Friday, May 04, 2007

I Like the Way You Move

Oh man, Cook Islanders can DANCE.

The first performance we saw was a fire dancing show at one of the resorts.

I can't help but wonder how someone learns fire dancing. In particular, how they learn it without sustaining severe burns. I'm sure you practice a lot without the sticks actually being lit on fire, but there's still gotta be a first time when you throw a flaming stick into the air and hope to catch it, all in time with the drumbeat of course. Rhythmic gymnasts, eat your hearts out.

April in the Cook Islands brings the annual "Dancer of the Year" competition, and we were fortunate enough to see the finals of both the junior competition (approximately ages 10-14) and the "Golden Oldies" (over 50?). This is a serious event, with people flying in from the outer islands and even from New Zealand just to compete. The juniors were extremely impressive, with spectacular costumes and hip shaking that would probably sacndalize some Americans.

The Golden Oldies were just as impressive, again for the costumes and hip shaking, but also because you could tell that they were loving every minute of it. If this is how good these dancers were now, I can't imagine what they must have been like in their heyday. My favourite was a guy who reminded me of one of my old professors. I'm not sure if I liked him because he was such a good dancer, or because it was hilarious picturing Dr. Akutsu shaking it like that. Unfortunately these aren't the best pictures, but I'm still trying to salvage some pics that I burned using Windows Vista and can't seem to recover.

Good dancers, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, crystal clear water... what does Rarotonga not have to offer?

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