Dancing has played a major role in Polynesian life for centuries. Those voyaging to these shores will have noticed the Polynesians innate passion for dancing & yet the tamure was almost wiped out in the early 19th century by missionaries who banned the dance as ‘debauchery’, as an expression of paganism.
The Heiva with its internationally acclaimed dancing now symbolises the Polynesian celebration of their heritage & culture. But you don’t have to wait for the Heiva to see the tamure, this rhythmic & sensual dance of the Tahitians, nor see it only through reports such as Heiva 2013.
Locals & visitors alike today have a choice of great venues on Bora Bora where every week the tamure is celebrated, where almost every night of the week you can find a wonderful spectacle & there’s no entry fee, no need for a ticket.
- The opportunity exists to see wonderful tamure all year round.
- Here’s how those staying outside of the larger resorts can see a range of quality tamure in great surroundings.
For those staying on the main island you need focus on the Intercontinental Le Moana Resort on Matira Point or the Sofitel Marara less than a kilometre further south. Tourists may not realise that they can avail themselves of the excellent facilities of these two resorts, enjoy a gourmet dinner or simply a drink at the bar whilst witnessing, even participating in, a quality spectacle in these excellent surroundings.
At the time of writing Le Moana Resort offers a spectacle at 7.45pm each Tuesday & Saturday. Saturdays tend to have a greater number of dancers. The 45 minute shows are performed by Moere’s group & are highly activated tamare (known to Tahitians as Otea):
Moere herself dances a wonderful Aparima – the Tahitian tamure danced to a slower more elegant tempo:
Danced on a sand ‘island’ excellently placed & central to the resort’s main dining area the show sees tradition respected with spectators regularly invited to dance. Kids too get their chance so this can be a good option for those with children:
Alternatively the Sofitel Marara has a 45 minute spectacle at 8pm every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at an excellent setting beside the lagoon-side pool overlooked by both diners & the bar.
Tuesday’s spectacle is a celebration of joy & fun performed by ‘Mamas; a wonderfully relaxed look at Polynesian life as reflected in dance.
Thursday’s spectacle danced by Frederic’s group is essentially Aparima – the Tahitian tamure danced to a slower more elegant tempo. It is regretable that there is no orchestra accompanies the dancers on this evening (photo below taken on the cruise ship):
Saturday sees the group of Michael performing; another lively hit-out of Otea (bad weather last night forced the show into cramped conditions inside; more shots next week):
These groups dance with the same regularity at the larger hotels on the motu as well as on the cruise ships which visit Bora Bora. As a consequence the performances are ‘top shelf’! The shots below are of Frederic’s group performing this week on one of the cruise ships visiting Bora Bora:
- Dress appropriately realising you are there as guests of the hotels.
- The schedule, dance group & indeed the type of dance itself can change regularly so check in advance to see what’s on at the hotel of your choice but it’s a great way to spend a night.
Ori Tahiti (Tahitian Tamure) is now the subject of an application that is being made to have the dance included as part of World Heritage.
Go see it NOW!