It was a great delight to stage our very first and experimental whare tapere. It took place on Waitangi Day, 6 February 2010, at Waimangō, Wharekawa, Hauraki. It was attended by approximately 150 people and was a wonderful success. We are very grateful to the many people who made this event possible including Louise Pōtiki-Bryant, Paddy Free, Jesse Wikiriwhi, Jack Gray, Tāne Mete, Rachel Ruckstuhl-Mann, Liana Yew, Tema Fenton-Coyne, Kura Te Ua, Erina Daniels, Horomona Horo, Alistair Fraser, James Webster, Brett Graham, Mātene Sisnett, Jeremy Fern, Kirsten Parkinson and Brendon Watt. We would also like to thank Te Whānau-a-Haunui for allowing us to present this whare wānanga on their papakāinga; and also much thanks to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga who supported the research which lead to the establishment of the first whare tapere.
for the programme for the day.
On Waitangi Day 2010 we were privileged to attend a sublime evening of entertainment and insight into the origins of what our ancestors might have experienced as part of the expression of the Whare Tapere. It was especially magnificent to have seen the reappearance of karetao into our performing arts culture; and that integrated with taonga pūoro, modern music, vocal and dance accompaniment gave us a unique and wonderful experience of the fusion of traditional and contemporary. I think it is important to expose our children to the wonders of Whare Tapere as coordinated by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, so they can participate in something unique to our culture that has a traditional foundation but still holds relevance to them today. Ngā mihi nui ki ngā kaimahi, ngā kaiwhakangahau me ngā kaiwhakahaere mō ā rātou mahi whakahirahira.
Hinewehi Mohi, singer, television producer, founder of the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre
It was a magical night. From the moment we arrived and until we left there was a sense of otherworldliness, from the lighting, to the location, to the evocative, haunting performance. Of course, what made things even better was the knowledge and reminder that this ‘otherworldliness’ was part of me and everyone there, and that performance, expression, and remembrance is so key to what anchors us as Māori. It was a unifying and proud event.
Miriama Kamo, television presenter
Carved into the side of a hill, and under a dark summer sky, Ōrotokare created its own magical space of gestures, movement and sound.
Moana Nepia, dancer, choreographer
As a first generation New Zealander, I felt humbled to be invited by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal to experience the Whare Tapere. It revealed a world of fun and joy and celebration that Aotearoa's ancestors practiced and that now thankfully is being rekindled. To witness this on Waitangi Day imbued this day in our country's history with a positive reflection on events when people came together, and not as a day of rebuke and regret. The setting, the dancers, the music transported us the audience. On a clear night in the Hauraki, as I competed with others at the games, finding a particular challenge tettering on the balancing planks, and hearing the traditional instruments resonate in the night, I hoped this would be the first of many more.
Pietra Brettkelly, director, producer
I muri i taku taenga ki te rangi whakangahau tino rawe rawa atu, i tū ki Waimangō i te rā o Waitangi 6 Hui-Tanguru 2010, ki aku whakaaro e tika ana me mihi ki a Charles Royal me ana hoa kaimahi mō ō rātou ngaio, mō ō rātou tāima, ā rātou pūtea me ō rātou ihi, ō rātou mana hoki, ki te whakarite i te Whare Tapere nei. I tutukihia te oati, i heke tētahi hunga, kotahi rau te rahi, i runga i te papa i whakaritea mō te mahi nei. He mahi pono tēnei ki te whakaora anō i ngā tikanga maha o te Whare Tapere mō ngā tāngata o ia pakeketanga katoa. Ka tumeke ngā tākaro tawhito ki aku tamariki. Ka pai ngā kanikani, ngā pūoro, ngā karetao, me te wairua katoa o te ahurei nei. Kua mārama au, ā, he pōuri hoki kei roto i a au, kāore mātou i te tino mau ki ngā tikanga tuturu o te Whare Tapere i mua i te taenga mai o te iwi Pākeha ki Aotearoa nei. He waimārie mātou ki te tū i roto i tētahi ope, ki te ako i te mātauranga o Charles, i rongo au i te mauri o te mahi nei. He mea pōuri ki a au kāore anō kia pāoho whānuitia ēnei mātauranga ki te hapori whānui. Ko taku tūmanako ka mahi tonu a Charles i roto i te mahi nei, ki te whakamīharo ki ētahi atu, ki te whakaatu ō rātou Whare Tapere mō rātou anō, me te hoatu ki te hunga taiohi te māramatanga me te aroha mō ēnei momo aronui.
Joanna Paul-Robie, television presenter, producer
I was intrigued with how the dancers portrayed femininity and masculinity within the dance. The setting for the performance evoked a strange and powerful feeling within me as I watched and listened. The farm land was transformed into a place of exploration, discovery and enjoyment. Children played freely and were given the chance to learn the games that our tūpuna would have enjoyed. Ōrotokare has certainly taken on this kaupapa of exploring and re-examining the practises of the whare tapere and how we can be re-informed and inspired by the myriad of different possibilities that it contains.
Moss Patterson, dancer, choreographer, Executive Director, Atamira Dance Company
Please see some images below by Serena Stevenson. All images are owned by Ōrotokare: Art, Story, Motion Trust.