Rangi Ruru schoolgirls win praise Polyfest performance
Forty-nine Rangi Ruru students, from mixed ethnicities, performed ientirely n the Samoan language at the recent 2013 Auckland Polyfest. Their performamce was ‘awesome’, ‘creative’ and ‘spellbinding,’ according to the Samoa Observer. ‘The vociferous applause and hard-out foot stomping to their performances from hundreds of spectators was infectious as it was thundering. Aucklanders were held spellbound by an awesome display full of oratorical skills, creative and elegant cultural choreography with a smattering of Samoan creativity during their dance performances, ‘ reported the Observer. The paper praised the Samoa stage organisers for allowing Rangi Ruru to take part as guest performers. One person told the Observer that the school’s participation reflected the Polyfest’s core purpose: to build relationships between different cultures. The Observer was firm in its support for the girls’ participation. ‘There may well be criticisms …about the authenticity of [Samoa’s] cultural treasures being represented by non-Samoan students. However, others in the community say it is evidence of Samoa’s growing and expanding influence in Aotearoa that other ethnic groups are wanting their children not just to be part of the Samoan experience, but to explore what it is that make Samoa such a special nation and people. And a growing influence in New Zealand and globally, noted the paper. In May 2013, Christchurch will host its own Polyfest Festival. 21 schools will be participating.