Latvia's 'choral haka' causes a sensation

The Latvian Song and Dance Festival always produces a few surprises, but it's doubtful this year's event will present anything more astonishing than the sight of a male voice choir throwing down the gaunlet to their rivals in choral competition by performing the famous 'haka' of New Zealand's Māori warriors.

The 'Dziedonis' male voice choir, under the direction of conductor Uldis Kokars, lit up the internet with their dramatic end-of-recital move, which really has to be seen to be believed. You'll find it in the video above – we recommend watching the whole thing to see the full context and to fully appreciate the vocal skills of the choir.

Haka are traditional ceremonies performed by New Zealand's indigenous Māori peoples, but are perhaps best known as a pre-match ritual challenge issued by that country's famous All Blacks rugby union team.  

Despite being a clear hit with spectators in the concert hall and online, Dziedonis, which is Latvia's oldest male voice choir, wound up in second place in the competition behind the Daugavpils choir 'Forte'.

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