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Sunday, 21 July, 2002, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Pupils to perform Maori war dance
Pippa Blything leads the Haka, a Maori dance with Duncan Chaplin (L) and Jack Pollard (R), all from Tarvin Primary school in Cheshire.
Tarvin primary pupils learn the haka Maori dance
Primary school pupils have been granted permission to perform the Maori "haka" dance at a welcoming ceremony for athletes taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Teachers at Tarvin Primary School, in Cheshire, sought the approval of the Maori minister of education to perform the dance made famous by New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks.

The players dance the warlike haka before each match, both to greet and to intimidate their opponents.

Although the year six youngsters may appear a little less ferocious than the strapping All Black squad, school head Jean Nield said that in costume and make-up they were an impressive sight.

Big performance

Mrs Nield said the class was invited to take part in a dance festival earlier in the year when the haka was chosen to try to encourage some of the class's more reluctant boys to take part.

They are now practising for their big performance in front of the New Zealand athletes at ceremony being staged on Tuesday evening in the athletes' village.

"We were so proud of the children's performance at the dress rehearsal and are all looking forward to doing it for real next Tuesday when we hope the New Zealand athletes will be there," said Mrs Nield.


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18 Jun 02 | England
18 Jun 02 | Wales
11 Jun 02 | Technology
29 Mar 02 | Wales
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