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Heliaki to spark NZ dance scene afire

Heliaki to spark NZ dance scene afire

New Zealand's first Tongan contemporary dance-theatre show, featuring two up-and-coming choreographers, is set to spark New Zealand's dance scene afire with stories and movement never before experienced on our shores.

The choreographers, Sesilia Pusiaki and Amanaki Prescott-Faletau bring together two very different, innovative and captivating new works in the double-bill show Heliaki, encompassing contemporary and Tongan dance, physical theatre, drama, music and song. As graduates of the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts, Pusiaki and Prescott-Faletau are quickly establishing themselves as choreographers to watch out for - look them up!

In Heliaki both inspire and push boundaries by taking treasured elements of ancient Tongan dance to form original, artistic expressions of their experiences as young Tongans growing up in New Zealand today. They give the general public an inside peek into the private world of two Tongan groups that are rarely heard from - women and fakaleiti (Tongan transgender).

Pusiaki's Sei 'o Fafine is an authentic, yet hilarious, portrayal of Tongan women's self-perceptions and Tongan society's perceptions and expectations of Tongan women. In Fanau Tangata Prescott-Faletau tells his moving and powerful story about growing up as a fakaleiti (transgender) in an all-male, traditional Tongan and Christian household with his father, a church minister, and grandfather, his only support.

Produced by LIMA Productions, and previewed in February at the Mangere Arts Centre, Heliaki will resonate beyond the Tongan communities to Pasifika, transgender and dance audiences across the public spectrum.

Heliaki will show from the 26th to 28th of September at Auckland's Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku as part of the 'Matala - A Celebration of Tongan Culture’ festival.

LIMA Productions presents


Wednesday 26th & Friday 28 September, 12:30pm & 6:30pm

Thursday 27th September, 2pm & 8pm

Mangere Arts Centre - Ngā Tohu o Uenuku

Corner of Orly Avenue and Bader Drive, Mangere, Auckland

$10 unwaged / $15 waged

Group discounts available.

Booking enquiries:

Show duration: 70 mins


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