Dancing, flying and a short trip to Gisborne

I mentioned in my last post that one of the things I was looking forward to this week was going to two dance performances.  The first of these was ‘Karst’, an evening of pieces choreographed by eleven final year contemporary dance students at the New Zealand School of Dance.  Production, lighting and costumes were by students from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School.  This is the third time I’ve been to this evening (see a review of last year’s show here), and yet again, came away impressed by the enthusiasm, energy and joy of the students.

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The show allows the students to experiment and try out new ideas, such as the opening piece where the audience stood on the balcony above the stage, and looked down on the dancers below.  For once, it was good to see the floor being used, as we could enjoy the patterns and shapes that the dancers were making.  Another piece I enjoyed, which I thought was going to be awful, was for two male dancers, one talking and telling a story about the other one, who danced with great humour and warmth.  A duet for another two of the male dancers, was also excellent. A great evening and it will be interesting to follow some of the dancers in the years to come.

This week also saw my first trip in connection with my current job, a two day visit to Gisborne in the east of North Island. The flight up there from Wellington was on a little, 20 seater plane.  The door to the cockpit was open, so it was fun to see out through the front of the aircraft as we came into land.  No matter how many times I fly, I still get excited to see from the air a new place as we come into land, and this was no exception.  The water was an amazing turquoise, and with the green hills behind, made for a stunning arrival to Gisborne.

Since I was basically there to work, there wasn’t really any time to see much of the town.  However, we did have an excellent dinner at Ussco on Thursday evening, where I ate an excellent snapper ravioli.  I regretted not having the Pacific oysters with red wine vinegar & crispy onion as a starter after tasting one, as it was so good.  We also had a really nice local Chardonnay, a wine associated with this area.

My planned early morning walk along the river on Friday, was cut short as it was really cold and windy. The Tuaranganui river in Gisborne is the shortest river in the Southern Hemisphere and formed by the confluence of the Taruheru and Waimata rivers.  At the mouth of the river, is a memorial to the Captain Cook’s first landing in New Zealand.

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Timber yard by the river

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Early morning, Gisborne

Amongst other things to see in the town is the Tairāwhiti Museum, a local, regional museum which houses some important local artifacts and histories, which I drove by though did not have time to visit.  I would really like to get back there sometime to spend a day wandering about and seeing a bit more of the town.

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Trompe l’oeil on a building

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 It was so cold, so here is a view of the water taken from the hotel

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