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Whānau Day For Māori Circus School Hits The Big Top

Due to a successful showcase in 2023 of a new circus school combining acrobatics and Māori theatre, a second Whānau Day for Te Kura Maninirau is scheduled for January to introduce children and families to the joys of the circus.

The energetic school – which is based in Auckland, aims to make circus performance more accessible to Māori and is established under the umbrella of two professional performing arts companies – Te Pou Theatre, the home of Māori theatre in Auckland, and The Dust Palace, New Zealand’s leading circus theatre company. The companies are again combining forces for their second Whānau Day, showcasing their students and the work produced by Te Kura Maninirau.

“The purpose of the open day is to allow our community to engage with the arts and explore it as a viable vocation and to encourage our rangatahi to develop their interest in the arts, especially as circus performers,” says Tainui Tukiwaho, the co-founder of Te Pou Theatre.

The whānau-focused day will include workshops in circus and aerial arts, juggling and tumbling exercises, performances from the students, poi workshops, and food trucks for the entire day.

Te Kura Maninirau Manager, Natasha Van Etten, says the Whānau Day has become a stable for the school and past events have allowed the school and its students to showcase their hard work and dedication.

“Whānau are extremely grateful to be able to experience the magic of circus on this day, which gives everyone a little taste of what we are about,” she says.

“People of all ages and abilities enjoy experiencing the wonders of the circus. The atmosphere is fun, relaxed, and welcoming and provides a great excuse to get out of the house in the holidays!”

Te Kura Maninirau Whānau Day is on Sunday 21 January, from 10am-3pm at Te Pou Theatre, Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mt Lebanon Lane, Henderson, Auckland.

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