Free Poi workshops in Rotorua (Rugby World Cup)

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Locals keen to extend their poi skills to incorporate dance and a variety of different poi are being encouraged to check out Rotorua Entertains latest offering.

The Rotorua District Council (RDC) project, with support from Rotorua Trust and REAL NZ Festival funding, provides local people with the skills to entertain during Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC2011) festivities. Rotorua Entertains has now added an exciting poi workshop to its RWC2011 repertoire.

RDC community arts officer Kiri Jarden says the workshops with poi exponent Ra Apanui are for people already proficient in poi but classes will deliver a more contemporary and theatrical style.

Ras workshop is for poi but not as we know it. The workshop incorporates dance, movement and fire so that those already accomplished in poi will be taught an extension to their talents.

Participants will be provided with a unique poi for use during the workshop, which can also be purchased if they choose.

The poi workshops are limited to 10 participants and are being held from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 30 July, and from 10am to 12pm on Sunday 31 July, Saturday 20 August, and Sunday 21 August.

Potential poi-dancers can also check out Ra’s fire poi beforehand on Thursday [21 July] at 6.30am at the RWC2011 Roadshow at the Rotorua Museum.

Ms Jarden says there are still opportunities for locals to join in other Rotorua Entertains workshops, including samba on Tuesdays, face painting on 3 August, and salsa again on 25 August. In addition there will be wananga/workshops incorporating all the Rotorua Entertains art forms on 27 August and 3 September.

With these classes we are building on the arts and cultural strengths for which we are renowned, and providing locals with an opportunity to develop new and exciting skills to use and delight wherever they go.

Anyone interested in attending the poi, salsa, or samba workshops can register by emailing rotoruaentertains@rdc.govt.nz or by phoning Kiri Jarden at Rotorua District Council on 351 8154.

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