International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Circular letter July 2006

ICTM Study Group on the Musics of Oceania

Circular news letter - July 2006

Dear SGMO members,
This is only a short news letter. The preparation for our conference in November goes well ahead but the ultimate programme is not ready and will be circulated separately.

ICTM-conference, Vienna
There are no further propositions for themes for our panel at the Vienna 39th ICTM conference. So far, nobody indicated a wish to participate at one of the proposed panels (1 - Europe Consuming the Pacific in the 19th Century, 2 – Festivals, 3 – Archive). Nevertheless, please remember: deadline to send panel or individual presentation proposals (350 pages) to the ICTM program-committee is end of October 2006.

Melanesian Arts Festival
The third Melanesian Arts Festival will be held in Suva from October 2nd to October 10th. This will be the first Melanesian Arts Festival with representation from other countries with large Melanesian populations, including Australia, West Papua, and Timor Leste. The theme of the Festival is to be "Living Culture and Living Traditions".

Members list on website?
To facilitate the contact among members I propose to have the list of the SGMO members with their e-mail addresses on our website. Please indicate if you do not want your name and e-mail address on our website - before 15 September.

Musée Quai Branly

The muse du Quai Branly is open since 23 June 2006.

Wall facing river Seine (Eifeltower in the back) Australian painters preparing the ceiling

News from members

Dan Bendrups was recently awarded the 2005 Vice Chancellor's Commendation "for a doctoral thesis of exceptional merit" at Macquarie University for his PhD dissertation "Continuity in Adaptation - A history of Rapanui Music". This is the first time that a music PhD has ever been awarded this prestigious honour.

Brian Diettrich, PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of
Hawaii at Manoa, is continuing his dissertation research in Chuuk State,
FSM, under the support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Recent and notable
performance events in Chuuk include a festival of Micronesian music and
dance (May 2006) at Xavier High School, with many performances reflecting
those displayed at the 2004 Ninth Festival of Pacific Arts, especially those
by Belau and Yap. Also of possible interest to members and documented by
Brian is the recent conclusion (June 2006) of two events on Polowat and
Pollap Islands celebrating the formal initiation of several traditional
navigators and including many hours of traditional music and dance. At the
College of Micronesia, Chuuk Campus, Brian is currently assisting with an
upcoming photo exhibit, which will display images of Chuukese cultural
performances from the past 100 years.

In the early 1970s, SGMO member Jane Moulin broke new ground by being the only non-Polynesian to perform regularly with a professional Tahitian dance troupe and to participate in repeated years of July competitions. While European dancers are now part of the yearly Heiva events, particularly those of the dance schools, Moulin has once again entered an area of performance basically unexplored by Tahiti’s non-Polynesian community. Marking the 30th anniversary of her last competition in Tahiti, Moulin (presently in French Polynesia for five and a half months of field research) returned to the Heiva stage as part of the hīmene group from the district of Papara for their presentation of hīmene tārava, hīmene rū‘au and ‘ūtē. She writes. “With so many mature singers who are highly experienced in the particular style of Papara hīmene, it was an absolute privilege to be part of this group. Papara has a long-standing reputation and over a century of excellence in tārava singing. The process of participating as the songs took shape was fascinating, and the opportunity to observe the approaches to transmission, group responsibility, and rehearsal patterns was very instructional.” She attached a couple of photos from this year's Heiva with the sidenote “I am the nose and cheekbone under the ferns on the far right of the Papara photo!”

Tamarii Papara himene tarava wins third place prize


Tamariki Oparo from Rapa wins first place in dance