Monday, February 26, 2007

Take a bow!

Ka mihi atu ki a Whangara-mai-Tawhiti!
Congratulations to performance troupe, Whangara-mai-Tawhiti, for winning Te Matatini (a.k.a. "the Maori Olympics"). As an East Coast boy, I'm stoked the best kapa haka group in the country - indeed, the whole world - is from home. Ka mau te wehi! (yee-friggin-hah!) Hats off to Derek Lardelli for his vision, tireless energy and indomitable will; the driving force behind the young group's success. Kudos also to Wayne Ngata whose deep knowledge of musical tradition indubitably influenced the sparkling oratory and crisp, precise delivery. The performance itself was spell-binding and flawlessly executed. Especially, imo, the waiata-a-ringa (action song) with its sudden, dramatic changes of tempo and key, lending a soaring operatic intensity to the group's florid, flamboyant theatricality. My goosebumps still haven't subsided.

No doubt they'll be much festivity (and many kegs drunk) at Whangara marae over the next few days, not to mention a raft of party songs and dances by the Best Performers in Maoridom. What a great party that'd be to gatecrash! Well done, descendants of Paikea, children of Pukehapopo!

Kua eke ki te taumata
: you're simply the best!

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