2020 marks the 11th year the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab will be presented in Aotearoa New Zealand. This annual project is for emerging mid-career Pacific dance artists in Aotearoa as a platform to explore and incubate their own ideas and develop as choreographers in a supportive environment.  The choreographic lab fosters creativity, ingenuity, risk-taking, discovery and collaboration which impacts the future of dance for our Pacific artists not just in Aotearoa but globally.   The Pacific Dance NZ model is now regarded as one of the most anticipated events on the NZ dance calendar. Through a selection process, the successful choreographers are given a stipend, paired with a senior arts mentor and given an opportunity to present their works to the dance sector. 

Amidst a pandemic, PDNZ received an overwhelming response to its call-out for applications in July.  To ensure integrity and impartiality were maintained with the selection process, all applications were sent to an esteemed panel Pacific Dance NZ assembled from the community consisting of Kura Te Ua(Hawaiki TŪ), Julia Mageau-Gray (Sunameke) and Leki Jackson-Bourke.

On Tuesday 13th October 2020 at the Auckland Art Gallery during the Late Night Art event of Auckland Art Week, the multilevel glassed mezzanine will be packed to the rafters and our choreographers will present their own narrative based dance pieces over 45 minutes.  

The 2020 cohort of choreographers selected are: Ankaramy (Anks) Fepuleai, Lomina-Meteri Araitia and Albert Latailakepa.

‘We are committed as ever to delivering our annual choreographic lab with our 3 emerging Pasifika artists and demonstration of our strategic relationships with Auckland Council, Art Week and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi Tamaki.  The pandemic has been a catalyst for PDNZ to continue its work plans to incubate choreographers during development,  build opportunities for showcasing their works and champion Pacific dance in all mediums’ says Iosefa Enari MNZM.

The PDNZ choreographic lab is funded by Creative NZ.


Ankaramy (Anks) Fepuleai

Currently in his third year working towards a Bachelor of Dance studies degree at the University of Auckland, growing up in South Auckland Ankaramy (Anks) Fepuleai believes that his raw and rugged style of dance is influenced by where he is from.  He started dancing at the age of 6 doing ballroom dancing under the guidance of an Uncle who danced with Candy Lane.  It was until he got to high school, where he fell in love with Hip Hop dance. 

Before staring his degree at the University of Auckland he was a member of the original 12 man team that started ‘Brady Bunch (2015) and represented New Zealand at the World Hip-Hop dance championships (2018). 

He has taken his own choreographic journey and has showcased his own work ‘LALO; at the Short & Sweet festival that was awarded the ‘Peoples Choice Award, ‘Judges Choice Award’ and ‘Wallace Arts Trust Emerging Artist Award.  LALO was also featured in the Moana Showcase during the 2019 season of the Pacific Dance NZ Festival.  

Ankaramy is hoping to contribute more creative thinking and ideas in the Pasifika arts community and produce more original pieces using this as a foundation.


Lomina-Meteri Araitia

A gifted multi-dimensional emerging artist, Lomina-Meteri Araitia draws deeply from her Cook Island and Tahitian heritage and shares this generously through the forms of ura, chant and story-telling. Born and raised in the Cook Islands on the island of Rarotonga, Lomina now resides in Auckland and has since graduated with a Bachelor in Performing Arts (Pacific) from PIPA. 

Here she received vigorous training in dance, drama, Pacific studies and Pacific Performance and has given powerful performances as Hecuba in Women of Troy, a creature-esque dancer in LIMA and has beautifully crafted a solo performance titled – TUMU TE VAROVARO – The Vibrations Within.  

Not only is she a highly commended dancer and performer, Lomina is also a facilitator for self-awareness and engagement practices. Her family heritage and cultural practices have greatly influenced her in how she navigates through various teaching contexts, encouraging students and individuals to engage with their deepest sense of ‘home’. 

Lomina-Meteri Araitia brings forth a fresh and powerful approach to Pacific movement that is holistic, guided and organic.


Albert Latailakepa

A final year of actor training at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand School of Drama, Wellingtonian Albert Latailakepa combines his passion for dance and movement in his creative journey.  His styles are heavily influenced by his Tongan and Samoan heritage and his love for urban street dance . 

Most recently Albert directed and starred in ‘Boys to men, Men to Boys’ as part of the Toi Whakaari Festival of work in development.  Albert’s last performance was in a showing for Tupua Tigafua’s work in development and Toi Whakaari’s ‘Lockdown La Ronde’.








The lab will take place from September through to October with a showing on Tuesday 13th October 2020 at Auckland Art Gallery Toi Tamaki.  Further information is available at

Pacific Dance NZ is an organization dedicated to promoting and advancing Pacific dance in the art form of choreography by providing resources to a diverse range of dance makers.  We provide emerging Pasifika choreographers with a curated company of professional dancers, studio space and rehearsal times in order to incubate ideas in a fully professionalized environment.  

Now in its 10th year, Pacific Dance NZ is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing and showcasing Pasifika artists with opportunities through provocative stories and innovative storytelling.  Pacific Dance NZ core programs include the Annual Dance Festival,  and unique the Artist in Residence and the Choreographic Lab

The choreographic lab is funded by Creative NZ.

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