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Hero image for Islands of Light - South Pacific Dance

Islands of Light - South Pacific Dance

Short Film (Full Length) – 1988

This short film celebrates three performances from the South Pacific; the sasa from Western Samoa, the ura pa'u (drum dance) from the Cook Islands, and the haka from Aotearoa. The sasa is an energetic group dance with varied hand movements depicting everyday activities like cracking a coconut, and making nets. The ura pa'u dazzles with its colourful costumes (the skirts are made from dyed kiri'au or beach hibiscus) and the agile hip action of its female performers. Leading the haka is Pita Sharples, who founded champion kapa haka group Te Roopū Manutaki. Director David Robertson also made short Lovelock.

Samoan dance is the poetry of a people. Traditional choreography comes from place and custom; the dances tell a story of cultural values and celebrate simple events. They are graceful, exuberant, comic, and emblematic of the oldest culture in Polynesia.
– Writer Benna Crawford on traditional Samoan dance, Love to Know website

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for David Robertson

David Robertson

Director, Producer, Editor, Camera

Generic Profile image for Pita Sharples

Pita Sharples


Generic Profile image for Cherie Aston

Cherie Aston

Sound Recordist

Produced by

Huia Films