Through the Grand Gala, taking place between the end of the Dance School Heiva and the start of the major groups Heiva, the Conservatory presents the achievement of the work done by teachers and students, thus celebrating traditional arts.
Almost 600 students perform on the stage of To’ata, sharing their discipline and the knowledge they preciously acquired all over the year. During that evening, the spectators may admire, among the various performances, either in group or in solo, high level dancers, percussion bands, Ukulele ensembles, students in Orero and the 200 students in traditional singing. The classical department, as every year, will make some appearances, which will be integrated into that outstanding show.
Lastly, this is a way for each student to express their love for traditional culture and the importance to preserve it, to enhance it, but most of all, to spread it. This pays tribute to our heritage, which is tackled through original themes and brought to the stage with intense emotion.
While she retired in 2013, Mamie Louise Kimitete has not disappeared from the stage and from the life of the Conservatory. Quite the contrary in fact. That figure of dancing has once again lent her inspired and poetic pen to the theme of the 2014 Gala – freedom in dancing, which, according to her, is the aim to reach in the practice of that marvellous form of art. Her words, her flights follow the evolution of the show from beginning to end of the youngest dancers, those called the “little babies” of the Conservatory up to the most advanced ones.
Such progress is outstanding as the theme of the evening is developed and performed according to the level of each dancer. “Clap your hands and make them round like a comma”, the little dancers will sing. “Bend, lean… Water hitting and splashing” the second hour students will answer.
“Two hip strokes and here I slide, I sweep, I embrace”… Each age group therefore has its own programme and the programmes unfold one after the other in a magical flow that praises the Nature of the Fenua, and the way dancing embodies it.
With more and more freedom, because, as Mamie Louise Kimitete has kept repeating, the ultimate aim of dancing is “freedom”: freedom to move, to embody the impulses of the heart, freedom resulting from a mastered technique, freedom of smiling faces, poetic freedom: “the fire burning within you is like those sun rays that will shed light on your dance and your performance… listen, and find that peaceful state of mind that will make you happy”. The best male and female dancers will also perform on stage. This is something much appreciated by the public and the followers of the Conservatory.