I've been doing some exploratory workshopping with Taki Rua. Very nice to be back in a rehearsal room, working with actors. One of them is Maaka, who I already know from Strange Resting Places. There's also Aaron, who stage managed that show and is now acting in Twain, a terrific Maori woman called Ngapaki, and two other guys, Alan and James.
In the very limited time available to us, we can only really scratch the surface a bit. We manage to create a few intriguing little scenarios, and we also get to talk about Maori theatre and its place in relation to Maori people, New Zealand and the world. It's intriguing that so much Maori theatre is historical - it's to do with the ghosts, I suppose. But Maori film tends to be very contemporary. We talk about the possibility of bringing the ghosts directly into the contemporary world - but we don't really manage to do it practically. It would take some weeks to manage that!
I go to a show called 360, which involves sitting on a swivel chair while the action moves around on a circular stage. Then on to the Festival Club, where I get to meet Lissa, the Festival director, as well as the Chair of her board - a former Minister - and some key decision makers from Perth and Auckland. Very pleasing to hear that they all know about Border Crossings, and are interested in our work. Lots of DVDs to send out when I get home!
Spent the morning at the NZ Film Archive, watching a film called Patu! It's about the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand, the protests against it, and the extreme violence through which they were put down. The film-maker is Maori, but specifically Maori resistance is only a small part of the film - though an important one. It's very interesting to see the links that were made between them and the anti-apartheid struggle. Of course, it was Australia's approach to the Aboriginal people that gave the South Africans the model for apartheid.