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
) 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.
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.
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.
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.
The most widely practised dance in contemporary Kiribati is... Read More