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MOANA Showcase – Tala Tupu’a

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MOANA Showcase – Tala Tupu’a

Tapa Tupu'a by Losaline Tupou features in our MOANA Showcase 2022.

The piece was inspired by Losaline's grandparents, especially her grandma. She used to share bedtime stories to teach her the Tongan culture, networks, connections and why we do what we do. Losaline's grandmother 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. 

We asked Losaline to use 5 power words to describe her short piece that features classics from the late HM Queen Salote (Loka Siliva) and Tuimalo Kalo (Si'i Losehina). These are the words: Family, Mou'i Manatu, Love, Memories and Culture.

A beautiful piece that many of our Pasifika today can still relate to yet is quickly disappearing as the diaspora get caught up in the now and sacrifice traditions for convenience.

Featuring 10 female dancers and a percussionist, 'Tala Tupu'a' is a memory and a tribute to family and a call to stay connected for as long as one can - for the memories.

Performers: Jasmine Leota, Mele Tupou, Viela Tupou, Vika Tupou, Te Rauhina Christie, Irina Tafili, Jasmine Tonga, Hannah Sunia and Katrina Sunią.

Choreographers: Losaline Tupou, Irina Tafili (Siva Afi Section)

Percussionist: Isitolo Alesana

Losaline Tupou - Director, Choreographer

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

Losaline 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.'

Watch Now from $5 here