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Family passion fuels Mateariki

Wednesday 8 May 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features


Family passion fuels Mateariki
Nicolea Mateariki performs at last year’s Te Mire Ura Seniors dance competition. MELINA ETCHES/23050545

Te Mire Ura Dancer of the Year competition continue this week with the senior division competitors, aged 17 and over, hitting the dance floor on Thursday, May 9, at Te Are Karioi (National Auditorium), from 6pm.

Twelve contestants, five women and seven men, will be battling it out on stage showcasing their costumes and performances in the slow-beat and fast-beat categories.

Nicolea Mateariki, the 2023 senior girls runner-up, will again be competing in Te Mire Ura.

“Culture is embedded in my family,” says Mateariki.

“I come from a family who are passionate and continue to be a part of our cultural activities and lifestyle.

“Culture is my passion and everything.”

Although she is an experienced dancer, Mateariki says she is feeling “really nervous” leading up to the event.

She hasn’t had much time to rehearse, choreograph or finalise her costume.

Last week, Mateariki assisted her youngest sister in Te Mire Ura’s Potiki section, with the help of their mother Lotiola Mateariki.

“Mum and I also assisted with four other kids in the Junior Te Mire Ura so we were busy last week.”

However, with her experience and talented skills, Mateariki is sure to shine once again on stage.

The 2024 Te Mire Ura Senior participants are: Danniel Daniel - Vaka Puaikura, Romehael Rauraa - Vaka Puaikura, Tepa Nathan Kelly – Kōrero O Te `Ōrau and Te Autu Performing Arts, Maihanarei Lei-Ula Short - Rarotonga, Rickhan Iro – Mitiaro, Tamaiva Mateariki – Ma’uke, Zoe Hoff - Vaka Takitumu, Kalan Takao Turia – Araura, Nekola Christain – Araura, Terry Akava - Ātiu, Nicolea Mateariki - Ātiu and Ma’uke, and Ngatupuna Kae – Ātiu. Don’t miss a thrilling night of exceptional individual cultural performances! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.