Creation story beamed onto city buildings for Matariki

By Tess Nichol

A Matariki legend will come to life in Auckland tomorrow when a video about the world's creation is beamed onto buildings in the central city.

Created by Auckland Libraries digital content graduate Ripeka Read, the three-and-a-half-minute video incorporates te reo, kapa haka-inspired choreography and stunning visuals to tell a uniquely Maori story.

It will be projected onto the St James Theatre and other buildings next to the central library as part of the library's Turama Matariki Light Show, running for two nights on Thursday and Friday.

In the video, contemporary dancers enact the creation myth, telling the story of how Tane split his parents, Ranginui and Papatuanuku to let light in and reveal the world.

They perform on top of a bright and constantly moving swarm of light, which illuminates the buildings.

Narration in te reo tells the tale, and English subtitles help people read along if they don't speak the language.

"When it's projected people are going to hear it in te reo Maori and that was the key thing," said Read.

"The story is being told through movement but we've also got Maori music in the background."

The legend's screening just one of many family-friendly events as part of the light show on Lorne St, which also includes fire poi, a puppet show, kapa haka and kai as part of the free two-night celebration.

Read, who has been working with the library's graduate programme since February, said the project was her first.

"[It was a] collaborative project working with Maori who are passionate about Maori storytelling, which I think is the best thing about it," she told the Herald.

"I came in fresh and it was cool to take ownership over it."

Read is 21 and this was her first project.

She wanted it to be a contemporary take on the ancient Maori creation myth, told in an accessible way to people in a digital age.

"When people watch it I want them to think about what Matariki means to them.

"Matariki for me is a time to gather with my whanau and remember everyone who has passed on. One of the biggest things about Matariki it's a reminder. As Maori we're so intricately connected to our environment and when Matariki comes up it really reminds us. It's all about remembering who we are and how we are."

- NZ Herald

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