2023 Polyfest

20 Mar 2023

The 2023 ASB Polyfest took place from 8 -11 March this year. While Polyfest began in 1976 for Polynesian students, it’s since expanded into an opportunity for everyone. Botany Down Secondary College entered three groups to perform on Diversity stage this year – Chinese, Indian and Punjabi Dance. The 2023 theme was Mana Motuhake which translates into creating one’s destiny for this year’s event.

The Chinese dance group, led by Elaine Su and Candice Wang, interpreted the theme by telling a sad love story in which the girl tried to fight against her fate by refusing the pre-arranged wedding. Punjabi dance group was choreographed by Simran Kaur, and they represented Northern region of India well.

All three groups practised hard in the past three weeks and their effort finally paid off by giving a fantastic performance on the Diversity Stage and appearing on TV1 news, Stuff newspaper.

Chinese Dance Group

Punjabi Dance Group

Indian Dance Group

Polyfest 2023 marked a fresh beginning for Botany Downs Secondary College to represent our Indian culture in such widespread communities.  This year’s experience got off to a really exciting start with rehearsals and choreography. After four years of Covid-19, our morning and afternoon practises several times a week paid off when we performed as the first school to open the Polyfest Diversity stage.  All three leaders – Diza, Nelly, and I – enjoyed the opportunity to lead such a beautiful group of young women who wanted to represent their culture on a bigger stage.

We had morning and afternoon practises, organised our costumes before our dress rehearsals, and held numerous weekend rehearsals over the last few weeks before Polyfest. I recall our costumes arriving and how silly they looked, since it was nothing like what we had expected, yet we had hope for it to work out perfectly fine.

It was a really anxious morning on the morning of Polyfest for both the girls and the leaders. Diza was able to squeeze in a fast practise 25 minutes before our bus left, and the adrenaline rush was starting to pick up. We had arrived fairly early and managed to pinch in a quick last minute rehearsal in front of our performing stage. As we began to move into our changing tent, it’s no surprise….another rehearsal. Shortly after, we were called backstage since Botany was the first college to perform, and we anxiously yet eagerly awaited the announcement of Botany’s name.  As we made our way onto the stage we saw many faces of our supporters from Botany College cheering us on after our 1-1.5 months of hardwork.

I had an amazing time performing for Polyfest 2023, and if I could, I’d do it all over again. Special thanks to our teachers for supervising our dance practises especially Mr Sharma, Mrs Govind, Mr Jeet and also Mrs Nelapathi.

~ Kiratpreet Kaur 13E2


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