Taualuga: The Last Dance

Within the indigenous cultures of the South Pacific, and specifically in the islands of Samoa, Taualuga is a dance of negotiation and celebration; with an emphasis on dance movements based on a combination of facial expression and elegant hand gestures to convey certain political ideas. Kihara uses the principles of Taualuga as a form of storytelling to reference history and mirror tensions currently taking place globally today.

The artist’s fictitious character, loosely based on Salome, dances in grief wearing a Victorian mourning dress – similar to the dress that was formally introduced to the people of Samoa by the German colonial administration of the early 1900s. The performance combines audio, historical costume and dance forming a tribute to the many leaders and people of Samoa for their resilience in the struggle against modernisation and globalisation.

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