Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre @ BCF 09

In my previous post about Borneo Cultural Festival, I promised that I will reveal about the performance by a New Zealand dance group that I saw at BCF Tradex and Expo stage. Here it is!

After making some research on the net, I just realized the name of this dance group who came all the way from New Zealand is "Kahurangi Maori Dance Theater". The word Kahurangi means "a cloak from heaven". I am not sure what is that means, but it sounds great!

These foreign dancers were performing various dance from traditional Maori and Polynesia culture with their very unique colorful and traditional costume.

Maori means the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand or in another word, they are the native people of New Zealand whereas Polynesia is a subregion of oceania, comprising a large grouping of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean.

Their dances are based on Maori history at 900AD when the first immigration through Polynesia took them from Hawaii to New Zealand.

That's why they were not just focusing on New Zealand native dance, but also dances from Hawaii and Samoa (maybe they had some other dances which I didn't see).

The performance was interactive, where one of the performer who also acted as the host introduced to the audience about the Maori history before each performance started.

He also taught the audience to speak simple native word and asked the audience to speak out loudly after him. Yeap! I did follow him! Loud and clear! Too bad I couldn't remember any of them except the word "Aloha" from Hawaii!

He also introduced the tools used for dancing one-by-one as these tools were not just normal sticks but were some of the weapon used by the Maori in the old time to protect themselves.

These were dance from Hawaii with Hawaiian costume...

These were dance from Samoa with their traditional costume...

... and also the Maori dances...

Beside traditional dancing, singing and some comedy elements also been added to the performance. So, you not just only enjoy the stunning dancing, but also the nice songs singing live by the performers. I can tell you that all of the performers have very good vocal and really nice to listen! You can hear their voice loud and clear even without microphone. I guess that is one of the reason why most of them were such "big" in size! ^^ You can also laugh out loudly throughout the show!

Some local audiences were invited to the stage to mimic the professional dancer doing his action. It certainly created a lot of laughter and made the show even more interesting.

Photo below shows a very unique dancing performance with throwing and passing the sticks. Beside have to catch the sticks precisely, the performers also need to sing at the same time which really need high skill to do so.

This is another unique performance - dancing with "Poi" which look like 2 cups tied to the end of the string then the girls will spinning it following the music melody.

The show ended with the very famous New Zealand Maori Haka dance (warrior dance). This was the dance that usually performed by the world-known New Zealand All Blacks international rugby team before their match started.

It was really a stunning performance which you shouldn't miss! This group will have their last performance tonight at the BCF 09 main stage. So, if you have time, just go there and take a look! I am sure you will like it!


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