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Tupe Lulua teaches Pacific Dance

Tupe Lulua teaches Pacific Dance

After two-months of working in the local Porirua community, creating an amazing dance piece, bringing participants together from various ages and backgrounds, Tupe Lualua, this year’s Pacific Dance Artist in Residence, is both grateful and excited about what has come about during the residency. She explains,

“Porirua is where I’m from. I feel a real connection to this place. I went to school here, been through the local cultural and church groups and even trained here at Whitireia New Zealand. And, I still live here. So, I really wanted to do this residency with my own community and give something back and what the guys have come up with has been such an inspiration.”

The Pacific Dance Artist Residency, run by Pacific Dance NZ, is one of only two national arts residencies offered specifically for artists of Pacific Island descent and is a dance residency in which a chosen dance artist has the opportunity to create works with specific communities. It was established in 2010 and this is the fourth year it has been offered to artists.

This year’s residency is the first year it has been held outside Auckland and has seen a diverse range of community participants take part with workshops three-times a week at various venues (Pataka Museum, Windley School and Porirua College).

“It’s been really great and the participation of the schools has been really awesome. PC is my old school and I’ve really enjoyed working with the kids there,” relates Lualua.

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The focus of the residency has been to develop a Samoan dance repertoire - Fa’afiafiaga Fa’aSamoa, which includes an Ulufale (entrance), Laulausiva (opening song and dance), Ma'ulu'ulu (action dance), Sasa (seated dance), Fa'ataupati (slap dance) and a Taualuga (ending dance).

“Although it’s a Samoan repertoire, I also took inspiration from the participants and added their own flavours. I’ve included Maori, Cook Islands, contemporary, hip hop and a whole bunch of stuff taken from the participants themselves. I’m really happy with the way it has turned out and I think having their input has given the dance work more meaning for the participants,” explains Lualua.

Lualua is an established Samoan dance instructor and choreographer. She is a performing arts lecturer at Whitireia New Zealand and has over ten-years’ experience across the performance and education industry including running her own dance companies. Tupe’s residency was launched in July and will end with a finale performance on Friday 6th September at Pataka Museum at 630pm. There will also be an informal showing of her work on Thursday 5th of September at 6pm.

*Tupe Lualua is a graduate of the Whitireia Bachelor of Applied Arts (Performing Arts) and is currently completing a post-graduate diploma in Pacific Studies at Victoria University. She has performed and choreographed in plays and dance works including – Poly-Zygotic (2009), The Factory (2011), and Fatu na Toto (2013). She has toured internationally with Whitiriea New Zealand, Taumata Pasifika Dance Company and Waka Ura Cultural Dance Company which she also managed (2005-2008). She is also the current Artistic Director of LeMoana Productions Limited.

The Pacific Dance Artist in Residency Showing of work will be held at:

Pataka Museum, 17 Parumoana St, Porirua, at 630pm in the Spine on Friday 6th September.

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