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Before the Blackout

13th May 2017

Before the Blackout

By Chris Bishop

Photography by

Kia Orana! Back for seconds? Our young gun Kia Orana Ambassador is back again for the second week in a row to share about his experiences with our National Dancer of the Year competition - Te Mire Kapa.

As an Aitutakian born Cook Islander, I have grown up with a passion for our Culture, Cook Islands dancing to be precise, and throughout the years I have participated in ‘Te Mire Kapa’, which is the Cook Islands National Dancer of the Year. It is here the Cook Islanders share their talents through the; slow beat section: traditional song or chant (chant for male and song for female competitors), before dancing to a traditional drum dance showcasing their interpretation of the competition theme. And a fast beat section which more so is a test of endurance during a high intensity performance.

As an experienced competitor I have had mixed results over the years in terms of success. Juggling school/work and personal commitments while also trying to maintain physical conditioning, it can be quite a demanding prospect to prepare well and showcase performance of high quality. Throughout the years as a young performer coming through the junior and intermediate sections I have had a lot of support with costume preparation, registration and admin commitments, allowing me to focus on performance and choreography. This year though I have been more involved in the preparation side of my competition performance and this has been an eye-opening experience for me as I’m realizing how much time, effort and sacrifice goes into the 4-5minutes of an individual’s performance.

It is experiences like this that make me realize and feel that sense of gratitude for the support that I have received throughout the years, so in doing so I hope to show that appreciation through my performance in an event I have grown to love,

Stay tuned to see how it all goes,

Ka Kite!


UPDATE: I am pleased to say that I have now completed the competition and placed 1st overall. Check back next week and I will give you the run down on the whole experience. 



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