Monday, July 22

Te Maeva Nui 2012 - Tongareva Reo Metua

Here's another short video from last year's Te Maeva Nui.
This one is of the Tongareva team with their reo metua. This is, I think, the legend although in previous years it's gone by the name of pe'e or chant.
This was a very impressive performance and earned the team an A grade.
The Ministry of Cultural Development has a brief timetable for this year's Te Maeva Nui.
The float parade is on Monday 29 July, starting at 10am with the opening ceremony planned for 12 noon. These things usually run over-time but this year, with no outer islands groups, the float parade will probably be quite small so maybe it'll start at the designated hour. We'll see.
Trade days and the dance competition are scheduled for Wednesday 31 July to Friday 2 August.
There are no details on the MOCD website about the teams taking part.

Sunday, July 14

Te Maeva Nui 2012 - Mitiaro Kapa Rima

Here we area, midway through July and Te Maeva Nui is fast approaching.
This year it will be scaled down compared to the last few seasons. The outer islands will be holding their own festivities, no doubt including singing and dancing, but they will not be sending teams to Rarotonga to compete.
The main reason is the expense of transport. Boat and air fares cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and times are hard!
And in two years’ time the Cook Islands will be celebrating 50 years of self-governance. Now that will be a reason for major festivities so beginning to save up for it sounds sensible. The only problem is that government budgets tend to tackle one year at a time; I don’t know if they have the equivalent of a savings account!
Anyway, the dance competition should still be a lot of fun especially since our Rarotonga villages (apart from Puaikura) didn’t have dance teams last year – the outer islands beat them to it.
Local dancers joined their home island teams of course, but this year it should be village pride on the line. Expect some top notch performances.
In the meantime, here is a flashback to last year. The Mitiaro dancers were awarded a B grade for their kapa rima.
The Ministry of Cultural Development has a pack of 4 dvds consisting of:  Five nights of cultural performances, Choir and Imene Tuki competition, Tangi Kaara Competition and highlights of the 2012 float parade:  $50. For more information on this, you can contact Kylie Herrman on ph:  20725 ext 218 or email:

Wednesday, July 3

Rarotonga pearl festival planned

Pete, Mel and Alexis filming Tony and Liz on Muri beach
The things that local participants learned from the recent Film Raro course and festival are already being put to good use.
A week-long pearl festival is being planned for April next year and Alexis Wolfgram, one of the Film Raro directors, has been busy putting together a promotional three or four minute film with a website and some 30 second adverts to follow.
Some of our course members, including Maureen and Caroline, are particularly interested in the scripting side of a film and they took the original outline – a series of scenes highlighting pearl festival attractions – and added a neat story line about a curious, young mermaid’s journey around the island during the pearl festival.
Highlights include events at the Punanga Nui market, a mardi gras evening with a Pearl Princess competition and facepaining for the kids; a treasure hunt; fun team sports at Muri beach; a gourmet long-table dinner at the marina;  fashion and wearable arts shows and a Pearl Ball.
We had a lovely mermaid, Teja who’s just returned to Raro from New Zealand and put in a great performance over the course of a long Sunday’s shooting. This included wearing a mermaid’s fishy tail in some scenes and having blue and silver make-up expertly designed and applied by Ani.
Mel and Pete manned the cameras; most of the props came from Alexis’s Warehouse (a couple of container-sized treasure stores); I helped out with props and locations – making sure we had everything we needed on site and took it all away with us when finished. Most of us also filled in as extra bodies on the set on occasions!
We’d hoped to get it all filmed in a week but the weather didn’t cooperate and making movies always takes longer than you think it will. (That’s something else we all learned from Film Raro!)
I had to go to NZ before it was finished – just got back and I’m looking forward to finding out how it’s coming along.
I’ll be putting links to the finished products but in the meantime here are some photos from the first week’s filming.

Watch this space.
Teja the mermaid at Black Rock

Dernice face-painting at Punanga Nui market
Filming the Pearl Princess at Punanga Nui market
Liz and Tony find the treasure

Ani fixing the mermaid make-up