Masi is another ‘must see’ festival show. Like the quest it embodies it is simultaneously mysterious and exotic yet strangely familiar.
As creator/director and the pivotal performer, Nina Nawalowalo draws on the history, mythology and craft of masi (Fijian tapa cloth) to find her own way back to her paternal roots. Her Fijian high chief father met his English nurse bride-to-be in 1950s Wellington and ‘home’, for Nina, is New Zealand (although she trained in mime, magic, mask and clown in London and Paris and has performed and taught all over the world).
Photos taken by a young Ans Westra establish the young courting couple, who are ‘made flesh’ by Victoria Abbott and Alexander Tarrant. The chess game captured in one photo becomes a motif for their relationship. The lyrical physicality of their performances speaks volumes in the nature of their romance at that time.
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