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WOMAD reaches out to schools

WOMAD reaches out to schools

Youngsters in South Taranaki will get up close and personal with a traditional dance and percussion group from Papua New Guinea today (Wed 12 Mar).

WOMAD and Shell New Zealand is joining together to provide a rare opportunity for children to experience dance, mime, drumming and song in workshops alongside the visiting artists today and tomorrow (Thursday, Mar 13).

Airileke, will work with children from four South Taranaki schools over two days at Wharepuni marae, Normanby, and children will be encouraged to try out some traditional dance and songs before performing with the group in front of parents and community members in a final show on Thursday.

Bridget Abernethy, External Affairs Manager for Shell NZ said:”We are very pleased to be guests of the Wharepuni Marae, and to be involved in welcoming WOMAD’s international artists to our community.”

“The WOMAD community programme aims to ensure that even if you can’t get to the festival, you can experience some of the greatness of the event. This is a special community and one that we are very proud to support.”

Part of the workshop includes mime from one of PNG’s well known actors and mime artists, Markham Galut, and he will demonstrate mime for the children.

The songs and dances of Airileke reflect the natural environment that the group comes from, such as the beautiful Birds of Paradise. Older children will be given an opportunity to hear about West Papua, a Pacific island ‘nation in waiting’ - that is, a place that is still fighting for its freedom. The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand is an inspiration to many indigenous people, including the West Papuans.

The Community Programme aims to make WOMAD accessible to the people of Taranaki through projects such as participatory workshops and free community performances.

Shell is a long term partner of WOMAD and through its valuable support WOMAD is able to extend its activities beyond the festival into the local communities. The children involved in the programme will each receive a complimentary Sunday
festival pass which enables them to bring a parent along to enjoy the festival for the day. Each school principal will also receive a complimentary double Sunday festival pass.

The programme for the schools are:

Wednesday, 12 March: Wharepuni Marae, Fraser Road, Normanby

- Workshop 10am – 11.30am; Ramanui Primary & St Patrick’s School, Kaponga.

Thursday, 13 March: Wharepuni Marae, Fraser Road, Normanby - Workshop 10am – 11.30am; Normanby and Matapu Schools. From 12 noon – 1pm; schools and artists perform.


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