Students reimagine Rarotonga

Friday October 27, 2017 Written by Published in Local
The students spent time learning about imene tuki with entertainer Henry Taripo. 17102524/Debbie Futter-Puati The students spent time learning about imene tuki with entertainer Henry Taripo. 17102524/Debbie Futter-Puati

A group of final year interactive composition students from Melbourne university are on Rarotonga participating in an eight-day programme which involves learning about the drums, dance and song of the Cook Islands.


The group, led by artistic director and Professor Mark Clement Pollard, will present the results of their work and research in a performance titled, “Resonating Spaces: Rarotonga Reimagined,” at the Punanga Nui market on Saturday morning.

The performance will take place at 11.00am but the students will be at the market from 9.30am to 12.00pm.

The students have created audio-visual responses to Rarotonga, interacting with the local community and environment and exploring issues of sustainability, climate change, culture, history and more.

A cultural workshop held at Titikaveka College this week was part of the programme and local dancer and teacher Samantha Ellison, drummer Mark Short and singer, performer and composer Henry Taripo provided the students with an introduction to their artistic disciplines.

“A major part of this project is documenting and creating a sound snapshot of Rarotonga. Each student was given a creative brief to sonically document Rarotonga,” said Pollard.

Motone Productions director Glenda Tuaine said that in 2015, Motone and local artists had developed a similar programme for 20 final year interactive composition students from the university. 

Those students were a part of the inaugural New Colombo Plan scholarships. The New Colombo Plan is an Australian government initiative which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region. 

“The New Colombo Plan is intended to be transformational, deepening Australia’s relationships in the region, both at the individual level and through expanding university, business and other stakeholder links,” said Tuaine.

 “In 2017, the university sourced their own funding to make this year’s project happen.

“We were delighted to learn from Mark that funding from the Australian Federal Government as part of the New Colombo Project had been confirmed for them for the next three years, meaning Motone will work with the university to increase Cook Islands development in interactive composition too. 

“Make sure you head to the market on Saturday to see and hear the final compositions.”

            - Release/CS

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