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The formal structure of the composition, the way in which the performers are brightly lit and the audience silhouetted, is a pictorial device used in other European works of the 18th century. It adds drama to the atmosphere of the event and emphasises the rhythmic movement of the dance. Cook reflected in his diary of the dances he observed in Tonga: "These dances vary perhaps much more than we were able to discover, however there appeared a sort of sameness throughout the whole, and so would, I apprehend the most of our Country dances to people as inacquainted with them as we were with theirs. The drawings which Mr. Webber has made of these performances will give a very good idea of the order in which they range themselves but neither pen nor pencil can describe the numerous actions and motions they observe, which as I have before observed are easy and graceful and many of them extremely so."
- A Night Dance by Women, in Hapaee
- Production date
- 406 x 560 mm
- W.M Sharp sculpt.. 17.
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2006
- Accession no
- No known copyright restrictions
- International Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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