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Pacific Dance Festival 2018

A Wave of New And Diverse Talent on Show at Pacific Dance Festival 2018

The Pacific Dance Festival [June 2nd – 23rd] will offer audiences a fresh and diverse showcase of works by Pacific choreographers in a season celebrating New Zealand’s vibrant Pacific dance scene. The festival is now in its third year and has expanded to a month of events including live performances,workshops, a film screening, and a Pacific dance costume exhibition.

Headlining the programme is the return of Aloali’i Tapu, the #SonofOtara, who has been based in Germany in recent years. After winning Germany’s national prestigious Faust Award for best dancer in 2016, Aloali’i returns to premiere his brand-new solo and full-length work, Goodbye Naughton.

The performance programme of the festival launches with the diversity programme Moana featuring works by Tia Sagapolutele, Lyncia Muller, Rikki Tofi and an ensemble piece by New Zealand School of Dance graduates. The evening performances of the festival include a debut by FAFSWAG artistJacob Tamata premiering his brand-new work Bionica, developed by FAFSWAG subgroup and leading arts collective COVEN. A showcase double-bill (Pou and Anga) features Aue Dance’s Vivian Aue andManu Collective’s Xavier Muao Breed while Blueprint presented by S.U.B. and lead Tū Movechoreographers Connor Masseurs and Toa Paranihi promises an eclectic mix of hip hop, contemporary and the theatrical.

Marking the first international show to be programmed in the Pacific Dance Festival, Fijian performing arts group Rako Pasefika will be making their debut visit to Aotearoa. Rako Pasefika have performed across the globe to critical acclaim and will perform five festival shows (Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 June), following their appearance in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

“We’ve travelled almost everywhere else in the world, but never to the capital of the Pacific – Auckland!”said Rako director Paul Dominiko. “It’s an exciting moment for us to finally share our story with our Aotearoa family, and hopefully hear some stories ourselves.”

Being the world’s largest ‘Polynesian City’, Auckland has long led the Global Pacific arts scene. The Festival provides a platform to express Pacific dance across genre and format; this year across medium too.

Co-presented by the Auckland Museum and Pacific Dance New Zealand, the Mangere Arts Centre gallery will be adorned by a unique dance costuming exhibition, Fa’aliga : Beyond The Grass Skirt. Fa’aliga in Sāmoan means to ‘reveal something’ or a ‘revelation’ and this exhibition, along with the performance programme, promises to be exactly that. A number of precious Pacific dance costumes, on loan from Auckland Museum’s collections, will be displayed in public for the first time, offering an eye-opening view of the diversity of Pacific cultural costumes. Co-curated by new vision artist Rosanna Raymond and festival director Sefa Enari the exhibition also includes items contributed by the artists included in the festival; offering another view of the diverse modern urban Pacific diaspora.

In another first, the Festival is also heading into the central city, with the Auckland Art Gallery playing host to Pacific Dance On Screen on Sunday 10 June. A joint venture between Pacific Dance New Zealand,Auckland Art Gallery, Pollywood Pasifika Film and Pacific Islanders in Film & TV, the curated programme will be a free screening of short films themed around dance from across the Pacific.

A number of dance and professional development workshops will also be held at various locations throughout the city by Dione Joseph, Rako Pasefika, NZ School of Dance and Tahiti Ia Ora. A new work will also be created during the festival by Wellington’s leading Pacific dance troupe - Le Moana at Te Oro Arts Centre.

Hon. Carmel Sepuloni MP will officially open the festival along with the official opening of the costume exhibition on Saturday 2 June, 10am at Mangere Arts Centre.

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.


Exhibition and Festival Launch
Saturday 2 June, 10am; Mangere Arts Centre
Hon. Carmel Sepuloni MP, will launch the festival with the official opening of Fa’aliga: Beyond The Grass Skirtcostume exhibition, followed by short snippets of works from the festival programme, and a performance by Tahiti Ia Ora. An industry invited event – please contact if you would like to attend

Tuesday 12 – Wednesday 13 June, 7pm; Mangere Arts Centre
A collection of short works by upcoming performers, featuring Ufitia Sagapolutele, Lyncia Muller, Rikki Tofi, and the New Zealand School of Dance third year students

Thursday 14 June, 7pm; Mangere Arts Centre
Combining an experience of hip hop, contemporary dance, and theatre, S.U.B presents a web of moments that have an effect on how we live our lives.

Goodbye Naughton
Friday 15 – Saturday 16 June, 8pm; Mangere Arts Centre
PREMIERE: A dance-theatre performance which pays homage to the experiences that have shaped the life of the Otara grown artist, Aloalii Tapu.

Double-bill: ANGA + POU
Tuesday 19 – Wednesday 20 June, 7pm; Mangere Arts Centre
Double-bill performance, featuring Vivian Aue’s 'ANGA' and Xavier Muao Breed’s 'POU'

Thursday 21 June, 7pm; Mangere Arts Centre
PREMIERE: Jacob Tamata and the COVEN collective present BIONICA to take “living” beyond the futuristic plain into a universe narrated and moved by Brown Pasifika Queer / Trans artists.

Rako Pasefika presents Cloaks of Protection
Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 June; Mangere Arts Centre
INTERNATIONAL: Fijian international dance troupe Rako Pasefika presents Cloaks of Protection, an introductory work to a large series of multi media, multi form, performance installation to be opened at the end of 2018 calledMamaHanua.
Matinee shows: Thu 21 & Fri 22, 11am; Thu 21, 1pm
Evening shows: Fri 22 & Sat 23, 8pm


Producers Workshop (20 places available)
Tuesday 5th June, 6pm - 9pm; The Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Topics covered in the workshop: funding projects, finance, project management, budgeting and insights into the industry from arts stakeholders such as Creative New Zealand, DANZ Aotearoa and other industry players.
To register for this workshop, please contact

Writers Workshop (8 places available)
Thursday 7th June; 6pm - 9pm TBC; The Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Facilitated by Dione Joseph this is the first of a series of three experiential parts of the developmental ‘review writing process. At the end of this workshop you will have produced a publishable review and understood the challenges and highlights that go with it.
To register for this workshop, please contact

Le Moana
Wednesday 6 – Saturday 9 June, 10am-3pm; Te Oro Arts Centre
Le Moana, Wellington’s premiere Pacific dance group, presents a series of Pacific dance workshops in creation of an original work.
FREE: To register for this workshop, please contact

Tahiti Ia Ora
Saturday 9 June, 4-6pm; Metro Theatre, Mangere East
Tahiti Ia Ora presents a workshops of Tahitian drum and dance.
FREE: To register for this workshop, please contact

Pacific Dance On Screen – film screening
Sunday 10 June, 3pm; Auckland Art Gallery
Pacific Dance New Zealand and Pollywood Pasifika Film supported by Auckland Art Gallery and Pacific Islanders in Film & TV, present a public screening of short films and archival footage.
FREE EVENT: To register for this workshop, please contact

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