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Callout for works for our 2023 Pacific Dance Festival Season. Click on Image for details



Click on image to be directed to our festival channel.  Not all works will be available to view.

Festival Line-Up for 2022

Pacific Dance Festival TALANOA Series

MOANA Showcase featuring the following artists below.

"RINGING" by Leaf

"Ringing" by Leaf

My full name’s Laifa James Ta’ala graduated in 2018 from New Zealand School of Dance and I’ve worked MOTH (Movement Of The Human), Tūmove, Black Grace and Java Dance Company. 

I’m from Wellington – Wainui.  I Went to school at Wainui High.

My nana inspired me to dance, I only ever danced to make my nana dance and laugh. My other nana signed me up for a dance programme and they offered me a chance to audition at their school and that was my connection to the arts community. 

A future goal of mine as an artist is to explore audience immersion in dance and create a show where the audience gets an interactive experience instead as opposed to just watching the show.

TALA TU'PUA by Losaline Tupou

TALA TUPU'A By Losaline Tupou

Tala Tupu’a – (Myths & Legends)

The piece was inspired by my grandparents, especially my grandma. She used to share bedtime stories to teach me the Tongan culture, networks, connections, why we do what we do. My grandma made stories entertaining to target her grandchildren so they would be engaged. I chose the story of Hikule’o to create an opportunity to share the stage with all my sisters.


Losaline Tupou

Originally from Tu’atatakilangi, Kolomotu’a Tongatapu and Niua ‘Eua in Tonga but now residing in Stokes Valley, Lower Hutt. 

Started dancing as a young girl (12) doing Tongan Ta’u’olunga then went on to do formal training in Siva Samoa, Ura Kuki Airani and Kapa Haka through Whitireia Performing Arts. 

I love to create from real life experiences and I relive my childhood memories through my choreography. I use dance as a way to keep my grandparents alive and connected because i am physically separated from them (they are based in Tonga and we’ve been through COVID and a volcanic eruption). 

Once I graduate from Whitireia I want to work towards building my own Tongan dance academy based in Wellington. I chose PDNZ as a follow-up from the Measina Festival where we performed the original development version of the piece. I wasn’t sure if I would make it in but then I got a response email and decided to take the opportunity to grow and give my team some exposure through the festival.

ROOTS by Anton Pulefale

ROOTS by Anton Pulefale



ANTON PULEFALE – CHOREOGRAPHER (with contribution from dancers)

Recent graduate of the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Dance Studies degree.

Niuean Descent, Raised in West Auckland

I am hoping to contribute more of my creative thinking and ideas in the Pasifika arts community and produce my own pieces in Aotearoa and around the world in the near future.





  • This work defines my journey and process as an artist
  • Representation of Niuean heritage and culture
  • The Niuean practice of weaving being incorporated into the work inspired by his grandmother 
  • The connection between the ink work on the body and the weaving
  • Plastic exterior of weaving representing the skin and the flax representing the blood. What this connection feels like, and what it could look like.
  • Incorporating Niuean movement and testing boundaries of 
  • Seeing this work being important to Pacific Island peoples because of the narrative of being “Plastic” (Those who question their cultural integrity)

MANAWA by Keesha King

'MANAWA' by Keesha King





Kia Ora,


Ko Ramaroa te maunga

Ko Matawhao te waka

Ko Hokianga nui a Kupe to moana

Ko Matai ara nui te marae

Ko Ngapuhi nui tonu toku iwi

Ko Keesha King ahau

Manawa is a piece I choreographed a couple of years back and successfully entered into the Pacific Dance festival in 2019.

This work derived from a provocation “he aha tōku whakahihikotanga?” (what is my motivation?). This set stemmed from the loss of my Momma and the struggles I faced with finding the motivation to keep up with the responsibilities and commitments I have in my life.

The name ‘Manawa’ means ‘heart’ , a fitting name I thought and coincidentally a heart has four chambers – so my dancers and I came up with four ideas that are our motivators, independence, future generations, self-discovery, and whanau – these four motivations essentially made up four sections within the dance. 

Manawa is a Māori fusion piece with beautiful use of intricate arm pathways and solo, duo, trio moments. This piece has great use of pathways and level changes, as this piece moves from section to section the whole space is used and filled. 

Wounds of the Womb by Desiree Soo-Choon

'Wounds of the Womb' by Desiree Soo-Choon










Wounds of the Womb is a story of exploring the inter-generational trauma passed through the womb. As a mother, I acknowledge the hurt the mothers before me have had to encounter and how this has influenced my style of parenting. Sometimes the hurt we harbour is not of our own but of our ancestors that were not given the chance to heal from them properly. And thus forms another cycle through the next wom(b)an.


The importance of this message is to generate talanoa between the women in our aiga without placing blame on anyone specifically – just a mutual want to create a healthier relationship for our future daughters and bridge any disconnect between the current mothers. However, due to being born during different generations,  this can often cause difficulty in understanding one another and clashes of parenting styles. Our mothers have done the best they could with what they had but how can we as the future mothers prevent certain cycles from recurring? How do we break out of a cycle when there’s no one else to show us the ropes along the way.


Energy knows how to stay stored in our bodies and so through Wounds of the Womb, I want to explore themes of how to clear stagnant energy/unhealed trauma from our physical and spiritual bodies and acknowledge that we can heal the past by doing so.


We are birthed through our mothers womb carrying her hopes and dreams for a better future for her child  but what are the unspoken pains that you unknowingly bring out in to the world with you.


The concept behind this piece is a heavy one, especially being a Pasifika mother myself. Whether you’re a parent or not, a lot of Pasifika women are recently allowing for space to heal and realising the root of their trauma and what they can do to be  the generational cycle breaker in the Aiga.


Pacific Dance New Zealand presents
23rd June - 31st July 2022

Pacific Dance New Zealand is excited to announce its festival line-up for 2022 featuring a combination of digital, virtual, and in-person shows and workshops. The programme is packed with options, giving audiences the freedom to pick-n-choose what they would like to see and do in 2022. The safety of audiences remains of utmost importance, as is ensuring that artists are maximising opportunities to perform and share their creative works while utilising immersive technologies during the pandemic.

Pacific Dance New Zealand will launch their action-packed 2022 festival season with a revamped website and their very own dedicated festival channel on Wednesday 15th June. The festival channel will operate as a pay-per-view platform for audiences to subscribe to for a nominal fee of $5 to view all 2022 festival works. Channel content will be made available for subscribers from Monday 11th July and fresh new works will be added weekly through to the 31st of July. Festival favourites, such as live in-person workshops and Dance OnScreen will still go ahead during the festival, giving audiences the chance to come out, engage and have some fun on the weekends.

A new addition to the line-up will be Festival Talanoa dance talks, which will feature some artists as well as heritage masters: Molia Alama-Tulafono of Tuvalu, Alipate Traill of Fiji and the Tupumaiaga A Niue Trust. Included in this is a new collaboration with Dutch podcaster T-Zer of Dance Specific Talks who will host our intern Leki Jackson-Bourke and producer Kasi Valu.

The popular MĀUI showcase by Freshmans Dance Crew will show in collaboration with Auckland Live during Matariki celebrations and will include school matinées and a one-night only public-performance on Thursday 23rd June at the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre.

Pacific Dance New Zealand Director Iosefa Enari MNZM says “Tena koutou. The arts community in Aotearoa have been through a tough two years, with many shows being cancelled and reshuffled as levels and settings changed. COVID created an uncertain future and as we begin to return a sense of ‘normality’ I am thrilled that we are able to offer our artists space to re-present. This years line up is eclectic and diverse. It represents Pacific Dance post-COVID. It is confident, current and courageous. The shift to the digital platform has been a new era for the festival. This shift opens our reach to a global market and we welcome all our new followers to our shores. Enjoy this year’s line up.

The festival channel will feature the following works:

  • Shifting Centre produced by Le Moana and Kasi Valu featuring works from Oto Lupo and Sefa Tunupopo
  • Shel We?the film by award winning choreographer Tupua Tigafua
  • MOANA featuring, Desiree Soo-ChoonAnton PulefaleKeesha KingLosaline TupouLaifa Ta’ala and Toa Paranihi and Brydie Colquhoun from The New Zealand School of Dance,
  • Concrete Bloom by Aloali’i Tapu & Manurewa High School
  • New Dawn by Sisi’uno Helu

Pacific Dance OnScreen featuring:

  • Walk With Me by Joshua Faletua and Tyler Carney-Faletua of Threading Frames on Sunday 24th July 3-5pm at the Academy Cinema, Tickets $15pp will be available at Pacific Dance Festival’s website from the 17th of June.

Our FREE festival community workshops:

  • On Saturday 16th July 11am, IAMMD (I Am My Mothers Daughter) with Viva-Leah Palalagi-Elesoni
  • On Saturday 16tth & 23rdJuly 3-5pm, Kuki Airani and Ei Katu with Aunty Kura Taruia

Tickets for the MĀUI evening show will go on sale to the public on 19th May 2022 and will be available at Ticketmaster.

Follow our social media feeds on Facebook (@Pacificdancenz) and Instagram (@pacificdance_nz) for updates and front row seats into the creative experience of our artists before their full works are made available.

The Pacific Dance Festival for 2022 has been a moving feast and the team invite audiences to enjoy it in a way that will suit you. Whether it be at home or as a combo with our in-person events, it is up to you. Engage in one or more, or up-size and enjoy all the entertainment on offer from our very own Aotearoa-based Pasifika artists before they fly the coop!


Festival Launch
Wednesday 15th June, 6pm-7pm, Online
Festival launch and festival channel GO-LIVE followed by short snippets of works from the festival programme.

Matinée performances Thursday 23rd June, 11.00am, 1.00pm;
Evening Show 7pm, Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre
Hadleigh Pouesi & Fresh Movement with Auckland Live
MĀUI is a piece that uses dance, music and physical theatre to tell the stories that we grew up with and have traveled throughout the Pacific for hundreds of years

Dance Talanoa
Wednesday 29th June, 7pm – 8pm, Online

MOANA Showcase Artists
Desiree Soo-ChoonLosaline TupouLaifa Ta’alaAnton PulefaleKeesha King and Toa Paranihi and Brydie Colquhoun from New Zealand School of Dance

Wednesday 6th July, 7pm – 8pm, Online
Heritage Masters hosted by Iosefa Enari MNZM
Molia Alama TulafonoAlipate TraillTupumaiaga A Niue Trust

Wednesday 13th July, 7pm – 8pm, Online
Dance Specific Talks, Netherlands
Leki Jackson-BourkeKasi Valu

Shifting Centre
Premiere: Monday 11th July, 8pm
Produced by Le MoanaKasi Valu
Directors: Oto LupoSefa Tunupopo
Shifting Centre is an exploration of what Aotearoa would look like if Pacific Peoples were at the centre of the narrative in all facets of society. First developed in Le Moana’s Measina Makers LAB 2021, the dance film merges street and contemporary dance to highlight the intrinsic excellence imbued within our Pasifika communities.

New Dawn by Sisiuno Helu
Premiere: Monday 11th July, 8pm
A work featuring the talented Daniel Mateo, an Aboriginal-Tongan from Wiradjuri country (NSW, Australia), and a performer with Bangarra Dance Theatre

Shel We? – The Film
Premiere: Monday 18th July, 8pm
An invitation from Tupua Tigafua
Inspired by the works of renowned American writer and lyricist Shel Silverstein who wrote iconic ballads such as Sylvia’s Mother for Doctor Hook and A Boy Named Sue for Johnny Cash. Shel’s off-beat style and brilliant use of metaphorical imagery in his poetry and illustrations are what inspires Tigafua’s choreography – ultimately delivering a tribute to his parents, his family and the environment that has inspired him over the years.

Premiere: Monday 18th July, 8pm
A collection of short works by emerging dance artists Desiree Soo-ChoonLosaline TupouLaifa Ta’alaAnton PulefaleKeesha King and Toa Paranihi and Brydie Colquhoun from New Zealand School of Dance

Pacific Dance OnScreen
Sunday 24th July 3pm-5pm, The Academy Cinema
Walk with me by Joshua Faletua and Tyler Carney-Faletua of Threading Frames

Concrete Bloom – Aloali’i Manurewa High School
Premiere: Saturday 30th July, 8pm
Aloali’i Tapu’s residency results in a work choreographed with friends and performed by the high schools students. Their art work includes designing the stage, film, dance and visual art.


IAMMD – I Am My Mothers Daughter with Viva-Leah Palalagi-Elesoni
Saturday 9th July, 11am, Māngere Arts Centre Ngā Tohu o Uenuku


Saturday 16th July, 3pm – 5pm

Saturday 23rd July, 3pm – 5pm

Shel We Dance?

Pacific Dance New Zealand Announces Festival Program for June 2021

The World of
Entertainment Into Chaos

All it took was for the common cold
to develop into a pandemic to throw the
world of entertainment into chaos and drive creatives who thrive in live theatre and on stages to retreat into quarantine. Festivals were cancelled, live performances delayed, reworked, rescheduled and the popularity of going live online rose to fame. In the world of dance, choreographers and producers also had to pivot to be able to keep their practice and artistry current and alive. The pandemic has allowed creatives and artists in Aotearoa with time, space and freedom to choreograph, produce, collaborate, process, perfect and deliver works for all those festivals and shows that were shelved in 2020.

Impressive Eclectic Line-up For
The 2021 Pacific Dance Festival

Pacific Dance New Zealand is excited to announce
an impressive eclectic line-up for the 2021 Pacific
Dance Festival to be held across Tamaki Makarau in different venues. The line-up gets bigger every year and after the cancellation of the 2020 festival, this year is no exception and will now include a fashion extravaganza and even Pacific jazz. Pacific Dance New Zealand Director Iosefa Enari says “The 2021 Pacific Dance Festival features a larger group of artists some who have been bought back from last year. Not only is our festival bigger but we are excited to announce our new partnerships with the likes of the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Measina Festival, Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival, Aronui Indigenous Arts Festival and Kia Mau Festival in Wellington. Extending our traditional June festival season outside of Auckland to the regional centres and festivals is our commitment to broaden our reach, develop our audiences and give our artists more opportunities for performances”

ASB Waterfront Theatre
in Central Auckland

The festival will open at the ASB Waterfront
Theatre in central Auckland on Tuesday 1st June,
with the enchanting and playfully intriguing ‘Shel We’ by award winning choreographer Tupua Tigafua. Featuring a stellar cast of outstanding dancers, Shel We Is an invitation from Tupua Tigafua, a highly accomplished dancer and choreographer who has had a career dancing for some of Aotearoa’s creative elite and one of the most ingenious storytellers of this generation. Shel’s off-beat style and brilliant use of metaphorical imagery in his poetry and illustrations are what inspires Tigafua’s choreography – ultimately delivering a tribute to his parents, his family and the environment that has inspired him over the years.

ASB Waterfront Ahead of
Three School Matinee Performances

MĀUI by Hadleigh Pouesi and Fresh Movement will
also showcase at the ASB Waterfront ahead of
three school matinee performances on Friday 4th & Saturday 5th June. Fresh Movement brings the stories of the Pacific back to life in this thrilling dance theatre work. Māui is a piece that uses dance, music and physical theatre to tell the stories that we grew up with and have traveled throughout the Pacific for hundreds of years. Festivals are evolving in a bid to be able to cater and appeal to diverse audiences and where the Pacific Dance festival in the past has extended its offering to include locally produced dance films and workshops, this year we will present a Pacific Jazz Matinee (Sunday 6th June) at the Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) by ‘The Collective’ and ‘Te Pō’ (Tuesday 15th June) a dance and fashion showcase by AUĒ and Vivian Hosking-Aue at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Mangere Arts Centre
and Will Premiere Ta’alili ‘Faces of Nature

he festival program continues with full-length shows at
Mangere Arts Centre and will premiere Ta’alili ‘Faces
of Nature’. Ta’alili is the arts group led by Aloalii Tapu and Tori-Manley Tapu. Their art work includes designing the stage, film, dance and visual art. Whilst working alongside their team of world-builders, designers, choreographers, artists, and performers, they have been building their works to reflect and shape their dreams and perspectives of the world. The full-length works that will showcase at Mangere Arts Centre:

Tickets Will Go
On Sale To The Public

Tickets will go on sale to the Public
on 19th April and will be available on
our website. In recognition of our full calendar of nine showpieces, every ticket for our full-length shows will be $25 per show, per person. We will also launch a ‘Pacific Pass’ for our members and followers who will get first opportunity to purchase these limited number offers before it is made available for public sale. Printed programs will also be available at the launch of the festival on Tuesday 18th May and will be available from festival venues. Follow our social media feeds on Facebook (@Pacificdancenz) and Instagram (@pacificdance_nz) for updates and front row seats into the creative experience of our artists before you get to the theatre. The Pacific Dance Festival for 2021 is long-awaited and our calendar and ticket pricing offer is testament of our commitment to ensure that our artists and creatives are given opportunities and platforms to share and engage with our diverse audiences.

We invite you to join us.  See you there.


Tuesday 1st  – Saturday 19th June


Tickets for all show

On Sale NOW


 Festival Launch

Tuesday 18th May, 6pm-7pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre

Festival launch followed by short snippets of works from the festival programme, and a performance by TBC. An industry invited event – please contact marketing@pacificdance.co.nz if you would like to attend

Shel We?

Tuesday 1st June, 7pm – 8pm, ASB Waterfront theatre

An invitation from Tupua Tigafua

Inspired by the works of renowned American writer and lyricist Shel Silverstein who wrote iconic ballads such as ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ for Doctor Hook and ‘A Boy Named Sue’ for Johnny Cash.  Shel’s off-beat style and brilliant use of metaphorical imagery in his poetry and illustrations are what inspires Tigafua’s choreography – ultimately delivering a tribute to his parents, his family and the environment that has inspired him over the years.


Matinee Performances Friday 4th June, 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm;

Saturday 5th June, 5 – 6pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre. 

Hadleigh Pouesi & Fresh Movement

Māui is a piece that uses dance, music and physical theatre to tell the stories that we grew up with and have traveled throughout the Pacific for hundreds of years

Pacific Jazz,

Sunday 6th June, 5pm – 6pm, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre

The Collective

We are a group of friends who met together through the music programme at the University of Auckland. We have since established ‘The Collective’  which is not only a band, but a community for Pasifika music students. We are all New Zealand born and raised, and the majority of our group hail from South Auckland.  Music has always been an integral part of Pasifika culture. Similarly, we had strong musical foundations from an early age from within our homes and churches. Our musical talents were cultivated in high school through competitions such as Tangata Beats, Stand Up Stand Out and the KBB Music Festival.


Tuesday 8th June, Wednesday 9th June, 7pm-8pm; Mangere Arts Centre

A collection of short works by emerging dance artists Lomina Araitia, Desiree Soo-Choon, Litara Ieremia-Allan, Ankaramy Fepuleai, Chas Samoa The New Zealand School of Dance,

Ta’alii presents ‘Faces of Nature’

Friday 11th June, Saturday 12th June, 8pm – 9pm, Mangere Arts Centre

Ta’alili is the arts group led by Aloalii Tapu and Tori-Manley Tapu.  Their art work includes designing the stage, film, dance and visual art.


Monday 14th  June, 7 – 8pm, Mangere Arts Centre

Presented by Inano Dance.  Choreographed and directed by Te Hau Winitana , this work calls upon its audience to reflect on their own personal experiences, focusing on human traits and characteristics that we all possess. Mamai’ata sets out to reveal our own frailties and strengths, exposing a new way to a good life with the break of a new dawn.


Tuesday 15th  June, 7pm – 8pm, Auckland War Memorial Museum

A celebration of all Pacific people from size, gender, sexuality through Pacific dance and Pacific couture fashion.  AUĒ brings to you a bright, bold and beautiful dance and fashion showcase like no other, displaying unique garments created by AUĒ LINE and traditional and contemporary Pacific dance directed by Vivian Aue and the AUĒ Dance Lab choreographers.


Thursday 17th June, 7pm-8pm, Mangere Arts Centre

Connor ‘Ooshcon’ Masseurs

A Krump theatre dance work and investigation that uncovers the boy to recover the man.


Friday 18th June, Saturday 19th June, 8pm-9pm; Mangere Arts Centre

Villa Junior Lemanu, Raisedinland Iose

2019 Choreographic lab artists showcase.  Villa Junior Lemanu  choreographs and stars in a self-titled Atali’I O Le CREZENT (Sons of the CREZENT) that delves into the world of gentrification and the loss of community/tribe.  Raisedinland Iose’s ‘XY’ is a redevelopment of his original piece that looks at the strength of a woman’s physicality and how far it can be pushed using his Samoan culture.




Saturday 12th June, 2pm-4pm, Te Oro Arts Centre


Saturday 12th June, 3pm-5pm, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre

Malcolm Lakatani will hold an ‘Island Princess’ open dance workshop to Niuean songs.


Sunday 13th June, 3pm-4pm, The Auckland War Memorial Museum

Pacific Dance on Screen with a bespoke curation of films.


Saturday 29TH  June, 11 – 1pm, Auckland Public Library

The Banaban community of Aotearoa will hold a dance and costume workshop.

To register for these FREE workshops please  send an email to auckland@pacificdance.co.nz