Friday, May 29, 2015

Polynesian Dancing in New Caledonia

29 May 2015

Our hotel has a Polynesian dance performance every Friday night - some people pay for the traditional food buffet, and get front row seats for the performance.  The rest of us just sit or stand around the sides, watching these athletic young Caledonians dance their feet off.  Or their hearts out.  Or something like that.

There are similarities in the traditional dance of many Polynesian countries, or at least it seems that way to those of us from other places. 

The women dance with mesmerizing hip swings and rolls, their tushes pulsing and twerking at lightening speed, doing that patented Beyonce move but in hyperdrive.  All while gently waving their hands to give the impression of water, or birds, or maybe flowers.  And barefoot.  I truly don't know how they do it.

The men kick, jump, swing their arms, looking strong and powerful and like warriors, also at agile lightening speed, showing off their fierce war moves and threatening the audience - all while smiling, because after all, this is a performance.  They sometimes dance with fiery batons, but with the recent wind the fire dancing is on hold.

It was a great performance and I really enjoyed it.  Not easy to get decent photos at night with dancers leaping and jumping - most of my photos of the three young men are blurred, because they really are in nonstop action throughout each dance!

There was also a seven-piece band who sang a few numbers before and after the dancing, and who provided the mostly percussive music for the dancers.  Imagine the John Mayer version of "Over The Rainbow," but singing more perky songs.  In French.  That's the best I can do to describe the music - several drums, a few guitar/ukelele sort of stringed instruments, a keyboard, and nicely harmonizing tenor voices.  In French.  No idea what the songs were about, other than one about eating.  (No, they didn't mention foods.  They just kept singing "mangez, mangez" - or maybe "manger, manger" - both pronounced the same in French.)

A lovely end to our first twelve days in New Caledonia!  Tomorrow, we pick up our little car and head north on our island exploration!

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