This is a video of the dance troupe Here Nui with their winning performance at the Paris Tahitian dance competition – Heiva i Paris – in 2020. Unlike some of the solo dances in this competition, the dance routine here was choreographed beforehand, and it is mesmerising to watch.
The dancers all have such amazing control over their legs and hips and the differences between the male and female dancers are really obvious and interesting. And the choreography tells a fun story that is easy to follow. It’s not hard to see why they won!
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Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) has started to take off all over the world. In fact, the troupe here are a mix of people from Tahiti and people from other countries such as Spain. Tahitian dance is based on the traditional dances performed in Tahiti culture. In ancient times, these dances were used at religious ceremonies and celebrations and were also used as a way of passing on stories and ideas without the written word. New dancers and new faces are putting a new spin on the traditional dance and bringing it into the modern world. And the world is beginning to take notice! As we can see from the mix of heritages in this dance troupe, Tahitian dance has started to spread globally.
But the traditional form of Ori Tahiti hasn’t completely been lost. You can see from this dance routine that the elements of telling a story through dance are still there and it is so interesting just how much can be communicated without words. Anyone from any country speaking any language can watch this dance and understand what’s happening and the story that’s being told. And that really says something about how important dance is to human beings. There is something very special about it and the way we connect to it so deeply that is impossible to find in any other form (except music which itself is closely linked to dance).
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