Before the Blackout

Chris Bishop

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.