The Rising: Fijian-inspired dance

9 May

This amazing piece of work really did put the Spring into Swindon Spring Festival. With powerful dance moves and great music, The Rising delved into the Fijian Culture.

The group made it clear it was a tribal piece by the way they moved, the sounds they made and the music. The dance moves gave the feeling of a war like battle playing out, a whole story made without a single syllable of English. The story consisted of fights, love and a feeling of a community.

The Rising , photo © Fernando Bagué The dance moves couldn’t have been better at describing the story. Some of the moves were big and punchy drawing instant attention to the eye, often repeated several times, and others being slow and steady, where a pair, from the group of six, would come out and do a separate duet together. At one point one of the dancers was chanting along and one by one the dancers made the beat by slapping their thighs and clapping their hands, it worked really well.

There were only two musicians making the ensemble. They were both incredible. The guitarist played most of the time often accompanied by the drummer. The drummer was an brilliant multitasker, playing the drum and banging the drumsticks together like claves. The guitarist was, at some points, helping create the beat by pulling only one string per note and at other parts going really fast.

It was a very powerful performance that gave a great view into the Fijian and Maori culture and was gripping every second. Tearing my eyes away from the stage was practically impossible and I only realised it had stopped when I was brought back to the real world by the thunderous round of applause from the audience.

This performance took place early evening on May 9th 2019 in the Art Centre in Old Town, Swindon. The dance group was HeatherWalrondCompany and was brought to you by Swindon Dance and was hosted by Swindon Spring Festival.

Words by Milo Davison (age 12) Photos © Fernando Bagué

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