A Guam-based Palauan dance group made its way to Saipan over the weekend for the first time to perform in the 20th Annual Taste of the Marianas.
Eltel ngerbuns is a Palauan dance group that consists of individuals who are originally from the state of Aimeliik in Palau. The group was formed specifically to represent the cultural dances of the state of Aimeliik.
According to the group’s spokesperson, Ellie Ongrung, it was the group’s first time to come to Saipan.
“We originally wanted to perform for the Flame Tree [Arts Festival] but…the date was never confirmed, so by the time we actually confirmed with Taste, that’s when the dates came out for the Flame Tree but we have already committed to Taste,” she said.
Ongrung said their first performance on Saipan turned out to be quite the success. “Saipan is so hospitable, it was so much fun, I just hope that the Saipan residents enjoyed it.”
The group performed a total of three full song sets and one micro-mix set consisting of songs from other islands in Micronesia aside from Palau.
Ongurung said the community can expect the Eltel ngerbuns to return to the CNMI for future performances.
“We actually just met with the Aimeliik club here on Saipan and the goal is to try and either come back annually or every other year,” she said.
The trip was funded by the Guam Aimeliik club through their various fundraisers.
“You never know what to expect when you go somewhere new…but everyone [here] was just so nice…we just hope that we gave a good show for the residents and we hope to be back,” she said.