Te Ura Penu means Dance with a Prop or Props competition (Penu is the Maori word for apparatus/gadget).
In this event, it’s a requirement for the male dancers to showcase a prop in their dance sequences; the female performers have the choice whether to dance with a prop or not - because they are judged with their dancing techniques only wearing a cloth pareu.
This is the toughest section of the cultural dance competition as only a simple cloth pareu is allowed to be worn by the girls - no waist band adornments, decorations or costumes are allowed on the pareu, however, hair accessories maybe worn; the men are also required to wear only a cloth pareu.
The emphasis is dedicated to the dancer’s performance of the swinging of the hips (women) and the movement of legs (men) to fast paced drum beats.
Coordinator of this extravagant cultural dining event, Terai Ama encourages women to come along in their best formal island wear with beautiful ei katus and for the men to also make an effort and dress up in pareu island shirts.
“Come out and dress up in island style, let’s showcase our beautiful dresses, head eis, flowers and shirts (for the men),” says Ama.
Please note there are no general admission tickets for this extravagant evening.
Only VIP tickets at $75 are available and corporate tickets at $100 may also be purchased – this ticket (corporate only) also allows you free entry to Wednesday’s show with allocated seating access to the VIP tent; these passes include a sit down dinner buffet catered by the Apostolic church and a drink card (Monday night only), a live band will also be entertaining on the night.
The International Dancers on the evening are: Sydney - Alex Nicholls, Raven Nicholls, Jasmine Mata; Auckland - Moeau Henry, Tuteru Samson; Melbourne - Chloe Daniel; Queensland/Brisbane - Bridget Mateariki, George Kaisara; Tokoroa - Christopher Bishop; Cook Islands - Elizabeth Pita, Ambushia Mateariki, Tamaiva Mateariki and Edward Nga.
As of yesterday morning both female and male dancers from Perth had not arrived, nor the female dancer from Ashburton.
The private sector is supporting the Te Mire Penu by purchasing tickets, tables of ten are available for $1000, contact the Ministry of Cultural Development for tickets.