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‘Sounds of the drum beats makes me want to get up and dance’

Wednesday 3 May 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Culture, National

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‘Sounds of the drum beats makes me want to get up and dance’
Ngatupuna Kae is having another go at Te Mire Ura dance competition representing Atiu enua and Te Manava Nui. MELINA ETCHES/23050211

Inspired by the theme “Te au Manu Puapinga o toku Matakeinanga/enua – The important animals and birds of my tribe/island”, Ngatupuna Kae has signed up for Te Mire Ura seniors competition to be held tomorrow night at the National Auditorium.

“I’m Atiuan and we are known as the ‘Land of Birds’,” said Kae. “And whenever I listen to the sounds of the drum beats it makes me want to get up and dance, embrace my culture.”

“I love dancing and I try and persuade people to dance.”

Kae was born and raised on Rarotonga and was introduced to cultural dancing while attending St Joseph’s Primary School.

Although he was feeling a “little bit nervous” yesterday, he is looking forward to the much-anticipated competition on Thursday night.

Kae joined Te Mire Ura for the first time in 2021 in the intermediate category.

Te Mire Ura 2023 senior competition dancers are: Females – Nicolea Mateariki, Tara Helen Williams, Tiana Haxton, Tehina Pennycook and Teura Gifford; Males –Michael Akava Jnr, Edward Tepake Nga, Ngatupuna Kae, Raphael Simiona, Ngatokotoru Mateariki, Vaeruarangi Jnr Toro Papera and Kanoa Cuthers Taru.

The show starts at 7pm. Support the Cook Islands culture ambassadors battle it out for the title of Te Mire Ura 2023. Tickets are on sale from the National Library – $10 adults and $5 children.