The fiafia night at Aggie Grey’s Hotel is a cultural gala showcasing the traditional dances of Samoa along with a fire dance show at the end. Both men and women perform their dances and while the women tend to have smooth, graceful moves, the men perform their fierce warrior dances intended to intimidate the enemy. The noteworthy part of the night for me is that all the dancers and performers are the normal everyday hotel staff at Aggie’s. So much talent here!
As a photographer trying to capture the essence of Samoa, I did my best to get a good seat so I could get some photographs. I ended up about four rows from the stage but right along the center aisle. Prime real estate!
This seemed to work for a while as I got an unobstructed view of the dancers on the stage and some great shots. Unfortunately, there really is too much of a good thing. Halfway through the show, the four young girls who were on stage walked off into the audience to find their dance partners. Unfortunately, for me, I didn’t hide quick enough and before I knew it, I saw one of the girls walking in my direction. The next moment, I was being asked to join her on stage. Although I am pretty shy when it comes to dancing, I did not want to play spoil sport. Plus it would be a new experience for me and probably a great story later. So I let her lead me and my two left feet back to the stage. What followed next can only be described as the killing of the Samoan dance form.
Fortunately for all of us, my fellow traveler thought my camera looked pretty daunting and didn’t take any pictures. So I will save you the misery of having to see any photos of my “performance”!
Thankfully, the fiafia resumed. The real dancers got back on stage and continued to impress the audience with their graceful moves.
The last part of the fiafia is always performed by Aggie Grey Jr. as a tribute to her grandmother, Aggie Grey, after whom the hotel is named.
Aggie Jr. performing the final dance of the night with grace.
Aggie Jr. performed the Samoan routine with grace and her dance was a perfect way to bring an end to the fiafia show.