Topics: Kapa Haka, Te Matatini

Performers will face the music

By Mere McLean

The massive work to get the competition up and running has been completed. Tomorrow, performers will face the music, but with any luck, not the burning sunlight.

For all the performers, spectators, officials, VIP and the family support, the main focus will be the stage.

Chris Gillies (Kaiwhakahaere Whakaaturanga) says, "Over the years one of the big issues we were getting quite a bit of sunlight onto the front rows of the performers and that caused a number of issues.  The carpet will get so hot performers were really struggling with the heat and many were complaining about burnt feet."

Thomas Mitai (Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti) says, "Our feet were burnt. It was very difficult for the performers, but that's what the weather gave us on that day." 

For Te Matatini 2017, the skies are the limit.

Gillies says, "This year is we created a sun study by an architectural firm created a computer generated model of the Mahau and followed the sun as is tracked across the sky and followed the sunlight we could then determine how far into the stage the sun would come."  

Gillies says, "Why do I do it?  Because I love it, I love this event and I practically love this event, I've worked in live entertainment, large rock n roll shows all sorts of things but Te Matatini is my most favourite event I meant it." 

On the day, this 300m walk to the stage is where it begins for performers.