More than just a fire knife contest

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene ,

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ENCOURAGING LOCAL TALENT: Faletalimalo Siva Afi Competition 2018.

ENCOURAGING LOCAL TALENT: Faletalimalo Siva Afi Competition 2018.

Siva Afi Entertainment’s new contest called “Faletalimalo Siva Afi Challenge” is back.

The contest has kicked started with two dancers from the Return to Paradise Beach Villas, Lene Alema and Joseph Lemalu, competing against each other.

According to Leota, the reason behind the event is to challenge all accommodation providers in the rural areas to use their young ones to perform in their own areas instead of taking the fire dancers from town.

He hopes it will also provide an employment opportunity for those who are particularly skilled and motivated.

“My first thoughts about this challenge were to develop the young people of Samoa in terms of getting jobs,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“This will allow the dancers from all over the country to experience a competition-like atmosphere and help improve their skills.”

“Not only that, but the challenge is a great promotion for all the accommodation providers who can sponsor their dancers to enter the event.”

He said the contest would run for 12 weeks.

“There will be two fire dancers nominated from each hotel or resort who will perform at the Siva Afi’s weekly show on Tuesday nights,” he said.

“Whoever wins, will proceed to the next round to compete with the winning fire dancer from another resort or hotel.”

He said this is all part of their preparation for their trip to Hawaii to perform at the World Siva Afi tournament which Samoa has been invited to.

Leota Lene Leota.
Leota Lene Leota.

“We have three fire dancers who have been confirmed to this tournament, but I want to take four or five dancers but this all depends on the financial side of things,” he said.

“For last year’s competition, the standard of their performance have improved a lot.”

“There are a lot of young ones who want to join the Siva Afi faletalimalo competition this year and that shows that the advantage of the show from last year.”

“It’s good because this is our art and this is what Samoa is known for because of its traditional fire dance, so I am really looking forward to see some new faces this year and young ones as well.”

Leota said the contest will provide opportunities for hotel and resort fire dancers to win monetary prizes during the contest and will improve the skill levels of dancers in Samoan hotels.

It will also benefit the individual hotels and the Samoan hotels as a group by showing their commitment to preserving and promoting Samoa’s unique performing art, the Siva Afi.

 Leota added not only will the contest benefit the young ones; it will also promote Samoa to the outside world.

“This is good for tourism as well because they will get to see how unique and talented our people are when it comes to tradition and culture,” he said.

“My heart is all for the people of Samoa and doing this will help them get jobs and be able to provide for their families because we all know how hard it is for school leavers to get jobs now.”

“So instead of asking dancers from town to come and perform in the hotels in the rural areas, they will be able to ask their own people from their own villages to perform and that will help families who are residing there.”

If you want to book a seat or to enter the Faletalimalo Siva Afi Challenge, contact Siva Afi Entertainment or Leota Lene Leota on 7726128 or 26128.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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