Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
So uh…what else do normal tourists do? Dance shows! Yes, tourists go to Tahitian dance shows!
We ended up at the Bali Hai hotel in Moorea for our obligatory Tahitian dance show which ended up being quite wonderful! Every Monday night this hotel puts on a free beachside show at dinner time. Figured we’d fall for the ploy, buy dinner and have a good time. As we’ve come to expect, the food was not cheap but at a show alongside it made it easier to rationalize. Also, this show was cool because it was put on by a local Tahitian dance school.
Instead of seeing paid professional performers, the idea was that we were supporting a group of locals and immigrants who were learning Tahitian dance in order to rebuild and preserve their dwindling cultural heritage. This is totally something we can get behind. Also, we thought watching students instead of tourism professionals would lead to us seeing more authentic dances than just the gussied up shows for the gringos…not that they call them “gringos” here but we are unfamiliar with the Tahitian translation. (Mostly due to the fact that we don’t think the islanders we’ve encountered so far think of tourists in this way.)
It was a great show. So you kind of expect the ladies right? Because basically what the average person thinks of when they hear the words “Tahitian dancer” is a young Polynesian woman.
Also, they had a boy’s division, which was not expected. According to what we learned, the idea of the men’s dance is more just showing off athletic prowess than looking good. So they spend the whole time squatting and scissoring their legs and doing these jumps while flexing. The young men who did this were still learning but still it was great to see the other gender of Tahitian dance.
In case that failed to impress upon you the difficulty of scissoring your knees for minutes at a time while maintaining a squatting position, feel free to do it yourself for 60 seconds straight without stopping. Tiffany was nice enough to film Greg giving it his best later when they brought the audience up to learn a little of the dance.
You could get some seriously developed legs with that. On a somewhat related note, Greg found it odd when he went in to edit the videos for this entry, the footage of Tiffany doing the woman’s dance had mysteriously vanished…. Well, at least the pictures of the coconut bikini are forever enshrined on the interwebs.
It was the last part of the dance school to perform that was the most provocative…well, at least mentally.
(to be cont’d)