October 2019 

An article by Aaron Taouma

” In 2009 the inaugural Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab was presented at the Metro Theatre Mangere. It was part of the then Manukau Arts Festival and the star event of the Pacific Dance Fono. The function of the Choreographic Lab was to allow emerging NZ based Pacific dance choreographers to explore new ideas and ‘kick start’ new original works…”

As originally published in Dance New Zealand magazine (pdf copy 826 kb)


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  • Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets    DIRECTIONS
  • Late Night Art: Tue 15 Oct, 6 pm
  • FREE Entry

The Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab is now in its tenth year with a strong alumnae of notable artists and choreographers.

Each year three NZ based Pacific Island Choreographers are selected to create original dance works.

This annual event is part of Pacific Dance NZ’s development programme where NZ-based Pacific dance artists have the opportunity to envisage their new works and progress these through practical exploration and dancing out their ideas.  Along the way, artistic support and guidance is provided by the senior dance mentors, allowing the dance artists to expand their ideas, skillsets and professionalism in dance.

This showing is an opportunity to see the culmination of these works in Auckland Art Gallery and you will not be disappointed.

Supported by the Auckland Council.



Click Here for Further Information on Artweek Auckland.


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Pacific Dance New Zealand (PDNZ) was formed in 2010 and is located at 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn in Auckland. It is a development organisation delivering a wide range of services for the Pacific dance sector of New Zealand. The organisation is governed by the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust.

Taualeo’o Stephen Stehlin


Stephen has extensive experience in the NZ Television Industry. He is the Executive Producer of Tagata Pasifika and is Chairperson of the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust, and member of both the AUT Council and the Pacific Islands Advisory Board to ProCare.

Cathryn Laban

Board Member

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Tarisi Vunidilo

Board Member

Has completed her Phd in Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland (New Zealand).MSc in Anthropology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Maori and Pacific Development, from the University of Waikato, Postgraduate Diploma in Arts, majoring in Archaeology, Australian National University, Canberra, BA in Geography, History and Sociology, University of South Pacific, Suva, Fiji.

Tania Kopytko

Board Member

Tania Kopytko is the Executive director of DANZ – Dance Aotearoa, a role she took on in August 2004.

DANZ is the service organisation for the dance industry and supports the development of dance in many different ways – through training and advice including projects in education supporting dance in schools. DANZ is based in the new Wellington Arts Centre in Abel Smith Street.