Manawa Whenua A SPRING OF FRAGRANT WATER
Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College), 42 Lucknow Road, Havelock North
20/10/2018 - 20/10/2018
Each person’s experience is unique. A narrow opening that can take you through a network of cracks. We have all been there …. we know that life has its challenges.
As we develop we meet new people and become influenced by situations, the way water that travels through large deep caves emerges to create magnificent rivers and streams.
A Spring of Fragrant Water is an exploration of 15 young, inspired and inspiring voices from this place, at this time, and how the world fits, or doesn’t fit, around them.
Furnware Ambassador Programme is about supporting the next generation of performance creatives. Each year a select group of senior secondary students, aged 15-20, is invited to participate in all facets of Harcourts Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival, both on stage and behind the scenes, with opportunities to engage with professional practitioners, develop their skills, devise original work, and this year, take up leadership roles in our Festival of Youth.
A Spring of Fragrant Water is their show – an exhilarating opportunity for our ambassadors to test their skills and learning on the Festival stage.
The Blyth Performing Arts Centre (Iona College)
Sat 20th October 2018
Child – 16 and under: $10
Theatre , Spoken word ,
Naive and vulnerable, emotional and unkempt, bold and political
Review by Kim Buckley 21st Oct 2018
It is The universal existential question: “Why am I here?” These young people who perform before us today are no less qualified than the rest of us to ask this. In the Q & A at the end of the work, a mature audience member states, “I remember feeling exactly the same thing when I was in my youth.” Another qualifies, “It gets better as you become an adult”; yet another: “Thanks for having the courage to speak.”
This group of young people from secondary schools across the Hawkes Bay are gathered to give us their thoughts and voices as unique individuals in a work named Manawa Whenua – A Spring of Fragrant Water. They are directed by Daniel Betty and Puti Lancaster. Betty states of the working process, he wanted to create the “opportunity to work without judgement or fear” and there were joyful and tearful explorations to get to the piece we see today. The members are selected almost as interns of the performing arts and are invited to take up many opportunities behind the scenes and on stage of the Hawkes Bay Arts Festival. It is a fabulous way to engage in all the facets of the performing arts field.
The work itself is naive and vulnerable, emotional and unkempt, bold and political. This generation of youth know intrinsically what we face in our world, as we overpopulate our beautiful mother Earth. The Earth loves us, she is just trying to cope. A clear male voice laments, “Hold on just a little while longer, everything will be alright.” A waiata is spoken with movement “My language is an ornament of grace.” David Bowie’s famous song ‘Changes’ is sung, clear as bell, in a stunning tone that melts my heart; beautiful and simple. An accumulated poem is recited poignantly leaving no stone unturned.
My only gripe is, when the guitar is played and the songs are sung we cannot clearly identify the questions and ironic maxims the performers are telling us. Overall, this is a piece of physical theatre that shows a fragmentation of everything we currently know to be our world, the world that we need to be united in order to feel connected and safe. The theme is past, present, and future, hope, faith and inspiration. Quite clearly, and conceivably universally, this next generation of young people may even come up with the answers.
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