Creating a show to celebrate culture

Friday September 04, 2020 Written by Published in Culture
Jackie Tuara cultural artist leads the dance rehearsels for the opening ceremony of the Cook Islands games next month. Tokerau Jim Images. 20090316. Jackie Tuara cultural artist leads the dance rehearsels for the opening ceremony of the Cook Islands games next month. Tokerau Jim Images. 20090316.

The sounds of a 100 drums and the sight of 300 dancers in one show is a “passion project” talented artist and dancer Jackie Tuara is working tirelessly on.

Rehearsals for the cultural performance to open the Cook Islands Games on October 3rd  started this week with dancers and drummers from all over the island joining up.

Te Maeva Nui was cancelled a few months ago due to Covid-19 and Tuara wanted to create a show for “everyone to come together to celebrate our culture.”

Tuara had a vision to produce a cultural show that would involve hundreds of participants and approached the Minister of Culture George Angene and secretary Anthony Turua, “who have supported this project”.

“The idea is to pull the Te Maeva Nui teams together and learn an item that is not too complicated, everyone will learn the same dance items,” Tuara said.

“Bringing us together, making us look connected, making us all feel a part of it. It’s about connecting everyone but also highlighting the various taunga in our performing arts.

“There’s no one individual that’s doing this, everyone is involved, we are working together sharing our ideas; in doing that it will be quite fantastic.

“We have amazing people like Uta Araitia and Uirangi Bishop on board to help out and get this going and we are still pulling other people in to join us.”

There are many great ideas tossed around and the organisers want to add “a special bit more to the show”.

When it comes to culture festivals, Tuara gets very little sleep, her mind works overtime, an adrenalin rush that lasts until after the show is done.

A video documentary will be filmed of the preparations, practices, costume making and public performances.

Another 100 dancers are needed from the age of 16 years and older who have the passion for dance, and 50 more drummers are also wanted.

Rehearsals are held every night at the sports arena in Nikao next to Tereora College from 8pm to 10pm and Saturdays from 5pm to 7pm.

“We have no budget, no money and we know it’s tough, so we’re not going out there to ask for anything.

“It will be amazing, the sounds of the drums the dancers and that vibe will be buzzing on the day.”

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