To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Solomon dancers described as "simply awesome" at the 3rd Melanesian Arts Festival in Suva

The Solomon Islands dancers at the 3rd Melanesian Arts Festival in Suva have been described by the crowd as "simply awesome" and regarded by many as the crowd attracters.

This followed various performances from the local delegation, the latest of which was last night at the Sukuna Park. Over the last week our Solomon Islands community in Suva including our forgotten lines in Wailoku have been very proud of our delegation as it has contributed greatly to unity and the restoration of a good image to our nation.

Yesterday was a public holiday in Fiji to mark its 36th Independence Anniversary which actually falls today, October 10. As a result people of all walks of life and race including tourists took time out to visit the festival village and enjoy the entertainments up till 9pm (Fiji Time). During the day, visitors were hosted to visual art and craft exhibitions, demonstration of art and crafts skills, and the lunch hour show by various bands.

During the night, there was another combined traditional show. As the Solomon Islanders were about to enter the stage, there was a huge roar of cheers as the panpipe music was heard in the background. The Toelegu panpipers have once again taken the leading role in escorting our dancers from Lord Howe and Central Islands. At that moment you can see the crowd making a sudden rush to the centre of the park to fill up any space close to the stage. The first few items were performed by the male and female dancers from Lord Howe. This was followed by the bare-breasted and grass skirt women dancers from Central Province. This has brought much laughter amongst the crowd as the lady dancers were physically old in the estimates of about 40-60 years but their moves were just like a teenager. Finally, it is the moment that alot of people have been waiting for as the Toelegu panpipers began their first item with a drum roll from their partially blind drummer. Each of their items were dedicated to each of the participating delegations and the crowd who were already swaying to the beat of the bamboo beats.

From an interview that we did with some of the people from different countries and tourists who were also there, all of them have suggested that the only word to describe the Solomon Islands dancers is "simply awesome".

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