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Māori boy becomes a mover and shaker on Tahitian dance scene

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 8:56 a.m.

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By Raiha Johns

A Māori boy from Gisborne is living a life most can only dream about, in the tropical island of Tahiti.

Photographer Mareikura Brightwell is the son of one of Māoridom's most celebrated cravers and waka exponents, Greg Brightwell and his Tahitian wife Raipoia.

Brightwell caught up with The Hui reporter Raiha Johns in Tahiti about how he's combined his passion for Ori Tahiti (Tahitian dance) and his profession. He moved back to Tahiti five years ago and is making waves on the dance scene.

Mareikura is now a dancer for one of Tahiti's top groups O Tahiti E, and this year he fulfilled his lifelong dream of performing at Heiva, Tahiti's equivalent to Te Matatini, the national performing arts competition. 

Through his experience in Ori Tahiti, he's seen the impact of colonisation on Tahitian culture and the misappropriation of its national dance form.

Mareikura is making it using his photography skills to help preserve Ori Tahiti and maintain its authenticity. 

The Hui

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