THE struggles of the indigenous people of New Caledonia, the Kanaks, to keep their identity alive was showcased at the Epeli Hau'ofa International Dance Festival at USP on Tuesday night.
Spectators watched in awe as the two dancers — Soufiane Karim and Ludovic Siman Wenethem — displayed their skills in a contemporary art dance at the ICT Theatre.
Festival director Peter Espiritu said the dance by the two youths from the Posue group in New Caledonia displayed how the Kanaky people and the French had learnt to live together despite difficulties they faced.
"New Caledonia is sort of a French country now but Kanaky people are struggling to keep their identity," Mr Espiritu said.
"If you noticed during the dance, he was speaking French and their dance was the sign of their indigenous identity.
"It shows how they have learnt to live together for good or for bad.
"The diversity of expression from international groups have been very impressive and I'm proud of the USP dancers and how they were able to dance side by side with international dancers."
The show continues tonight.