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Opinion

Tereora students showcase powerful performances at annual dance show

Saturday 17 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Tereora students showcase powerful performances at annual dance show
Senior students enjoy contemporary dance. 22091605

The Tereora College Turangavaevae Performing Arts show thrilled the strong audience of several hundred at the National Auditorium on Thursday night.

Senior Performing Arts students showcased their talent in dance productions on the big stage which were assessed for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), worth eight credits.

The Turangavaevae Performing Arts teacher Tupa Tupa was kept busy backstage and did not have the luxury of enjoying each student’s masterpiece.

However, Tupa said, “listening to the roaring cheers from the audience gave me a big thumbs up vibe”. 

“The hard work towards the main event has been an exciting and restless journey for the students,” said Tupa.

“Seeing all their efforts and genuine interest was enough to know that they wanted to deliver their best.

“The essence of Turangavaevae is for each student to bring his or her own story to life. Every student had the opportunity to portray a piece that spoke volumes of what they think or feel Turangavaevae is about.

“I applaud them for their remarkable work and stunning costumes, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this dance assessment possible.”

Nineteen students choreographed their dance pieces – telling their own story through dance – and with the help of fellow Tereora students hitting the stage, they brought the compositions to life.

The NCEA Senior Performing Arts students who showcased their items on the night were Nicole Tiaore, Daniel Daniel and Jaidyn Tura, Tukuau Tekena and Pokiroa Viniki, Josephine Tuteru, Rowina Kiria, Tokorima Tangatakino, Tiare Anguna, Miera Tapaitau, Jiosifini Wong, Pauleen Gimony, Heinarii Law Tauira, Michael Viniki Tereora and Potai Pana, Estelle Short, Tehina Utakea, Nicolea Mateariki and Megan Browne.

Students introduced their productions to the audience through scripts sharing their views of who they are.

Pauleen Gimony, who is from the Philippines, said: “Our culture is our way of life, beliefs, and traditions.”

Coming all the way from the Philippines, she choreographed a dance called “binatbatan” – the dance depicts how cotton pods are beaten with bamboo sticks to release the cotton fluff called “batbat” from its seed.

“My culture has always provided me with a sense of home. As time passed, I had integrated with the Cook Islands culture, the natural and simple beauty, and its traditions and beliefs have become a part of me,” Gimony said.

“Home became this place, and the two cultures, although very different in some aspects, provide me with a sense of comfort.”

Her dance showcased her “appreciation for the two cultures” and to show how she is not only defined by her Philippine heritage but also influenced by other cultures as well which has moulded her into who she is today.

Heinarii Tauira hails from the islands of Enua Manu, Akatokamanava and Nukuroa – “the land of my forefathers, my heritage”.

From teachings passed down from generations, she has immense pride and honour for Cook Islands culture.

In the first act of her performance she emotionally declared how special her mother’s unconditional love is for her.

“All her teachings, nourishing love and powerful influence has nurtured me in my lifetime to become who I am today,” said Tauira.

The second part portrayed, “the love and passion I have for my culture – which represents and expresses my identity as a proud Cook Islander”.

Tauira also acknowledged the beautiful dancing queens who performed her item making her vision a reality.

“Today, I am strong, I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am courageous, I am kind, I am blessed, I am grateful. I am Heinarii.”

Tiare Henry Anguna is of Cook Islands and Tahiti descent. Her theme focused on her love and enthusiasm for her culture.

“My culture has empowered me to become the confident young woman I am today, my culture and heritage is my Turangavaevae,” said Anguna.

Her kapa rima (action song) represented her grandparents who are her connections to the Cook Islands and Tahiti.

“The movements portray their love for each other and my passion and sincere appreciation for my culture and my identity.”

Anguna thanked her dancers for “bringing my vision to life”, Kirsten Tangapiri Purua and the A team for the costumes and her parents.

Josephine Tuteru created a dance routine about body image and accepting/loving one’s own skin.

“This (performance) focuses on the stages a person goes through when feeling insecure about their body. However, what we need to remember is that everyone is beautiful and unique. We do not need the opinion of other people.

“This is my interpretation of Turangavaevae,” Tuteru said.

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