Here Nui, love for Polynesian dance
Here Nui dance group during their participation in the contest held at the Casino de Paris
Here means love and Nui means great. We are an international Polynesian dance group created with the purpose of sharing Polynesian culture, between men and women, and representing the idea of love and union. With these words, María López, a dancer and choreographer trained with native Tahitian teachers, recalls how the idea came to promote the dance group, based in Tarragona Spain, and participate in the seventh edition of the Heiva i Paris international Tahitian dance competition, which held on October 10 at the Casino de Paris, and the winners were proclaimed in the Ote'a category.
Here Nui is made up of three pairs of dancers from around the world: Heimanatea Teikitohe, Mata Tufaimea, Kevin Teauroa, Laura Petersone (Latvia), Brian Rojas (Bolivia) and María López (Spain). «In summer, as a result of the health crisis, some of the dancers did not have a job and we decided to create the group to seek new opportunities,» recalls María López, who adds that «the members come from different parts of the world, half are native from Tahiti, French Polynesia, with great knowledge of dance and its culture.
In this regard, the group highlights that «Ori Tahiti is a dance originally from Tahiti that formerly served to transmit the legends and stories of everyday life. Currently the dances deal with very diverse themes and are associated with nature and Polynesian culture. And that is why they decided to participate in the international competition Heiva i Paris. “In the first pre-selection phase, we had to send a video of a choreography,” explains María, who adds that “the jury, who is from Tahiti, valued the technique, the choreography, the costumes, the expression, the synchronization of the dancers, etc.».
In this way, the Polynesian dance group got a place in the final to represent Spain in the contest, in which four groups competed in the Ote’a category. «In the final, with music performed live, they demand that the choreography tell a story, and we decided to explain a couple's infatuation,» says the choreographer. In this regard, the dancer describes that «Ote'a is a very energetic dance category, which transmits a lot of strength, with rapid movements of the hips for the Vahine (women) and fast movements of the legs for the Tane (men) to the rhythm of the percussion".
Another factor to dazzle the jury is the wardrobe, of which María López emphasizes that “we made it ourselves with more, which is the typical natural fiber of Polynesia. The costumes must be associated with what you want to represent, and natural costumes are used with many flowers and vegetation, natural fibers, sea shells», adds the dancer. After this experience, the Here Nui group is already looking forward to 2021 to participate in the international final of the Ori Tahiti Nui Competition. So far they will continue to share the Polynesian culture from Tarragona.