FestPac 2016

 

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Performers from the Solomon Islands

FestPac is over.  With 29 island nations represented, it was impossible to see every dance performance, art exhibit, poetry reading, and film.  I barely scratched the surface of the various demonstrations in the fields of wood carving, metal working, tattooing, culinary arts, canoe navigation, floral arranging, and other disciplines.  I learned so much about many of the nations in attendance.

Each performance, exhibit and demonstration was a lesson in culture, geography, and the arts.  For example, I learned that the Solomon Islands is comprised of almost 1,000 different islands.  Though English is listed as the official language, only 1-2% of the population speak it.  There are almost 80 different languages in the Solomon Islands alone.  There were large nations represented at FestPac, such as Australia and New Zealand, and there were small island nations I had never even heard of.  Feeling as if I’ve only scratched the surface of this hemisphere of the world, it’s made my travel wish list even longer.

This event only happens once every four years, and I was lucky to have been living in Guam the year that they hosted.  I believe the next Festival of Pacific Arts will be hosted in Hawaii in 2020.  If you have the opportunity to attend it in person, I highly recommend it.

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Wood Carver from the Solomon Islands with decorative hand-held fishing reels and other items on display at FestPac

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FestPac 2016: Wood Carving Demonstrations

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Wood Carvers from New Caledonia

I stopped by the Paseo Festival Village in Hagatna to see some of the wood carving demonstrations.  Some of the artists worked on small intricate pieces, while others took chain saws to tree trunks.  I was impressed to see the skill and artistry that goes into each carving, as well as how the styles vary from country to country.

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FestPac 2016: More Dance Performances

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Rapa Nui dancers from Easter Island

As I said in an earlier post, dance is one of my favorite forms of art.  I’ve been actively seeking out the various dance performances throughout the Festival of Pacific Arts 2016.  The main venues for dance performances appear to be the Paseo Festival Village in Hagatna, the Guam Museum in Hagatna, the Farmers Co-Op in Dededo, and Sagan Bisita in Agat.

I recently attended performances at the Agat venue, where I watched several different islands from the Northern Mariana Islands perform, as well as Pohnpei, Rapa Nui from Easter Island, Guam, and Taiwan. The performers, costumes, music, and native dances, all unique to their own native culutres, were definitely a sight to behold.  I was dragged out of the audience and taken up on stage to dance with both Rapa Nui and Guam at different points during the evening, creating new memories to last a lifetime.

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Dancer from Guam performs at FestPac

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FestPac 2016: Venues

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Paseo Festival Village in Guam

The Festival of Pacific Arts has venues all around the island of Guam this week and next.  The main site at the Paseo Festival Village next to the Chamorro Village is a great place to get started.  There you can see demonstrations and art work from all 27 Pacific Island nations in attendance, as well as listen to musical groups throughout the day and into the night.  However, I highly recommend checking out some of the other sites as well.

The outdoor stage at the new Guam Museum is a great place to watch films or performances once things cool down a bit in the evening.  It’s easier to see and hear what’s happening on stage at the museum than it is at some of the other venues.  You can sit down on the ground along paved pathways or stand in the back.  There is also artwork displayed inside, along with indoor scheduled events everyday. Proa is serving their spectacular bar-b-que in their parking lot near the museum, and most of the local restaurants seem to be open during the festival.

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Art Displayed at the Agana Mall

For a nice change of pace, stop by the Agana Mall to see some of the work by featured artists from various countries.  There is a visual arts installation on the second floor of the mall.  It’s indoors and less crowded than the festival village, with ample parking.  There are also poetry workshops and literary arts events happening at the mall venue.

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Guam Dancers performing in Agat

Many of the dance performances are taking place down in Agat.  The downside is that the stage is small and not optimal for the main dance performances.  The dances are on the ground below the stage, which makes it difficult to see what’s going on.  Also, the sound system is somewhat lacking, so it’s difficult to hear what’s being said unless you’re right up front.  I recommend bringing a blanket and sitting down in front for the best view.  For a little more comfort, there are chairs set up in a covered area in the shade, if you don’t mind a partially obscured view.  There are also a few food and drink vendors at the Agat location.

Both the University of Guam and Guam Community College have speakers, films, and other events on the schedule.  There are several field trip opportunities to learn more about the healing arts, tattooing, and body ornamentation.  Many of the dance performances are also taking place at the Farmers Co-Op in Dededo.  Culinary Arts demonstrations can be found at the Hotnu Bakery in Inalahan.  Traditional games take place at Guerrero Field near the main festival village.  The Hagatna Library is hosting story telling, book sales, and literary art sessions.  For a complete list of venues and events, check the Guam Pacific Daily News  for more detailed schedules.

The options are almost endless.  It’s a good thing this festival is two weeks long.  Even then, it will be impossible to see and do it all.  I plan to try my best though!

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FestPac 2016: Demonstrations and Performances

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Performers from Pohnpei

If you’re in Guam for the Festival of Pacific Arts this week and next, be sure to check out some of the many art demonstrations.  I took my kids to see a floral arts demonstration, and they seemed to enjoy sitting on a bench in the shade inside the Guam Floral Arts booth, eating their Hawaiian shaved ice we picked up from one of the food vendors across the way, while watching three florists from the Solomon Islands arrange flowers. (Note: The large parking lot behind the Chamorro Village and Festival Village is where most of the food vendors are set up.)

For example, the Taiwan booth will be doing live performances everyday between 4:30-5:00, along with Do-It-Yourself demonstrations everyday between 5:00-6:00.

There are 23 different venues around the island with separate activities, performances, and demonstrations. Guam Pacific Daily News has been listing a detailed schedule each day, or you can download the FestPacGuam app for schedule info on the go.  Here’s a schedule of today’s activities, listed by venue:

*Schedules are subject to change without notice.

Site: Hagåtña library

  • 10 a.m.: Publications – Browsing Library
  • 10 a.m.: Publications – Workshop: Myths and Legends
  • 10 a.m.: Publications – Workshop Day 4 (Registered Participants Only)
  • 10 a.m.: Publications – Workshop: Non-Fiction
  • 11 a.m.: Publications – Taiwan Presentation: Children’s Books
  • 11:30 a.m.: Publications – Republic of the Marshall Islands Presentation
  • 1 p.m.: Publications – Book Sales
  • 7 p.m.: Author Video Montage

Site: Agana Shopping Center

  • 10 a.m.: Oratory – Spoken Word Wordshop Series Day 4 Agana Shopping Center 2nd Floor Gallery
  • Noon: I Kellat Exhibit Forums, Workshops & Seminars
  • 2 p.m.: Oratory – Spoken Word Poet Facilitator Training Day 4 Agana Shopping Center 2nd Floor Gallery

Site: Angel L.G. Santos Park, Hagåtña

  • 10 a.m.: History – sharing: Places of Power, Stories of Place

Site: Azotea, Hagåtña

  • 4 p.m.: JamzHouse – Ineton Gef Pago
  • 5 p.m.: JamzHouse – Kiribati
  • 6 p.m.: JamzHouse – Samoa
  • 7 p.m.: JamzHouse – Palau
  • 8 p.m.: JamzHouse – Chris Kaipat Island Kaiz

Site: Basilica Museum Gallery, Hagåtña

  • 10 a.m.: Children’s Art Exhibit
  • 10 a.m.: Photography Exhibit
  • 10 a.m.: Visual Arts Exhibit

Site: Budfest/Fokai, Hagåtña

  • 4 p.m.: JamzHouse – Eric Borja Group
  • 5 p.m.: JamzHouse – Norfolk Islands
  • 6 p.m.: JamzHouse – Nauru
  • 7 p.m.: JamzHouse – Tokelau
  • 8 p.m.: JamzHouse – Diaspora Ukulele Trio

Site: Chamorro Village Center Court

  • Noon: JamzHouse – Diaspora Ukulele Trio
  • 1 p.m.: JamzHouse –  Easter Island
  • 2 p.m.: Author Video Montage
  • 2 p.m.: JamzHouse – American Samoa
  • 2 p.m.: Publications – Pacific Literature Public Service Announcements Video
  • 3 p.m.: JamzHouse – Australia (Torres Straits)
  • 4 p.m.: JamzHouse – Ben Lizama

Site: Farmer’s Co-Op, Dededo

  • 3:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Tonga
  • 4 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: New Caledonia
  • 4:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Norfolk Islands
  • 5 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Marshalls
  • 5:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Fiji
  • 6:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Rapa Nui
  • 7 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Pohnpei
  • 7:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Guam

Site: Festival Village, Paseo

  • 10 a.m.: Contemporary Floral Art – Samoa
  • 11 a.m.: Carving Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Floral Arts Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Indigenous Languages Word of the Day
  • 11 a.m.: Tools & Instruments Blacksmith Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Weaving Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Body Ornamentation Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Culinary Arts Exhibit
  • 1 p.m.: Contemporary Floral Art – Kosrae
  • 3 p.m.: Contemporary Floral Art – CNMI
  • 4 p.m.: Tools & Instruments Blacksmith Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 4 p.m.: JamzHouse: New Caledonia – Festival Village Main Stage
  • 5 p.m.: JamzHouse: Candice Muna and Juan Torres- Festival Village Main Stage
  • 6 p.m.: JamzHouse: Nauru – Festival Village Main Stage
  • 7 p.m.: JamzHouse: Solomon Islands – Festival Village Main Stage
  • 8 p.m.: JamzHouse: Palau – Festival Village Main Stage

Site: Guam Community College, Mangilao

  • 11 a.m. Film: “Ma Famille Adoptee” (TA) (Documentary, 52 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • Noon: Film: “Tupaia” (TA) (Documentary, 52 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • 1 p.m.: Film: “Au Large D’Une Vie” (TA) (Short, 30 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • 2 p.m.: Film: “Horo’a Le Don” (TA) (Documentary, 26 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • 3 p.m.: Film: “Sur Le Dos Des Baleines” (TA) (Documentary, 52 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • 4 p.m.: Film “Marine Preserves” (GU) (Documentary, 15 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium
  • 4 p.m.: Film “Terre Natale, Retour A Rurutu” (TA) (Documentary, 52 min) GCC Multipurpose Auditorium

Site: Guam Museum, Hagåtña

  • 10 a.m.: Film Presentation
  • 10 a.m. Oratory Spoken Word: Wordshop Series Day 4 Guam Museum Multipurpose Room
  • 10 a.m. Children’s Art Exhibit  Guam Museum Changing Exhibits
  • 10 a.m.: Visual Arts Exhibit  Guam Museum Changing Exhibits
  • 10 a.m.: Photography Exhibit   Guam Museum Changing Exhibits
  • 11 a.m.: Film “The Spirits& Times will teach” (NZ) (TV, 44 min) Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • Noon: Film “Taiwan Aborigine Austronesian” (TW) (Documentary, 27 min) Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • 1 p.m.: Film “Maolin Tribe Community” (TW) (Short, 2 min); “Hualien Taroko Tribe Community” (TW) (Short, 2 min); “Kurau Tribe Community of Five Year Ritual Ceremony (TW) (Short, 2 min); “Seasons in Seediq Tribe Community (TW) (Short, 2 min) Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • 2 p.m.: Poet Facilitator Training Day 4 Oratory Spoken Word
  • 3 p.m.: Film “Galka” (AU) (Short, 13 min) Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • 4 p.m.: Film “Jihel: The Call of the Shell” (MH) (Feature, 118 min) Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • 4 p.m.: Film “The Grand Carnival” Guam Museum Indoor Theatre
  • 7 p.m.: Film Presentation: “Beat the Beetle” (GU) (Documentary, 15 min); “Without Borders” (GU) (Short); “Griots Lament” (GU) (Short) Guam Museum Outdoor Theater
  • 8 p.m. Film: “Kai Tupuna I Te Tuatao Onge” (CK) (Documentary) Guam Museum Outdoor Theater
  • 9 p.m. Film: “Lucien Kimitete, Un Homme De La Terre des Hommes” (TA) (Documentary, 52 min) Guam Museum Outdoor Theater
  • 10 p.m. Film: “O Tamaiti” (NZ) (Short, 15 min) Guam Museum Outdoor Theater

Site: Guerrero Field

  • 10 a.m.: Traditional Games

Site: Historic Lujan House, Hagåtña

  • 10 a.m.: Bilembaotuyan Presentation

Site: Gef Pa’go, Inalåhan

  • 10 a.m.: Historic Tour and Sharing: Myths, Heroes and Heroines

Site: Hotnu Bakery, Inalåhan

  • 4 p.m.: Culinary Arts Exhibit

Site: Latte of Freedom, Hagåtña

  • 9 a.m.: Carving Demonstration and Exhibit
  • 7 p.m.: Publications – Author Readings: Non-Fiction – Essays, Memoirs, Biographies

Site: Outrigger hotel, Tumon

  • 10 a.m.: Floral Art – Solomon Islands and Ikebana
  • 4 p.m.: Floral Art – CNMI and Samoa

Site: Paseo Point

  • 10 a.m.: Fishing and Hunting – Demonstration and Exhibit

Site: Paseo

  • 3:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Tokelau
  • 4 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Australia
  • 4:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Samoa
  • 5 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Wallis & Futuna
  • 5:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Chuuk
  • 6:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: American Samoa
  • 7 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Norfolk Islands
  • 7:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Yap
  • 8 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Taiwan
  • 8:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: CNMI

Site: Sagan Bisita, Agat

  • 3:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Hawai’i
  • 4 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: CNMI
  • 4:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Cook Islands
  • 5 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: French Polynesia
  • 5:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Kosrae
  • 6:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Nauru
  • 7 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: New Zealand
  • 7:30 p.m.: Performing Arts Traditional Song, Dance and Chant: Solomon Islands

Site: Sagan Kotturan Chamoru, Tumon

  • 10 a.m.: Body Ornamentation Tattoo Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 10 a.m.: Culinary – Chahan (Earth Oven), Kosrae
  • 10 a.m.: Healing Arts Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 10 a.m.: Fishing and Hunting Exhibit
  • 11 a.m.: Fashion Workshop
  • 11 a.m.: Culinary Arts Demonstration & Exhibit
  • 1 p.m.: Culinary Daily Tastings  House #2
  • 4 p.m.: Fashion Workshop
  • 6 p.m.: Culinary Daily Tastings House #2

Site: University of Guam, Mangilao

  • 10 a.m.: Visual Arts Exhibit  Isla Center for the Arts
  • 10 a.m.: Children’s Art Exhibit  Isla Center for the Arts
  • 10 a.m.: Photography Exhibit  Isla Center for the Arts
  • 10 a.m.: Theater Workshop or Stage Readings: New Caledonia, Palau UOG CLASS Lecture Hall
  • 1 p.m.: Theater Main Stage Production: Guam, Palau UOG Fine Arts Theater
  • 7 p.m.: Theater Main Stage Production: New Caledonia UOG Fine Arts Theater

Site: Valley of the Latte, Talofofo

  • 8 a.m.: Healing Arts Field Trip

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FestPac 2016: Updated App Info

I provided a link for a FestPac app in an earlier post, but I’ve received some feedback that it’s been glitchy for a lot of people.  I’ve downloaded another app that I think I like better.  It seems to have more detailed schedule information, as well as links for maps, parking, artists, and a search function.

Click here to download the FestPacGuam app.

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FestPac 2016: Dance Performances

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Dancers from Yap at FestPac 2016

One of my favorite ways to experience another culture is watching traditional dance performances. Every part of the world throughout history has expressed themselves through dance, and the styles of dance can be so unique and specific to a certain place or group of people. Last night, I had the pleasure of watching performers from Yap, American Samoa, and New Zealand as they danced, sang, chanted, clapped, and performed at the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts hosted on Guam.

The dancers from Yap, both male and female, wore long lush rainbow colored straw skirts, no shirts, woven leis, and headdresses.  They powdered their bodies with what appeared to be a yellow resin dye.  They sang and chanted as they performed several dances.  Holding bamboo poles, they deftly clacked them against the poles of other dancers as they moved.

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Dancers from American Samoa at FestPac 2016

American Samoa featured over 50 dance performers on the stage. Dressed in dramatic black and red, they performed with bright smiles on their faces.  Their speaker engaged the audience with humor while explaining the dances.  The style of several dances were similar to Hawaiian hula dancing, but their rhythmic style of complex clapping while both standing and sitting was very specific to American Samoa.  They sang and were accompanied by musicians on guitars and drums, and one dance was performed using coconuts clapped together.  Their finale dance was performed in the traditional way by the daughter of the Chief, joined in by other dignitaries and members of the community.

The Maori dancers from New Zealand, known by locals as Aotearoa, displayed the fierce look of warriors with painted faces and pukana (bulging eyes and protruding tongues).  Wearing beaded tops, woven skirts, and feathers in their hair, they were in constant movement, even between dances, shaking their hands rapidly.  As their speaker explained, it’s believed that where there is movement, there is life.  The speaker did an excellent job of explaining the significance of the movements and props used throughout the performance as each aspect was demonstrated.  Balls on ropes and wooden staffs, which were once used as weapons or to develop the skills and dexterity of hunters and warriors, are now complexly twirled in dances.  They took male volunteers of all ages on stage to learn the Haka, or traditional war dance, which is also used to greet visitors.

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Performers from New Zealand at FestPac 2016

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