Monday, October 18, 2010

Island Dancing

About eight years ago Don Reynolds, then president of Community Arts,  organised the first visit of Heipua Lehartel to Norfolk Island.  The purpose of that visit was to run the first Tahitian Dance Workshop. 

Accompanied by musician Joel Marie the workshop was a resounding success with a magnificent public show performed at Rawson Hall at the conclusion.  The costuming Heipua taught was also magnificent.  Many of the ladies of that workshop still enjoy the dance and singing; most of the teens of that workshop are now working or studying away from Norfolk and many continue to dance.  And most of today’s teens are from Heipua’s first workshop for the be`bes (the very young). 

To sing and dance is such a joyous thing to do and to enjoy this with a group covering a wide age range is especially wonderful.   Over the years there have been a number of Tahitian dance workshops – most of them taught by Heipua, with Lavena and Marietta (with husband Atea) filling in during the times when Heipua’s children were born.

And now we come to the time where a group of today’s high school girls have now formed their own troupe.  Who knows, they may soon become Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti of the western Pacific!  Currently they have called themselves the “Baunti Byuti”  (the Bounty Beauties) and they have been invited to dance with a junior troupe in Tahiti next year.  Isn’t that a Norfolk girl’s dream come true.  I’m sure they will keep everyone up to date on what’s happening.  Community Arts would like to wish them well – and look forward to them being the dance instructors running their own dance school.

Thought you might like to see some of the participants of our recent Tahitian Dance Workshop.  The ladies were a bit shy.  Don’t know why – the younger ladies were natural dancers; beautiful to watch and gave us much enjoyment and fun.