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Maori dance theatre performs in Calgary

Article Origin


Kenneth Williams, Sweetgrass Writer, Calgary







Page 9

A group of fierce-looking men waving sticks, growling at you and sticking their tongues out hardly seems like dinner entertainment.

The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre of New Zealand performed 11 shows over Christmas and New Year's at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Calgary.

The Kahurangi dancers have performed all over the world, including at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988.

"The challenge of writing and producing material for Kahurangi is always stimulating because I know that the strength and vitality of the performers will bring to life the songs and dances of the Maori people with an energy and excitement that literally surrounds an audience," said Tama Hutata, founder, artistic and executive director.

Maori dance and singing is aggressive and exciting. Drawn from their traditions, these songs and dances were originally intended to scare off enemies or impress friends with their strength and power.