The Matariki festival marks the star cluster risen on June 21 signaling the beginning of a month of celebration and entertainment.
It brings a modern take to a centuries-old Maori tradition with a series of concerts, family events and traditional celebrations.
From art exhibits, kapa haka, contemporary dance and kite flying there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Kaha is a dynamic new collection of short works from Atamira Dance Company, performed as part of the Matariki Festival 2012.
A powerful selection of eight short works, Kaha unites hallowed and established works from leading choreographers Moss Patterson, Taane Mete and Jack Gray alongside some incredible new works.
These include a contemporary version of the mighty haka performed by a full cast of professional dancers.
Inspired by personal experiences of their performers and whakapapa, Atamira Dance Company developed a style of contemporary Maori dance/stories.
The programme includes the return of stunning works Haka, Moko, Piata and Mitimiti from Patterson, Mete and Gray.
There's a debut high-vibe work, performed to drum and bass music from award-winning choreographer Kelly Nash, who has worked with Douglas Wright and Shona McCullagh.
It's on July 17 at the Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, corner Bader Dr and Orly Ave.
On July 19 it's at the Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre, 780 Great South Rd, Manukau.
For the full Matariki festival programme visit matarikifestival.org.nz.
A Matariki R18 event on tomorrow in the West Coast Gallery at Piha is Light'n Up – a night of wild dancing, lunacy and light from 8pm until late.
It features performances from Soul Samba Circus and The Skitz aka The Managers, DJ Shepherd aka Pied Piper. Mind-blowing light installations, stilt walkers, fire dancers, light performances and more are included.
Dress in homemade light-inspired costumes, the crazier the better, with prizes for the most stunning original handcrafted costumes. Judging at 10pm.
Call 098128029 for details and tickets.
For the school holidays, award-winning Outfit Theatre Company presents Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland at TAPAC Theatre, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs.
It's a must-see family adventure show.
The company's trademark style of gutsy and explosive entertainment promises a joyful outing with this much-loved family classic.
Alice in Wonderland is on July 4 to 14.
Visit tapac.org.nz for information.
Auckland's newest theatre, Q at Queen St, has mixed-ability dance group Touch Compass with its exciting new show Run, Slip, Spring, tonight and tomorrow.
The 7.30pm show features 10 dancers, a singer, three choreographers, three composers, plentiful props, ropes, bungy and a plethora of costumes.
The three parts start with Run by Marc Brew of the United Kingdom.
It's a hard-edged powerful work evoking desperation and escape that presents the idea of moving forward in our lives from the habits and histories that hold us back and restrict our growth. Part two is Slip, Carol Brown's dance that premiered at the Auckland Town Hall in August 2010.
Spring is the third part by Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship recipient Catherine Chappell – a pioneering dance piece that combines aerial bungy and contact improvisation.
Also at the Q, starting on July 10, Indian Ink Theatre Company returns with their back-to-back season of the two national hit plays Guru of Chai, July 10 to 21, and Krishnan's Dairy, July 25 to August 4.
Both are performed by award-winning story teller and actor Jacob Rajan and directed by Justin Lewis.
Guru of Chai is a heartbreakingly beautiful yet outrageously funny story of love, loss and enlightenment.
Jacob Rajan switches seamlessly between multiple characters and becomes seven sisters, a policeman, a poet, a series of gangsters and a poor chai-wallah.
The play has also enchanted international audiences since its 2011 United States premier in Los Angeles.
This theatre style is a collision of western theatrical traditions with the vibrant chaos of modern India.
Krishnan's Dairy tells about recent arrivals to New Zealand.
Gobi and Zina Krishnan have moved in search of a better life for themselves and their child, working hard and keeping their dreams stacked on the shelves of their struggling corner shop.
The show received stellar reviews and sell-out houses with a worldwide audience of more than 47,000 people.
Both shows run Monday and Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm.
All shows are at the Q Theatre, 305 Queen St.
Call the Q box office on 093099771 for details and tickets.
– Edna Heled
- North Harbour News
Are our classrooms becoming overcrowded?