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Te Reo championed throughout AAF 2021

10 Dec 2020
Te Reo championed throughout AAF 2021
Ria Hall pictured. Taku Tau Kahurangi : An Aotearoa Love Story

Te Reo Championed Throughout AAF 2021

Auckland Arts Festival/Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki (AAF) is back in 2021, with a new Kaihautū Māori and sector-leading Māori language programme in place.

Ataahua Papa joined AAF in August 2020 in the role of Kaihautū Māori/Director of Māori Programming and Language. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge about tikanga Māori along with an impressive background in the arts, as a practitioner, performer and more recently, an organiser.

Ata leads AAF’s Toitū Te Reo programme, a language plan in its third year that upholds the mana of te reo as a taonga and integral part of daily life. In 2021, Toitū Te Reo is integrated into all aspects of the Festival, ensuring that te reo Māori is seen and heard every day.

After cutting its 2020 season short due to COVID-19, in 2021 AAF will take place between 4 and 21 March 2021 and feature a selection of more than 70 multi-art shows and events at theatres, galleries and unique indoor and outdoor venues across Tāmaki Makaurau.

All 2021 shows and events fall into three strands related to the Festival’s overarching theme of Aroha: aroha ki ngā kōrero – the respect we hold for our stories; aroha ki te tangata – kindness, compassion and goodwill toward people; and aroha ki te taiao – our love and care for our natural environment – air, land and water.

Featured Toitū Te Reo events include Festival opening ceremony Te Tīmatanga; kapa haka extravaganza Pūmanawa; and the moving poetry of Maya Angelou translated into te reo, delivered by a host of language warrior women from across Aotearoa in Wāhine Toikupu.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will lead Festival-goers in launching AAF 2021 with karakia and ceremony at Te Tīmatanga. Attendees will be able to sing along with Pere Wihongi and Maaka Pohatu to Māori songs that they grew up with.

Pūmanawa  brings together four brilliant kapa haka who embody the idea of legacy, talent and dedication to a centuries-old way of celebration. This performance by Te Rōpū Manutaki, Te Iti Kahurangi, Tūwhitia kia Angitu and 2019 Te Matatini winners Ngā Tūmanako, will be incredibly powerful and is particularly important as the annual kapa haka competition Te Matatini has been postponed until 2022.

Beloved singer-songwriter Moana Maniapoto performs My Name is Moana, joined by her sister Trina, Pitch Black’s Paddy Free and ace guitarist Cadzow Cossar for a heartfelt musical and narrative tribute to the ocean and Aotearoa. The show tours four regional centres, including Papakura, Glen Innes, Warkworth and Waiheke.

Taku Tau Kahurangi: An Aotearoa Love Story is a collection of classic New Zealand songs, performed by the stunning Ria Hall and friends. The full set list has just been confirmed, and includes tracks from Emma Paki (‘Greenstone’), Herbs (‘French Letter’), Shihad (‘Pacifier’), Kora (‘Politician’), Split Enz (‘I Hope I Never’) and Prince Tui Teka/Ngoi Pewhairangi (‘E Ipo’).

Wāhine Toikupu offers an opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Month with a selection of poems from The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, which have been translated into te reo Māori by a host of language warrior women from across Aotearoa. The bilingual event will be co-hosted by Pānia Papa and Miriama Kamo of Kotahi Rau Pukapuka and features wāhine graduates from Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Institute of Māori Language Excellence.

AAF 2021 proudly showcases the world-class artists of Aotearoa, launching at a time when venues in many other countries are still unable to open. It is an opportunity to champion the crucial role of the arts in providing solace, energy and hope in difficult times.

The 100% Aotearoa 2021 programme was revealed on 25 November in a video streamed on AAF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, following an initial reveal on 11 November that announced Taonga Moana, Pūmanawa, and Che-Fu & The Kratez.

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