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Taane's Pride

Thu 22 Jan 2015 In: Performance View at Wayback View at NDHA

Can you even imagine? Taane Mete performing a solo piece inspired by Michael Parmenter’s epic 1999 production Jerusalem, to a song by the late Mahinarangi Tocker. The breath-taking fusion of the work of three of our community’s most loved and revered artists will open this year’s Pride Gala. Taane Mete “My dear friend Michael Parmenter, a fantastic choreographer, I asked him if I could perform one of his pieces from a show I did years ago called Jerusalem. And he immediately said ‘yes of course’,” Mete tells “The beautiful thing is also, Mahinarangi Tocker, another one of our takaatapui sisters who unfortunately passed away, I’ll be dancing to her song.” Mete says he feels very honoured. “It’s a very powerful moment for me. Hopefully it will set a reasonable standard for the Gala performance.” Mete is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished and sought-after dancers and choreographers, with a career spanning back to the late 80s. He was a founding member and a senior dancer for Black Grace Dance Company and now runs the Okareka Dance Company with close friend and creative partner Taiaroa Royal. He hasn’t been deeply involved in Auckland Pride Festival before, as it has simply been a busy time of year. “I’ve never had the chance to give back to our community. However it’s been a great matter of timing that I’m able to participate, which is awesome.” The Parmenter-inspired piece will be performed again during Tapac’s Auckland Pride Festival event, Night of the Queer. The Tapac selection will also include a 10 minute piece from Okareka Dance Company’s newly-reworked K’ Rd Strip, which is heading to Edinburgh for a month-long run in August. The show is a Okareka-style portrait of gay culture in inner city Auckland. K' Rd Strip is heading to Edinburgh Mete is rapt to be returning to Edinburgh – he was last there in a production with Mika and Royal way back in 1997. “It went off so, so much and we were requested to go back the following couple of years, which was great, but unfortunately that didn’t happen … it was always a goal that Tai and I wanted to reach for, to take another show back, and it happens to be our company, so we are very, very pleased.” The show, its script and music are all being developed, and characters are being rebuilt. “Just a whole general makeover,” Mete summarises. “It will add a real powerful edge to the piece.” He is confident the Edinburgh audiences “will actually get it,” explaining “there’s actually a K’ Rd in many, many cities in many countries all over the world. It’s going to resonate. It’s not a story for the queer community. It’s a story for everyone. Basically it’s a story of love lost and hope. In lots of ways a very universal story.” While he’s utterly excited about Edinburgh, he is also delighted to be involved in Auckland Pride Festival, as he loves to see the community getting into the spirit of the event, and take ownership of it. “I believe that there’s a lot of energy in the community. It’s going to be great. Theatres around Auckland are jumping on board too … it’s a widespread festival, it should be awesome.” Mete loves the increased push for even more cultural diversity this year, and the involvement of people of all ages. “I really feel that this year in particular there’s going to be a very strong coming together of the queer community, which is fantastic.” He adds, “I really wish everyone the best during the Pride Festival and all the festivities of it. And I know that everyone will have a great time.”Auckland Pride Gala tickets are on sale here  Night of the Queer tickets are on sale here Jacqui Stanford - 22nd January 2015    

Credit: Jacqui Stanford

First published: Thursday, 22nd January 2015 - 9:22am

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