AUT host first Māori and Indigenous performance symposium

By Taroi Black

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) hosts its first Māori and Indigenous performance studies symposium Ka Haka with the aim to empower Māori and indigenous stories with a contemporary twist. Some of the most recognizable names in New Zealand dance and film took part in this conversation.

Indigenous studies have stepped up to a whole new level.

Innovative Contemporary Artist Rosana Raymond says, “Indigenous empowerment is not scary in fact it's full of vitality, it's really sexy and it's really crazy cool."

Te Ara Poutama lecturer Dr Valance Smith, “This symposium is a platform for dancers, haka performers and researchers alike to come together to express their thoughts and experiences through contemporary and indigenous dance.”

The Ka Haka symposium allows artists like the famous NZ/Samoan Artist Rosana Raymond to share her culture.

"As long as we imbue our kids with things that I never grew up with - the reo with their oral histories, with the history of Aotearoa and the crown and I think if we steeped in our histories than we can sail through and navigate the urban landscape that we find ourselves in without losing our core principals," says Raymond.

Aotearoa musician Hinewehi Mohi says, “I wanted our language out there and the music was a vehicle for the language. After listening to Peter Williams acknowledging the anthem in Māori. Wow, who would've thought.”