July 15, 2021
Kai the star in Elemental event
Usually, dinner theatre means a meal served up before a play or concert in a restaurant, but for an event in the Auckland Elemental Festival, the kai is very much part of the theatre.
Artistic director Tausani Simei-Papalii came up with the idea of Takurua: Battle of the Brothers while working as head chef at Sails Restaurant in Rarotonga, where he saw it as a way to highlight Pacific culinary and cultural traditions.
Back here he’s enlisted Euro head chef Wallace Mua Frost to design a feast of neo-Pasifika cuisine interpreting ancient stories on the origins of Māorii & Pasifika food culture.
Between courses, there will be performances from Pasifika women’s dance collective Ura Tabu, choreography from the Tulou Collective, costumes by Shona Tawhiao and a fire dance by Amo Ieriko.
"The theatre is about the food and the food is about the theatre. It's a fully immersed production and it's definitely the first of its kind. For me it was the only way to truly showcase Māori and Pasifika manaakitanga because for me a western way of dining just doesn't do it," Mr Simei-Papalii says.
Takurua – “ Battle of the Brothers is at the Aotea Centre’s Hunua Room tonight and tomorrow and on July 23 and 24, with tickets from Ticketmaster.
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