Labour Weekend and the Tauranga Arts Festival 2015 may have gone but its tradition and flavour linger. It is part of the established palette of Tauranga-based activities and part of the traditional “cultural bones” of the district. This year’s festival was strap-lined “the World comes to Tauranga” and it did. From every corner performance, events and display appeared. Diane Hume-Green’s comment on the performance of Casus evokes the Festival’s diversity and quality.
A breathtaking dance performance from Australian based dance group, Casus. The soundtrack and lighting set the tone for this show. Deep powerful beats, dark stage with ropes hanging down and ladders grouped together in a strange formation. The electronica soundtrack ebbed and flowed as the dancers interacted with each other and then did their solo pieces. Physical strength was apparent not only from their rock hard abs, but their ability to balance on each other at precarious angels was amazing. Every movement choreographed to challenge not only the dancers but also the audience. I had sweaty palms just watching them. Their minimal costumes and the moody set were perfect for the style of the dance. Being alone and then wanting to touch and communicate with others was the theme of the performance. The ending was manic with all your senses on fire listening to the screeching static sounds culminating in a crescendo of sound and the strobe lighting making their movements look chaotic and crazy. Daring feats of balancing and strength made the audience gasp audibly especially when they were three bodies high. A thoroughly engaging and interesting performance which amazingly was only an hour long.
In the Baycourt foyer there was a display of black and white photos by Bob Tulloch. The Faces of Tauranga Moana exhibition showed people who represent nineteen Tauranga Moana marae. The portraits of both men and women were strong, dignified and interesting. Some were photographed in front of their meeting houses and some had the harbour or other landscape features in the background.
Diane Hume-Green: Writer Diane Hume-Green is regular contributor to ARTbop through her column Scene about Town, She is also a lead interviewer/conversationalist on The ARTbopSHOW. Diane is a member of Tauranga Writers and the local TedX organising group. She is the eldest daughter of an established Tauranga music, business and creative family. Diane recounts family stories of her attendance at Tauranga Jazz Club events in her carrycot. With her background in fabric, fashion, interior and architectural design, her continuing participation in a broad spectrum of arts and creativity and her attendance at a wide range of performance, social and community activities, Diane’s contributions are an interesting and readable insight into current Tauranga.