raro, where the light wanes to the darkness. Costume design for this group composition came from Tuvaine Tou Numanga. Atiu stunned with a composition from Tuaine Unuina supported by Mann Unuia and Tangata Patia Vainerere. The story of Atiu’s warrior woman Aketairi, who used the arapo to go into battle to defend her tribe. This beautifully rendered legend was dedicated to the late paramount queen of Atiu, Ada Rongomatane, who is a direct descendant of Aketairi.

The drum dance section rounding off both the first and second halves of the program- Aitutaki taking the lead with the ura pa’u from the creative minds of Teremoana Aurupa and Kurataunga Moetaua in a powerful drumming sequence that showcased the best of Aitutaki, with some edge to keep the younger hearts happy. The ura pau left no stones unturned on the fertility practices which are tied to the arapo. Oire Nikao and composer Piritau Nga brought the theme back to the middle ground with a run through the moon phases of Nikao, including the moving narrative around new birth and growth. On the second night of Te Maeva Nui, the delight of dance, embedded in our legends and stories, provide the compelling magic that keeps the crowds coming.

 

            - Lisa Williams-Lahari

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