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Better late than never: Pacific culture events reboot


In the wake of the cancellation of the Pasifika Festival and the final day of Polyfest following the Christchurch terrorist attack, the Pacific Dance Festival is proud to offer supporters and people of Pacific heritage the chance to celebrate this strong and vital culture in Auckland - the largest Pacific city in the world.

“The Auckland community suffered a setback this year with the cancellation of two incredible Pacific events that championed our unique and vibrant culture. We are so proud that we can offer a month of celebrations of free and ticketed events for all those who missed out. Our cultures continue to shine through." says Sefa Enari, Director of Pacific Dance NZ.

Pacific Dance Festival will open its doors this June for all of Auckland to celebrate Pacific culture and the important place it holds in Aotearoa’s diverse cultural landscape. The festival offers an extensive four-week programme that includes a series of workshops, free activations, film screening, Pacific dance costume exhibition, alongside an incredible range of dance performances. Events are happening all over the city from the CBD to Glen Innes to Manukau City.

In addition to the ticketed performance programme, Pacific Dance Festival are facilitating free public events to prioritise open access to Pacific culture in Tamaki Makaurau. A series of open rehearsals will activate the space at Auckland Art Gallery on Saturdays during the Festival, with performances from Aloalii Tapu & Friends, AUE Dance, and Hadleigh Pouesi & Freshmans Crew. The Auckland Art Gallery will also play host to a free film screening, Pacific Dance On Screen.

Developing the talent of Pacific creatives off-stage is also a priority for the festival, with industry champion Dolina Weipeihana leading the 2019 Producers Workshop. A choreographic laboratory with Tupe Lualua will run for the second and third week of the Festival at Te Oro to develop the new generation of Pacific choreographers. Tahiti Ia Ora and Le Taupou Manaia will be leading masterclasses for those interested in the traditional Pacific style of dance.

Dance is a strong component of Pacific culture and the festival is set to celebrate this unique and important culture in a space that has not given communities and those who are interested in pacific performing arts a chance to come together in celebration in 2019.

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