A cultural presentation featuring Māori performing arts through live song and dance by San Francisco Bay Area kapa haka group, Māori Mo Ake Tonu. The Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand). The performance will include elements of waiata (songs), waiata-a-ringa (story telling dances), poi and haka. The numbers for the performance are inspired by the taonga (treasures) in the collection at the Hearst Museum. A key element of Maori performing arts is facial expression, especially the emphasis on eyes (pukana) and mouth.
About the Performers: We are Māori Mo Ake Tonu, which means Māori Forever in the native Māori language of New Zealand. As a Kapa Haka group, we are proud to represent New Zealand and to bring a touch of the New Zealand Maori culture to the San Francisco Bay Area. We perform song and dance of the Māori people from New Zealand and our performances consist of action songs using our hands, legs and bodies to depict different words. We also use a variety of implements from New Zealand such as Poi Balls, Taiaha, Patu, and Titi Torea. We have performed at many events including the San Francisco Aloha Festival and have provided many educational programs to local schools and libraries.
Tracey Wihongi Panek founded and directs Māori Mo Ake Tonu (Māori Forever), a Māori performing arts group. This San Francisco Bay Area group has performed throughout the Western United States and Hawaii. Māori Mo Ake Tonu preserves Maori culture, music and dance of the indigenous people of New Zealand by performing skillful poi dances, story-telling action songs, and haka. Ms. Panek has taught numerous workshops and has been an instructor at Walnut Creek Civic Arts, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, Stanford Live and Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp.
Ms. Panek has performed at a variety of venues including the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and as a guest artist at California State University, East Bay and Theater Dance & Performance Studies, University of California, Berkeley. She has a Master's Degree in History and a Diploma in Maori Performing Arts from the Manaakitanga Aotearoa Trust in New Zealand.