Dancing from Te Kore into Te Ao Marama
Contemporary Indigenous performance awakens and brings into ‘now’ the inherited mauri of all that we are, carried through the wairua from our ancestors and the whenua in the woven whariki of memory held in time and space. Whether in Aotearoa or on another’s whenua, on a stage, in someone’s lounge room or in the ngahere gathering rongoa, when we dance from te kore into te ao marama, we activate ihi, wehi and wana: a power that awakens within and between us and the universe. We come alive in the performance of our cultures and ourselves, see our living relevance today, and are uplifted by our potential to contribute to our world socially, culturally, politically, spiritually and personally. Māori culture activates in me keys and the tools, ways of moving and giving voice, the power to share who I am in my fullness today with other cultures. This presentation reflects on the power of my own current practice as it represents the culmination of my performances, dance teaching, cultural exchanges and facilitation experiences within New Zealand and internationally. How might performing as Maori and Indigenous peoples be seen to strengthen and empower our selves, communities and cultures, whoever and wherever we are in the creation of the future?