New Zealand International Arts Festival countdown to launch - 2008, the cast of Black Watch
One of the truly great things about being the photographer for an event like the NZ International Arts Festival is the stuff you find out about, outside the actual shows themselves. The cast of National Theatre of Scotland's Black Watch spent their time in Wellington learning the traditional Ka Mate haka that had welcomed them here when they first arrived, so they could perform it to the audience after their closing night.
I think when they started, it was a bit of fun that they could do as a warmup before each show; but by the time they got to the night they were meant to do it, they'd really started to grasp what it means to New Zealanders, and they got extremely nervous about doing it properly in front of a room full of people who KNOW how it's done. So, naturally, I crowded in at the back of the auditorium after the show, along with just about everyone else from the Festival office to see how it went...
I think you can see how they did - even if they'd got the words wrong (which they didn't), they'd have got by on pure passion. Good on you, lads. And, welcome back!