Cook Islands Dancer Of The Year
Te Mira Ure traditional Dance Competition on Rarotonga
The Cook Islands Te Mira Ura is the annual Dancer of the Year Competition held on the island of Rarotonga every April as the highlight of Island Dance Festival Week. The traditional dancing of the Cook Islands is considered the most sensual and enlivened dancing in the South Pacific. The men in a show of stamina and energy provide the physical rhythm section with much stomping and the women sway their hips and dance while creating images in the air with their hands. The dances tell traditional stories passed down through the generations and practiced rigorously since early childhood.
Island Dance Festival Week includes many dance displays and competitions. The Cook Islanders are passionate about their dance, the Te Mira Ura is a serious and hotly contested competition to recognise the best dancers in the islands. The main competition categories include; junior, intermediate, seniors and "golden oldies." The highest honour is the crown for the best male and female Dancers of the Year.
Each island in the Cook Island group has its own special dances and there are many small competitions throughout the year. It is the Te Mira Ura that is the grandest and most prestigious of these. The dancers are accompanied by traditional music including drumming on on the paté. Cook Island dancers are famous throughout the South Pacific and very often take out major prizes at competitions against the more well-known Tahitian and Hawaiian hula dancers.
The Cook Island Te Mira Ure, the Dancer Of The Year Competition held on the island of Rarotonga is an ideal way to fully experience the fabulous nature of Cook Island Dance, traditional music and costume. But if you cannot time your holiday for this magnificent festival the cultural centre in Rarotonga and many of the hotels have displays of dance for visitors to attend.