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Spectacular send-off: CINAT wows crowd with FestPAC performances

Tuesday 4 June 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features

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Spectacular send-off: CINAT wows  crowd with FestPAC performances
Members of the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre team performing at the fundraiser concert on Friday night. MELINA ETCHES/24060310/24060313

Rarotonga residents got a sneak peek of Team Cook Islands’ performances for the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) during a special fundraising event at the National Auditorium on Friday night.

The event featured the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre (CINAT) team in a fundraising concert aimed to showcase the team to the community and raise any remaining funds needed for their trip to Hawaii.

Led by performing arts experts Mark Short and Jane Rubena, the 46-member Cook Islands National Arts Theatre group, comprised of dancers, singers, drummers, and costume designers, delivered a spectacular performance that wowed the audience.

They performed nine captivating numbers, complemented by a powerful drumming performance from the children of Mark Short and Jane Rubena.

On Saturday morning, the team was presented at Te Are Ariki (House of Ariki). The members from the 160-member strong delegation were received by the House of Ariki president, Kaumaiti Nui Travel Tou Ariki and other members, at Atupare Marae.

The Cook Islands team presented gifts to Kaumaiti Nui Travel Tou Ariki, including a tivaivai, pa'ata, spear, and a bible. Te Are Ariki hosted the team with refreshments. 

Kaumaiti Nui Travel Tou Ariki and his wife travelled with team alongside Prime Minister Mark Brown and Minister for Cultural Development George “Maggie” Angene.

On Sunday, Team Cook Islands attended its farewell church service held at the Apostolic Church.

King’s representative Sir Tom Marsters and Lady Marsters also attended the church service. Marsters was highly impressed by Friday’s concert performances and expressed great pride in the delegation representing our nation.

Bishop Tutai Pere, who blessed the team, was also proud of the team and wished everyone the best at the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture to be held from June 6-16 in Honolulu.