Dargaville duo set to march in Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Wellington

The Royal Edinburgh MilitaryTattoo marches into Westpac Stadium in Wellington this week.
MAARTEN HOLL

The Royal Edinburgh MilitaryTattoo marches into Westpac Stadium in Wellington this week.

Two of Dargaville's own will be among the performers as the Royal Edinburgh MilitaryTattoo marches into Westpac Stadium in Wellington this week.  

Highland dancers, sisters Sarah,18, and Hannah de Bruin,16, along with six other dancers from Northland have been selected to represent New Zealand in a 50 strong team to perform the precision dances.

Mother of both girls, Kathryn de Bruin, is "obviously proud" of her daughters' talent. "I think it is wonderful they have this opportunity," she says. "They will be in about four dances, performing for around three or four minutes each dance."    

Highland dancing sisters Sarah and Hannah de Bruin are among a team of 50 New Zealand dancers who will perform at the ...
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Highland dancing sisters Sarah and Hannah de Bruin are among a team of 50 New Zealand dancers who will perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Wellington.

The girls will join a cast of more than 1200 on Thursday, mixing with performers from all over the globe as well as New Zealand displays by the Auckland Police Pipe Band, NZ Army Band and kapa haka performers.

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Edinburgh Tattoo's castle is nearly complete.
MAARTEN HALL

Edinburgh Tattoo's castle is nearly complete.

To be selected for the Highland dance troop, dancers have to be of premier grade and actively be competing before applying. Hannah and Sarah have competed in New Zealand and Australia and Sarah has also travelled to Scotland to compete in the dance.  

Both girls and their younger sister Amy,14, have been dancing since early childhood, acquiring a love for the steps handed down through the family's generations as Kathryn and her own mother were also Highland dancers.

Although Kathryn's ancestry can be traced back to the Midlands, Scotland, "the Murrays" she says the girls uniform is not affiliated with their clan's tartan.

"The girls chose their uniform colours because they liked them," she says.

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"When I went to Scotland, I had a look where we came from. I found a place in the middle of nowhere, no churches, not even a tiny village."

Sarah and Hannah have been in Wellington rehearsing the choreographed highland dances a week prior to the February 18 start.

The show is staged against a backdrop of a full-size replica of Edinburgh Castle and performed to a sold-out crowd of thousands.

Tattoo history

The word 'tattoo' evolved from 17th century Dutch innkeepers last call for the night, 'tap toe'.

The British army adopted and transformed the call into a musical signal of pipe music and drumming, appointing soldiers who would play their instruments as they marched through a town, warning the local regiment out enjoying the nightlife, that is was now time to return to the barracks. 

Scotland's famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, has been watched by millions over its 65 year history. This year Wellington hosts this famous event.

 - Stuff

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