Photo by Philip Merry via New Zealand International Arts Fesitval
Masi premiers tonight in Wellington at the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Masi is The Conch Theatre’s much anticipated follow up to the international hit Vula, which I was lucky enough to see at the Brisbane Powerhouse Pasifika Festival in 2008.
Masi grows from a unique collaboration between artistic director Nina Nawalowalo, legendary British illusionist Paul Kieve (the only magic advisor to the Harry Potter films), and an explosive ensemble of six male Fijian dancers.
Masi interweaves the meaning of Fijian Tapa cloth with the remarkable story of the meeting of Nawalowalo’s parents in 1950s New Zealand. This meeting between a Fijian high chief from the island of Kadavu and the daughter of Cambridge-educated public schoolmasters, happened over a game of chess in Wellington. Their romance was captured in a beautiful set of photographs by then budding photographer Ans Westra.
This love story in black and white is reflected in the patterns of the Masi, as themes combine into a rich journey exploring loss, memory and the tracing of the lines that make us who we are.
The Conch Theatre
New Zealand International Arts Festival
2-6 March 2012
Level 2,Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa ( Te Papa)
Wellington, New Zealand
$NZ53 – $58
Source and image: New Zealand International Arts Festival