Today I will be attending my first ever hula workshop with Hawaiian Hula UK, whom I met through the medium of blogging. How about that? (While I'm on it, check out her post on 'bellynesian': contrary to what the raqs purists would have you believe, the issues around fusing dance forms don't all run one way, y'know.)
And after the workshop, I'm heading to Brixton to a hafla, where a friend of a friend will perform her first ever solo. Naturally, I will be whooping and cheering until I'm croaking. What all this means is that tomorrow, if I have the energy, there will be a big ol' retrospective of Clare's Big Dance Day.
I'm very excited about the hula class - it will be my first real brush with Pasifika culture since leaving Aotearoa/New Zealand. Since Maori Language Week is just winding down there, here's a taste of some Kapa Haka:
If you're wondering what the reference to 'Poi-e' is all about, it was the biggest-selling kiwi-made single of my youth. The Patea Maori Club was formed in response to the closing of the freezing works (i.e. abattoir) in Patea in the 1980s as a result of the removal of government farming subsidies: a closure that knocked the stuffing out of the town, leaving almost every man unemployed and every family without an income. (Don't get me started on the economic 'reforms' of the 1980s. Even today, driving through Patea is like driving through a ghost town.) The club was supposed to help people rebuild their sense of community, but the song they recorded also happens to rock like a werepig:
According to urban legend, the breakdancing guy just showed up in the background of some shots trying to get noticed, hogged the limelight and then was never heard from again. What a legend.