Saturday, March 04, 2006

Poi Pilgrimage Continues in Wellington...

So, Wellington is a cool city. It reminds me a bit of San Francisco with the hills and the way people drive and park. It's also very windy, and I went on some great runs up until I caught a cold.

Things are going well here. We've made some great friends with local fire spinners, who let us camp in their back yard. Big thanks to Todd, Grif, and Jess! Grif took us on a great tour of Wellington hilltops, including a stop at their (one and only) windmill turbine. Hopefully they'll build many more.

We had a particularly good get-together with Migoto, a young Maori woman who'd doing her masters degree on creating a system for documenting/teaching poi momves. She did a big poi session with us in the TePapa museum, where we first met her just after she finished a performance. She showed us a whole lot of "short poi" and taught us the basics. Short poi is blowing my mind. It uses a huge amount of bouncing off the arms and is very rhythmical. I see huge potential.

A few days later, Migoto took us to a Maori Kapa Haka practice with her group. They made us sing and pressed noses with us. It was a very warm, friendly, and funny group of people. They got Dan to demonstrate some non-maori poi, which he did while singing Merry Had A Little Lamb. We spent some time trying to keep up with the group as they learned traditional songs and "actions." At the end of the night they did a short Maori Kapa Haka (poi and song) performance, just for us.

I'm now staying with Tash, and am working away on the website via DIAL UP! It seems that New Zealand is pretty behind the times in the telecommunications department, due to a monopoly telecommunications company that is holding the country hostage. Fortunately I seem to be getting work done nonetheless. For a sneak preview, visit www.playpoi.com/site and give me some feedback.

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