Sunday, 14 July 2019

Reflections on the Opening Night of the New Fun Hub Fiji 

Night was already falling as we wound our way along a dusky dirt road in search of a mysterious destination. As figures clad in traditional Fijian barkcloth costumes emerged unexpectedly from the tall grass beside the road, our sense of excitement began to grow.  The twilight cane farm vista around us was hiding a surprise…  There it was, looming up ahead of us: a gigantic yellow and white circus tent! 

        PC: Fun Hub Fiji
We approached with a sense of awe, aware that we were about to witness a pivotal point in Fiji’s cultural history:  the opening of the Fiji Fun Hub with Vou Dance Company’s inaugural performance of “Fiji Untold”.

PC:  Mereia Tuiloma-Rova
It is said that the arts have the capacity to reach us at a primal level – speaking to our souls with a raw force that engages both emotionally and intellectually – reviving our tired, information-saturated spirits, and expanding our horizons.  This was my experience as I sat in the bleachers of Fiji’s newest arts and culture venue, swept away from the stress and humdrum of everyday life, into a magical world of rhythm and energy.  Traditional Fijian meke dancers created a kaleidoscope of pulsating movement, while fantastical figures emerged from the shadows to pull us compellingly into a story line that was uniquely Fijian, yet universally relevant.

Days later, and I am still impacted by its themes of belonging and rejection, open-hearted courage versus comfort-zone stagnation, identity lost and recreated, tradition as a straight jacket, or as a powerful source of new inspiration….  All this and more, woven into an amazing evening of performing arts: a visual and musical feast that would be a drawcard on any international dance stage!

PC: Fun Hub Fiji

This two-hour long tidal wave of creativity is mesmerizing, authentic stuff – not an over-commercialized replica, prepackaged for the tourism market.  Here are young Fijian dancers exploring a brave new world: rediscovering the living culture and identity of their indigenous roots, while testing the boundaries of contemporary, creative expression. There is tension, beauty, and magic in that powerful mix! 

It takes guts to follow a dream like this, in a small country like Fiji – and Vou is doing just that, with verve and the kind of exuberant, contagious joy that Fijians are famous for!  Our fledgling arts sector is a place where the tourist dollar has the potential to reach grassroots level directly, and make a real difference – and Fiji Fun Hub founding directors Sachiko and Edward Soro are in this for the long-haul: opening up sustainable career pathways for artistically talented youth where opportunities for training and employment have historically been minimal. 
PC: Fun Hub Fiji

If you have the chance to experience this cutting edge show, I'm guessing you too will come away from "Fiji Untold" with some of its thought-provoking, joyful energy resonating in your own soul.  Vinaka vaka levu Team Vou for giving us all this chance to share in your creative journey!

For further information and tickets, visit the  FUN HUB FIJI WEBSITE