Dances of Life ( 2005 )

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For 50,000 years the peoples of the Pacific Islands have expressed and perpetuated their cultural values through dance. This unique form of artistic and historical expression has survived ocean voyages of thousands of miles, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, and internecine wars. But the greatest threat to their dance traditions came from European and American colonizers who disapproved of these "pagan" and "primitive practices" and attempted to destroy them. They almost succeeded. Until 1972, it appeared that this dance tradition would be wiped out entirely. But that year, the Conference of the Pacific Community decided "to combat the erosion of traditional customary practices" by organizing the first Festival of Pacific Arts. There have now been a total of eight Pacific Arts Festivals. Each of these events have built a steadily larger constituency for this art form. However, none of them, have been thoroughly documented on film so that these diverse cultures can be seen, understood, remembered, appreciated, and admired by the islanders themselves and by audiences throughout the world. The ninth Pacific Arts Festival was held in Palau in July of 2004. On that occasion, International Cultural Programming , in partnership with Pacific Islanders in Communication, the Executive Committee of the Palau Festival Community, PBS and UNESCO, made the first thorough documentation of this event on high-definition video for national and international broadcast and for historic archive. The objective is to further the Pacific Community's purpose of reviving, perpetuating and promoting this cultural experience by bringing it to an audience of millions of viewers in the United States, Europe and the Pacific Islands -- and by creating a permanent archive that will be accessible to any interested party free of charge. The Pacific Islands are largely unknown to most of the world. The purpose of this film is to enhance our understanding of their cultural identity, their civic life and their artistic achievement.
Genres Documentary
Released Jan 22 2005
Duration 0 minutes
Directed By Catherine Tatge
Starring Andrew Scott

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