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USP performance receives standing ovation from Royal Couple

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The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex gave a standing ovation for the performance by the Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices.

Their Royal Highnesses, Prince Harry and Megan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave a standing ovation for the performance by The University of the South Pacific’s  (USP) Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices during their visit at the Laucala Campus on 24 October, 2018.

The Royal couple are on an official tour of the Pacific region to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand and visited USP as part of their state visit to Fiji.

The performance by the Pasifika Voices and the Oceania Dance Theatre was choreographed around the message of the impacts of climate change and its effects on the people of the Pacific, something which was also alluded to by the Duke in his speech after the performance.

The Pasifika Voices ensured that the enactment was truly inclusive of the diversity of USP member countries and Pacific region as a whole, with a fusion of songs from Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.

The Oceania Dance Theatre through innovative contemporary dance demonstrated a high standard fine art and creative talent which captivated the audience including the Royal couple. The message of the performance was a call to climate change action which is severely affecting the region. It drew attention to the role of indigenous and local knowledge as well as the arts as an advocacy tool.

In a moving speech, the Duke of Sussex who is also the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador highlighted that one of the greatest challenges faced by the Pacific region is climate change and he is well aware of the threats faced by the Pacific people in their daily lives.

“You are actually experiencing changing weather patterns, ferocious cyclones, and rising sea levels, particularly in places such as Tuvalu and Kiribati; and you have been living with this for many years, way before the world actually started talking about it.”

USP’s Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices put together a mesmerizing performance for the Royal couple on the effects of climate change on the Pacific region.

He told students of USP that: “my goal is to listen to your concerns, learn more about the work that you are doing to combat these issues and highlight your remarkable achievements at the highest levels”.

The Duke told students that “Together, I believe we can make a lasting difference and this really is our best chance to turn the tides”.

Dr Cresantia Frances Koya, Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies, said the arts at the Oceania Centre are built on the rationale that creative arts can inspire and empower whole audiences. Drawing on cultural knowledges and contemporary issues, it is a movement away from the arts as mere entertainment.

“We are elated that our performance received a standing ovation from the Royal couple, and I am extremely delighted that we have youth ambassadors such as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who have set out to highlight our regions plight to the highest level especially with regards to challenges such as climate change,” Dr Koya said.

“The Royal visit by Their Royal Highnesses is an opportunity to draw international attention on critical the issues affecting the region as a whole and contribute to the call for action to mitigate the effects of climate change, youth, the right to education particularly for disadvantaged groups and of course for the arts and culture,” she added.

The Duke also proudly launched four (4) new Queen Elizabeth scholarships for students from the Caribbean and Pacific regions to support more young people in reducing the effects of climate change in their home countries.


This news item was published on 25 Oct 2018 04:47:49 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email communications@usp.ac.fj


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