Cultural Performance

Song and dance are a powerful way for individuals to express themselves, and through sharing this experience, people from all cultures are able to come together to express their common humanity. At Ko Tāne we encourage members of the audience to take part in our performances.

  • The haka, or war dance, has become famous worldwide through our national rugby team, the All Blacks. Traditionally, men would perform haka before a battle. The flashing eyes, outthrust tongues and warlike gestures of the warriors would strike fear into the hearts of their enemies.
  • The early whalers were known to have taken Māori maidens as wives as the direct result of viewing them performing with the poi. We use short poi, which can be beaten on the body and hands to produce sound and rhythm.
  • Waiata ā ringa combines movement, song, expressions and dance. The movements have meanings which refer to the words of the song. The women’s facial expressions, particularly the flashing eyes, are an important element of the performance.
  •  The tī rākau, or tītī sticks, are a popular rhythmic game. Although the performers make it look easy, it’s a difficult art to master, as any small mistake will spoil the exchanges of sticks. Kapa haka groups will vie with one another to produce sequences of brilliant complexity.

60 Hussey Road, Christchurch, New Zealand  Phone: +64 3 359 6226  Fax: +64 3 359 6212

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