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Cooks’ biggest cultural event cancelled

Thursday 21 May 2020 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture


Cooks’ biggest cultural event cancelled
Pictured during her graceful “slow beat” performance, Hannalei McBride last year, she was awarded the Te Mire 'Ura 2019 Senior Female overall winner at the National Auditorium.

The decision has been made to call off Te Maeva Nui – but in some good news, dance contest Te Mire Ura will go ahead in July.

The riveting sounds of drums will pound through the National Auditorium in a few months for Te Mire Ura national dance competition.

The popular event will be held from July 13-24, with actual dates to be confirmed next week.

Secretary of Culture Anthony Turua said they had been given the go ahead to organise the cultural event and health ministry Te Marae Ora has approved the event.

Drummers will be spaced apart on the stage, and the slow beat songs will be pre-recorded so there will be no singing.

Categories are juniors, intermediate and seniors; the venue of the Marsters section is yet to be confirmed, and the Ministry of culture is looking forward to hosting the dance contest.

However, Te Maeva Nui dance festival is cancelled.

Leaders of dance groups on Rarotonga have raised concerns that there is not enough time to plan, make costumes and conduct rehearsals.

Considering the schools have been closed, for many the holidays will be a time to catch up on academic studies, so young people will not be available to participate.

Turua said the team leaders were not confident that the community would come out and support it, understanding the issues raised, and the present Covid-19 restrictions in place.

Constitution Day, celebrated on August 4 to remember the day in 1965 when the Cook Islands gained their independence, will be the last event held at the auditorium for at least four to six months.

The premises will be closed thereafter for a major overhaul including replacement of its roof, re-wiring and other repair work that is long overdue.