The group placed 1st in mau rākau (weaponry) and 3rd in waiata tira (choral item).
“The boys deserve to be acknowledged for all of their hard work,” says Leo Tahitahi, one of the teachers in charge of Kapa Haka alongside Raniera Harrison. “With such a short time to prepare, they’ve done us all proud.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no crowds gathered at Polyfest this year. However, the performance was livestreamed and is available to view at the link below.Watch King's Kapa Haka at Polyfest 2022
“The support we received during the week from the school, following the performance and over the weekend was just overwhelming and very much appreciated by all,” Mr Tahitahi says.
Brody Panoho (Year 12, School) shares an insight into the 2022 Polyfest experience.
How was the leadup to this year’s Polyfest for you?
The whole preparation for our Polyfest performance was rocky to say the least. In the age of Omicron we had members constantly going away sick and isolating for 14, 10, and 7 days as either cases or household and casual contacts. So, it was really hard to dedicate time to good practise because we rely on being together as a group to learn and revise our items and obviously Webex is not an ideal alternative.
In total we probably only had about three weeks collectively of good, in-person practice as a group, so keeping that in mind when other groups spend over two months preparing for these competitions I was even more proud of the effort we were able to put into our bracket.
How did you feel when you learned that you placed 3rd in waiata tira and 1st in mau rākau?
Learning of these results made me feel especially proud of the boys for our performance, and also a feeling that all our hard work resulted in something worthwhile, it really helps you to appreciate the win even more.
Our 1st place ranking for the mau rākau item, which we spent the majority of our time learning, was particularly meaningful because it’s an item that requires a lot of physical work and fitness to be able to perfect. You’ve got to be able to harness the power of being loud and not getting tired when performing your choreography.
What was it like performing without a crowd?
Performing last year with a crowd was a completely different atmosphere. The experience this year I think was even more daunting and made performing harder because there at Polyfest you didn’t have a crowd to cheer you on and you weren’t aware of people’s reactions to your performance.
Instead, you had a couple dozen judges and stage crew spectating you and thousands more watching online. That pressure increases on you to perform better, so it definitely was more challenging to perform without a crowd this time round.