The National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) Faculty of Arts held a fundraiser featuring a performance of Le Moana Dance’s dance theatre ‘1918’ on Tuesday.
The highly energetic performance about the influenza pandemic that killed 22 percent of Samoa’s population in the early 19th century was told through dance and movement in the N.U.S fale.
The New Zealand High Commission enabled Le Moana’s 2018 Tour of Samoa with a grant of T$35, 474.
Acting New Zealand High Commissioner in Samoa, Katie Roche said: “We have been following the community outreach and activities that have been taking place across both Savaii and Upolu with great interest, and on behalf of the New Zealand High Commission, I would like to thank and congratulate Le Moana for the rich and varied benefits this tour has brought both in terms of further developing the arts and the existing culture of performance in Samoa, and for providing a platform to showcase how amazing Samoan and Pacific talent is.
“This is a wonderful kaupapa and the New Zealand High Commission is proud to be part of a programme that demonstrates and recognises the importance of creative arts and the exchange of knowledge between our countries, while honouring our past and the connections that have shaped us.”
In the audience was Vaiala Beach School teacher, Eleanor Mcleod, who brought her two children with her, said that her children were quite spellbound by the performance.
“We were quite worried about bringing them because we thought they might not be able to sit through a heavy performance piece but because it was so fluid and quite energetic the actions and movements of dance just kept their attention the whole way through.
“For me, I just found the whole experience emotional and powerful. The performance lived up to what I expected, they are real professionals and it was a really powerful interpretation of this story of our history.
“In some ways I think that this part of our history is a bit taboo. These are our stories and they need to be told otherwise they will be lost.”
Yesterday was the last day of the Le Moana tour in Samoa.
They conducted a workshop at Vaiala Beach School and Samoa Performing Arts & Creative Excellence (S.P.A.C.E.).