Regional | Dance

Tiaho Pō: Uniting Māori and ballet worlds

Māori composers are collaborating with the Royal New Zealand Ballet to produce Tiaho Pō, a production celebrating Matariki.

The whānau-led creation gives youth the opportunity to take part in a series of ballet workshops.

Bringing together the world of Māori and ballet, Tiaho Pō is a story written by author Juanita Teepa for the ballet company.

“It is a story of love and empathy between the moon and the sun,” Teepa says. "So we must be mindful of our actions, especially regarding resources for future generations. Let us not withhold these assets so that they may be used by them in the future."

Teepa is no stranger to the ballet company.

Ballet company master Laura McQueen Schultz says, “The great thing about this year's production is that Juanita wrote us a whole new story instead of just translating and that's amazing.”

"This is our third work for the company for the Te Papa family shows and our first work, the Ugly Duckling, was the first time we had involved te reo narration and translation for the work," Ballet master Nicholas Schultz says.

"Last year we did work called Tane and the Kiwi, which also included te reo. This is the first year we've had a new story written for us by Juanita and Gareth, with our wonderful team, with Chris. It's just a joy to do."

Musical producers also include Jeremy Mayall and Horomona Horo.

“Audiences can expect to see a beautiful story told to beautiful music while embracing the mana that these dancers and everybody involved has done.”

Tiaho Po will launch in July.