Singing, acting, kapa haka, taonga pūoro, film, and dance come together in a ground-breaking and dazzling musical drama, from acclaimed New Zealand writer Witi Ihimaera, historian Tom Roa (Waikato-Tainui), and composer Janet Jennings.
Flowing Water tells the epic story of the Waikato River and all the peoples nurtured by the river - Māori, Pakeha and later migrants in a landmark production written and produced specially for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2018.
'Waikato' means 'flowing water’ in te reo Māori, and the action starts with mythical river spirits awaiting the arrival of the Tainui canoe. When the canoe voyagers first felt the river while out at sea, they remarked on the 'kato', the pull of the River's strong current.
Not all of New Zealand's history has been peaceful and the drama includes enactments of two key conflicts - the Waikato Wars (in particular, the Battle of Rangiriri) and World War I (Gallipoli).
Directed by John Drummond, the thrilling première features a large cast of leading performers with strong Waikato links, including soprano Anna Mahon and kapa haka group Te Haona Kaha.