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Measina Festival – Porirua’s contemporary cultural treasure

Measina Festival – Porirua’s contemporary cultural treasure


Image: Mark Tantrum

New Zealand’s most talented Pasifika artists will be on show at next month’s annual Measina Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the Measina Festival of Contemporary Pacific Dance and Theatre festival showcases live theatre, music and dance and is being held at Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua from 7 to 9 December.

Pātaka Director Reuben Friend says it’s very exciting to be working with Le Moana and the Wellington Regional Amenities Fund to present the Measina Festival in Porirua.

“The Director of Le Moana – Tupe Lualua – is one of our Porirua home girls and she studied at Whitireia back in the day, so it’s very special for us to be able to host her and the Measina Festival performers here at Pātaka in 2017, and into the future,” he says.

“Pātaka and Porirua City Council have a long history of investing in and developing new Pacific dance and theatre, particularly when Whitireia Performing Arts School was based here at Pātaka.”

Le Moana’s Tupe Lualua – the Measina Festival’s artistic director – says the festival’s name is fitting.

“The Samoan meaning for Measina is ‘cultural treasure’ and the Measina Festival is just that. Measina has established a platform for Pasifika practitioners to showcase their talents and present their craft.

“Audiences will enjoy a showcase of contemporary, multi-disciplined art forms and discover stories told in fresh and exciting ways,” she says.

This year’s Measina Festival line-up includes a debut performance devised by Tupe Lualua based on the much-loved children’s story by Patricia Grace and illustrated by Robin Kahukiwa, Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street.

Around 70 students from Cannon’s Creek School will perform. Le Moana dancers and choreographers Tehau Winitana, Oriwa Mitchell and Sophia Uele will work with the children. Jim and Bridgette Murphy from the Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre created the large-scale tuna puppet. Porirua singing sensations Le ART will narrate the story through song.

Joash Fahitua and Perri Exeter of Auckland’s Trip the Light Dance Collective will present their latest work Mixtape, a dynamic series of five original dances inspired by experiences in their youth, culture and communities.

Artists Sophia Uele, Selina Alefosio and Jasmine Leota will stage Tama’ita’i – Female Showcase. Described as an evolution of Pacific heritage dance, the all-female choreography showcase includes three pieces that encompass dance culture, tradition and history and explore current social attitudes and stories.

Emerging playwrights Charles Masina and Mila Fati will introduce their works Colour of Love about a young man introducing the love of his life to his family and their reactions and Coconut a play about Samoan superstition in Ali’I – Male Showcase.

Tickets are $10–20 available at www.measinafestival.org

MEASINA FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC DANCE & THEATRE Pātaka Art + Museum 7–9 December 2017

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