7 Nov 2013

Dance symposium to explore indigenous dance forms

7:07 am on 7 November 2013

An international dancers' symposium aims to explore how different cultures are modernising traditional indigenous dance forms.

The hui (meetings) have been organised by Kowhiti Production as part of its Wellington-based festival, Atarau - A Beam of Light.

The event features performances by indigenous contemporary dancers from countries such as Australia, North America and South Africa.

One of the Kowhiti organisers, Tanemahuta Gray, says the symposium is an opportunity for dancers to talk about how they blend their culture in to their craft.

He says on one level, tangata whenua in New Zealand receives good support from society for its art.

But he says their international compatriots' dance forms appear to be on a more primal and tribal level than Maori, and tangata whenua seem to have lost a bit of hard edge, perhaps because of colonisation.

Atarau - A Beam of Light is being held at Wellington locations including the National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa and the Wellington Opera House from 6 - 9 November.