Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Day 14 (part 1)
Having torn ourselves away from the football, which we reckon was 11-4 when we left, it is time for an evening of traditional Rapa Nui song and dance. Hari Kari are the most famous traditional act on the island and the compact theatre, tucked away down a long side passageway, is almost full by the time the ensemble begins its performance. After ending up drinking on a street corner last night, we were both so keen to see this that we booked advanced seats and find ourselves on the front row, mere centimetres away from the stage. You just know this is going to end badly. Especially as we are celebrating the birth of one of our best mate's son. Today we have christened Lucas Williams Day.
Starting with something akin to a Pacific haka - the lads all painted up, the size of international rugby players and convincingly scary with their shouts and facial expressions - the performance moves on to melodic Pacific sing songs to ballet style 30-person intricate dance moves. The men are huge and tattooed, the women are very pretty (and tattooed). And when the inevitable moment comes when some of the ensemble leave the stage and drag 'unsuspecting' members of the public up to join them, I am hugely relieved that it is Hannes that is chosen, not me. Oh, how I giggle at him, take embarrassing photos of him to tease him with later, and smile at his misfortune.
So, it is only fair, when twenty minutes later, as they bring the brilliant show to its dramatic finale that Hannes should be the one roaring with laughter as I am 'unsuspectingly' dragged up onto the stage. I can deal with this. In fact, with the other four victims having done their dance in front of the paying spectators, it seems like fortuitously I have been forgotten...
...oh shite, I've been dragged into the middle of the stage and the head female dancer is unbuttoning my shirt. Uh, oh, she's stripped me down to my trousers and I am dancing a duo in front of 200 paying punters. And suddenly, as if in a trance (most likely drunken), I find myself drift off and forget myself as I try to focus on dancing with the head Hari Kari girl. I'm jumping around, doing twissles and even waving my arms in some weird style I think I must have picked up from Bruce Forsyth. Then I am surrounded by all the girls from the show; all dancing around me...and just like that I seem to pop out of my weird temporary dance trance and hear and see the crowd going wild. Haha. The whole audience seems to be clapping, laughing and cheering my performance. And as I zone back in to reality I feel terribly ridiculous and marooned up on that Easter Island dance stage. Jeez, how on earth did my life reach this point?
Later in the evening, wandering down the main street looking for a place to eat, people are pointing and waving at me in the street. In a restaurant a father and his daughter congratulate me on my dance performance and show me a video of a bloke dancing topless on the stage who cannot possibly be me. Two blocks up in a smart bar, yet more punters are saying hi and showing me videos of a bloke who cannot possibly be me. From that point on, the night descends into random silliness, ending with Hannes and myself drinking with a Rapa Nuian, two Chileano tourists, a Tunisian trawlerman and five wild dogs down by the Hanga Roa cliff tops at 4am, waves violently crashing a metre or two away.
Copa America 2015
Full coverage of More Than a Game's adventure at the 2015 Copa America in Chile and roadtrip through Chile, Bolivia and Peru.