Tagata Pasifika The Pacific voice on New Zealand television since 1987

World record attempt for biggest online meke performance

Fiji meke

Pacific Dance NZ are marking the beginning of Fijian Language Week with an attempt to set a world record for the largest online meke performance.

Leading the initiative is Fijian heritage choreographer and artist Alipate Traill. In celebrating the end of his 2021 Artist in Residence programme, Traill wants to give young Fijians the opportunity to learn the traditional practice.

Meke is a traditional style of dance from Fiji that combines song and movement to tell stories. Traill says he hopes to “raise awareness that it is important for our children to have a firm grounding in their cultural heritage”.

“Modern day Fijian kids in the urban centres of Fiji are experiencing a major loss of culture. I hope to inspire them to turn it around and take action as they are there in the motherland where cultural knowledge and resources are abundant.”

The event will be livestreamed via Zoom on Monday 4 October. It will start with a one-hour practise at 6pm (NZST), with the final performance to be submitted to Guinness World Records at 7pm.

To attend, participants must register by filling in a Google form where full details on the Zoom call will be provided. Traill also encourages participants to practise ahead of time by following his instructional video below.

Born and raised in Fiji, Traill has spent his life fully immersed in showcasing Fijian culture, history and stories through the performing arts. The West Auckland based artist established the Te Mana Performing Arts Pacific Dance School and Dance company as a platform to inspire and uplift New Zealand born Fijians to celebrate and showcase their heritage.

Since starting his residency on July 27, Traill has been presenting his youth-focused workshops online during Aotearoa’s nationwide lockdown.

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