Dance in Kiribati

Dance In Kiribati

Dance in Kiribati

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Description:
Dance in Kiribati includes various styles unique to the island nation. The uniqueness of Kiribati dance when compared with other forms of Pacific island dance is its emphasis on the outstretched arms of the dancer and the sudden birdlike movement of the head. The Frigate bird (Fregata minor) on the Kiribati flag refers to this bird-like style of Kiribati dancing. Most dances are in the standing or sitting position with movement limited and staggered.

Styles

Kiribati dancing can be categorized into eight main styles. Each incorporating the bird-like movements but differences lie in costume, the gender of the dancer, the number of dancers, accompanying music, and the position and movement of the dancer or dancers.

Ruoia

One of the oldest forms is called the Ruoia. The style requires the dancer or dancers to move in time with a chorus of singers standing behind. Te Ruoia usually has three verses each sung with increasing tempo. Within the rouia there are three subtle forms; te kemai (usually performed by men), te kabuti (performed only by woman) and the third is unique to Abemama atoll where it is greatly stylised. This is called te wa ni banga. The musical origin of this form of dance is not clear.

Bino

The Bino or sitting dance is performed by all islands in the Gilbert group. Most islands (and even villages) have a particular song unique to them. The bino is performed by both sexes and all ages.

Kaimatoa

The most widely practised dance in contemporary Kiribati is...
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