Puuqtaluk is a night of silliness and laughter. Sometimes it's the costume that is humorously absurd. Sometimes it's the dancing. Sometimes the contestants actually interact with the audience (or one another) in some ridiculous way. But, no matter the age or dancing ability of the participant, the objective is always to make people laugh.
However, there is another objective to the competition that is almost as important as the humor. The identities of the participants are always kept secret. Part of the fun, for the audience, is trying to guess who is dancing in spite of the disguise that is worn. Contestants often wear several layers of clothing stuffed with pillows in addition to a mask. They may wear mismatched gloves, over-sized shoes, or even walk in an unusual way all in an effort to prevent anyone from guessing who they are. The ultimate accomplishment for a Puuqtaluk participant is to have tricked the audience, to have remained anonymous to the end. How exhilarating it must be to receive cheers of astonishment from the crowd as the mask is lifted revealing the dancer's true identity!
And, of course, receiving a hefty prize check isn't too bad either.
Okay, I forgot to mention that the baby division doesn't really follow the same rules. They pretty much just toddle around and look cute. This little sweetheart won first prize in that age group. She even beat out her older brother who became shy at the sight of the audience.
I'm not sure what baby-boy-left is trying to do to baby-boy-right, but it sure looks like he's determined to do it, whatever it is. These two have more in common than being adorable in their costumes. They were born on the same day...in the same hospital!
This is one of my students. He's pretty excited to have won first prize and is standing at the table waiting for his check. I took this photo right after he revealed his identity. You'll notice he's still sweaty from doing all that dancing dressed up in a heavy disguise.
These three were contestants in the 14-17 year old division.
Here the participants from that same division (14-17 yrs.) are dancing as a group.
Each is also required to dance alone. That's the part where the mask is really handy! How frightening!
These nasty looking characters were contestants in the adult division. The one in the middle actually won first place.
Believe it or not, this ominous figure is actually a rather slender and attractive mother of SIX! All of her children, ages 2 to 8, were in the audience watching mommy dance.
4 years ago