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Friday, November 03, 2006

Pacific panpipes bring Solomon dancers to Hawaii

A musical ensemble from the Solomon Islands in Melanesia will debut in Honolulu next week to perform with traditional panpipes at the East-West Center in Manoa.

The KVU Panpipe and Dance Company, a group of 18 performers from Santa Isabel island in the Solomon Islands, will bring a new cultural experience to Hawaii.

"This is the first time a group from the Solomon Islands has performed in Hawaii and probably in the United States," said Bill Feltz, Arts Program Coordinator at the East-West Center.

Feltz said panpipe music and the dances associated with it have developed in amazing ways in the Solomon Islands.

"Although tuned sets of mouth-blown bamboo pipes are found in many Pacific Islands, and in fact in numerous regions worldwide, Solomon Islanders have built a rich culture and repertoire around panpipes, featuring instruments small and large," he said.

The performers hail from three villages - Koviloko, Vavarenitu, and U`uri - all on the island of Santa Isabel, thus the name KVU.

"The KVU Panpipe and Dance Company is one of the finest in the country, and has toured internationally," Feltz said.

Traditional performing arts, particularly panpipe ensembles, serve as a common element that bridge the nation's diverse islands, he said.

"This group’s music, dance, and body decoration all convey the joy and exuberance that is integral to Melanesian cultures."

This Hawai`i tour is made possible by support from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.

Pacific Panpipes is scheduled to perform two shows in Honolulu, at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 11, and 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 12, at the Imin Center-Jefferson Hall at the East-West Center, opposite the University of Hawaii Kennedy Theater. Tickets available after October 11 at the UHM Campus Center Box Office, M-F 9:00-4:30, or telephone 944-7341 for Charge-by-phone. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. General Admission $15; Students, senior citizens $10

The East-West Center has also arranged for performances at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, as well as the Kahilu Theatre on the Big Island.

Source: Pacific Islands Report

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