Pacific Dance Festival 2017
Pacific Dance Festival
Returning in 2017 after a hugely successful debut last year, the Pacific Dance Festival will launch an all new programme, running 15–24 June at Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland. Born out of the Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory (since 2009), the festival provides an opportunity for Pacific choreographers to create, develop, and perform original dance works in a celebration of Pacific cultures. This initiative by Pacific Dance New Zealand has expanded over two weeks, presenting a programme that embraces contemporary Pacific dance in the most populous Polynesian city in the world.
“The festival is New Zealand’s only contemporary Pacific dance festival of its type and showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says festival director Iosefa Enari. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for audiences to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance out there.”
The first week of the festival will present Wahine Toa over two nights, a collection of four works by female choreographers in a celebration of the strength and diversity of Pasifika women: Tai Akaki by Tepaeru–Ariki Lulu French, Ave by Ufitia Sagapolute, West Meet South by Losalia Milika Pusiaki, and Found Words by Julia Mage'au Gray. The week will conclude with the debut performance of the highly anticipated Nu’u by Freshmans Crew on Saturday 17th June, fusing together Pacific, Maori, Urban and Contemporary dance styles in a story exploring three characters and their experiences growing up in New Zealand. Nu’u will debut at the Pacific Dance Festival before travelling overseas, with interest from as far abroad as Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Utah already being expressed.
Week two will feature the men of the programme in action, presenting Tamatoa and consisting of five original works: Muamua and Keeping the Faith by Joash Fahitua, Fa’aafa by Pati Tyrell, Mea Tau by Elijah Kennar, and Tu Move by the New Zealand School of Dance. Closing the festival is a huge double bill performance of Aumaga by Le Moana and Le Mau by Jasmine Leota, showing on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June. Aumaga explores the spaces inhabited by the ‘untitled’ men of Samoan villages, their day to day activities, and their service to family and culture. Inspired by the ‘Mau Movement’ of the 1920’s, Le Mau fuses traditional Samoan song and dance with movement from Tonga, Tokelau, and other dance genres, fused together by a core of live music played on traditional instruments and sharing universal tones of the strength and resiliency of Pacific people.
In addition to the evening performances, the Festival is inviting schools in South Auckland to attend free matinees of four of the works, Tia, Keeping the Faith, Le Mau and Aumaga as part of their commitment to nurture and support the stories of young Pasifika people.
Showcasing the diversity and joy of the world of Pacific Dance, audiences will be delighted with the programme on offer in the home of Auckland’s Pacific culture. With last year’s performances being noted as having “immense potential” (Theatreview) and “breaking down of stereotypes of what can be labelled ‘Pacific Dance’” (DANZ), tickets will be snapped up so get in quick.
More information about the Pacific Dance
Festival 2017 can be found at www.pacificdance.co.nz
PACIFIC DANCE FESTIVAL 2017
Dates: Thursday 15 – Sat 24 June
Venue: Mangere Arts Centre
Children - $12.00 per ticket
Unwaged and student $20.00 per ticket
Adult - $25.00 per ticket
Polypass (4 shows) - $75.00
Wahine Toa featuring Tai Akaki, Ave, West Meet South,
and Found Words – Thursday 15th and Friday 16th
Nu’u – Saturday 17th June
Tamatoa featuring Muamua, Keeping the Faith, Fa’aafa, Mea Tau, and Tu Move – Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd June
Double Bill: Aumaga and Le Mau – Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June