Rarotonga Island. Cook Island. Polynesia. South Pacific Ocean. A woman dances moving her hips in one of the traditional dances of the Cook Island, in Polynesia during the Highland Paradise Cultural Village show.  The music of the Cook Islands is characterized by heavy drums and "frantic ukuleles" and Raro Records is the main specialist in music retail on the islands. Performing groups include the Cook Islands National Arts Theatre, Arorangi Dance Troupe, Betela Dance Troupe, Akirata Folk Dance Troupe, and Te Ivi Maori Cultural Dance Troupe. Men perform the hura, which is the equivalent of the Hawaiian hula, locking their feet on the ground and keeping their shoulders steady. Drums form part of an ensemble. Akirata Folk Dance Group. Dances are performed at multicultural festivals. One of the popular traditional dances of the Cook Islands is the Maori Ura, a sacred ritual usually performed by a female who moves her body to tell a story, accompanied by intense drumming by at least 5 drummers. Moving the hips, legs and hands give off different gestures to the audience to tell a tale, typically related to the natural landscape such as the ocean and birds and flowers, but also feelings of love and sadness. The ura dance has three distinct components; the ura pa'u (drum dances), korero (legends) and kaparima (action songs). To perform the ura, women typically wear a pareu and a kikau (grass) skirt, with flowers and shell headbands and necklaces known as ei. Men during the dance are said to "vigorously flap their knees in a semi-crouched position while holding their upper bodies steady, and they typically wear kikau skirts and headbands. The drumming group, an integral part of the Ura typically consists of a lead drummer (pate taki), support lead (pate takirua), a double player (tokere or pate akaoro) playing wooden gongs, and two other players playing skin drums (pa'u and mango). The finest performances of the Ura are put on in Rarotonga. A sexually charged variant of the ura dance is known at the ura piani in which both men and women are involved in telling the story. Other variations include the ura rore (stilt dance), ura tairiri (fan dance), ura korare (spear dance), and ura rama (torch dance).  Aside from the Ura dance and its component such as the korero and kaparima, there are several other genres of music and dance in the Cook Islands including dance dramas (peu tupuna), religious pageants (nuku), formal chants (pe'e), celebratory chants ('ute), and polyphonic choral music ('imene tapu). Like the ura, these are also often accompanied by drums.