To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Solomon cultural dancers rock Suva last night

The Solomon cultural dancers comprising the Toelegu panpipers and the Lord Howe Dance group have rocked Sukuna Park in Suva last night, during the combined evening cultural show for all participating delegations.

The performance by the Solomon dancers last night was well above par and lived up to the statement of head of delegation and Department of Tourism and Culture undersecretary David Tepai during a ceremony to welcome the Solomon Islands contingent by the Solomon Islands community in Suva on Sunday.

Mr Tepai alluded that one of the main objectives of Solomon Islands being represented at the Melanesian Arts Festival (MAF) is to revive the country’s image, which was tarnished by the crisis and riot. He added that this trip is important for the good name of the country and to show the world that despite the recent crises, Solomon Islands is a better place to live in and most Solomon Islanders are peace loving people.

The Solomon dancers were the last group to perform in the combine cultural show last night. The two dancing groups were introduced by Mr Henry Isa, and then the Toelegu Panpipers led both dancing groups onto the stage signifying unity amongst different cultural groups in Solomon Islands. The first items and dances were performed by men and women of the Lord Howe dance group, to the appreciation of the crowd.

However, the show picked up when the Toelegu panpipers came on stage to showcase their traditional "kabilato" costume, dances and skills in blowing the pipes. Despite a slight drizzle, the crowd kept on cheering our panpipers especially the drummer who has eye disability. It was a proud moment for all Solomon Islanders who are part of the crowd last night as they kept shouting, "more" "more". Other Fijian friends kept shouting in Fijian dialect "wananavu Solomone" which means "brilliant or fantastic Solomon".

The Solomon Islands delegation along with Fiji and the Torres Strait Islands will also be performing today during the lunch hour entertainment. There will another combined evening show tonight. Yesterday's combine evening program featured dancers from various provinces in Fiji, Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinea highlanders and Bougainville, and Solomon Islands. Vanuatu did not perform yesterday during their scheduled lunch hour entertainment and the combined show because they are mourning the tragic death of one of their dancers who collapsed during the opening ceremony on tuesday evening.

In the morning, all the festival venues were opened to the public and visitors were invited to see various activities including visual art displays, arts and crafts, traditional food trials, weaving, carving and the like. Some of the delegations also went on tours to villages and schools, whilst others were at the symposium. Only the Papua New Guinea dancers put on performances during the lunch hour entertainment yesterday since Vanuatu were not able to perform.

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