In the gallery, contemporary dance stalwarts Michael Parmenter and Claire O’Neil will perform four of the most popular partner dances of the 19th century on the dancefloor itself, while storytellers Sir Bob Harvey and Rewi Spraggon bring the West Coast’s rich history to life.
About the exhibition: The thrum of the tide delves into the 20th-century story of Te Ana Ru cave, known as ‘the ballroom cave’. It has been said that early settlers held Saturday night dances in Te Ana Ru cave until the 1920s, on a re-purposed, winchable kauri floor installed by local timber mill workers. The dances are well-known folklore in Huia and Whatipū and it is thought the floor is still in the cave, buried deep under the sand.
A re-creation of the moveable floor will be presented in the gallery, accompanied by taonga pūoro by Riki Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou) and a soundscape of subterranean seismic vibrations and captured in Te Ana Ru during the artists’ tenure on the Auckland Regional Parks Artist Residency 2019.