Yesterday, the Turquoise team proudly hosted a wonderful group of dancers and musicians from the Cook Islands, who are currently over in the UK in honour of the Queens Jubilee. Having spent the weekend dancing at the Jubilee pageant at Windsor castle, amongst celebrities such as Susan Boyle and Joss Stone, the dancers kindly gave us an afternoon and evening of their precious time, to perform to the people of Beaconsfield.
Our first stop was High March girls school, where the dancers did two amazing performances to both the upper and lower houses of the school. The girls loved the music and dancing and also learning a bit more about the Cook Islands from the groups fantastic hosts Emil and Papatua. Although Papatua was hosting the performances we also learnt that he himself had been the Cook Islands dance champion for 7 years running before retiring to work for the tourist board and the current champion was a member of the dance group – we really were amongst the stars of the South Pacific! Having waved goodbye to the girls we carried on our tour to Davenies boy’s school, where the group did another impressive performance of dances and musical pieces, each with a different message or story from the Islands of the Cooks. Much to the delight of the years 8&9 boys the lovely lady dancers chose four boys from the audience to join in one of the performances, dressed in the full attire of Pareo’s, necklaces and headdresses. They were absolutely fantastic and the whole room was tapping their feet to the beat of the tropical drums. Unfortunately the sunny South Pacific weather didn’t quite fit on the airplane along with all the equipment and costumes so we were unable to hold the performances outside, but considering the dancers had bare feet and wearing little costumes, I think they were very happy to be inside! We are hugely grateful to both High March and Davenies for hosting us, it was fantastic to share with the children the wonderful culture of such a fabulous destination.
Sun dances and prayers were shortly answered as the rain began to cease just in time for us to set up for our evening event. In an attempt to change our small English courtyard into a desert island for the evening, palm trees were erected, fire pits lit, tropical flowers arranged and fruity cocktails poured. The atmosphere was buzzing as everyone arrived in anticipation for the group to take centre stage. For the fourth time that day the dancers and musicians delivered a faultless performance, including a traditional welcome dance, drum dances and a variety of dances from the different islands of the archipelago. The stunning performance ended with a few of the audience being asked to go and join the dancers which was fantastic, although I’m not sure anyone will be recruited for the next tour! Hibiscus catering provided delicious desert island canapés followed by mouth-watering banoffee and brownie bites which went wonderfully with the Cooks Cocktails and wine selection from the Beaconsfield Wine Cellars.
It was a truly brilliant day of learning, sharing and fun, bringing Beaconsfield a little bit closer to the culture and traditions of the stunning South Pacific Cook Islands. We are so honoured to have had the dance group for the day and wish them the very best of luck with the rest of their UK tour.
For more information on visiting the Cook Islands, please call one of our specialists now on 01494 687400.