Pacific Dance Festival
Shel We Dance?
Pacific Dance New Zealand Announces Festival Program for June 2021
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.
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”
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.
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.
The 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:
- MOANA, Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th June, 7-8pm featuring Lomina Araitia, Desiree Soo-Choon, Litara Allen, Ankaramy Fepuleai, Chas Samoa and The New Zealand School of Dance,
- Ta’alili presents the premiere of Faces of Nature, Friday 11th & Saturday 12th June 8-9pm.
- Mamai’ata, Monday 14th June 7-8pm by Te Hau Winitana
- HYPAMASS, Thursday 17th June 7-8pm, by Connor ‘Ooshcon’ Masseurs
- A double-bill show on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th June with 2019 choreographic lab artists Villa Junior Lemanu and Raisedinland Iose.
Our festival will be remiss without our free community offerings with our workshops and film screening.
- On Saturday 12th June, 2-4pm at Te Oro Arts Centre, Cook Island dance workshop.
- On Saturday 12th June, 3-5pm at TAPAC, Malcolm Lakatani will hold an ‘Island Princess’ open dance workshop to Niuean songs.
- Sunday 13th June, 3-4pm at the Auckland War Memorial Museum will be the Pacific Dance on Screen with a bespoke curation of films.
- On Saturday 29th June at the Auckland Public Library in central Auckland the Banaban community of Aoteroa will host a dance and costume workshop.
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.
PACIFIC DANCE FESTIVAL 2021
Tuesday 1st – Saturday 19th June
Tickets for all show
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend
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
Sunday 6th June, 5pm – 6pm, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre
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 Allen, 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.
FREE WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS:
COOK ISLAND DANCE WORKSHOP
Saturday 12th June, 2pm-4pm, Te Oro Arts Centre
‘ISLAND PRINCESS’ DANCE WORKSHOP
Saturday 12th June, 3pm-5pm, The Auckland Performing Arts Centre
Malcolm Lakatani will hold an ‘Island Princess’ open dance workshop to Niuean songs.
DANCE ON SCREEN
Sunday 13th June, 3pm-4pm, The Auckland War Memorial Museum
Pacific Dance on Screen with a bespoke curation of films.
DANCE & COSTUME WORKSHOP
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 email@example.com
“The annual Pacific Dance Festival showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says festival director Iosefa Enari, “giving audiences an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance Pasifika choreographers are creating throughout New Zealand. We hope to also include works from Pacific dance companies beyond new Zealand when possible.
Pacific Dance Evokes with Virtuosity and Elegance
The 2019 Pacific Dance Festival Programme is Out!
Acclaimed and accomplished Pacific dance artists take the floor in the fourth rendition of the Pacific Dance Festival bringing a moving feast of entertaining and thought-provoking theatre, workshops, screenings, choreographic labs and more. The festival in June is bigger than ever and is an opportunity for audiences to experience the varied and outstanding work of Pacific artistic spirit Auckland Tamaki Makaurau has to offer. Taking place in venues across Auckland, in 2019, for the first time, the festival will launch and premiere at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in central Auckland.
‘LEECHES’ [Friday 7th June 2019] will headline the festival and its premiere at the ASB Waterfront Theatre will be a tour de force of Pacific contemporary dance featuring lead choreography by Aloalii Tapu along with a collective of eight award-winning and internationally acclaimed dancers in a full-length work; Braedyn Humphries, Connor ‘Ooshcon’ Masseurs, Jahra ’Rager’ Wasasala, Taniora Motutere, Sione Fataua, Elijah Kennar and Faith Schuster.
The festival programme continues with the following full-length showcases at Mangere Arts Centre:
- ‘Maui’ Saturday 15 June 2019, 7-8pm award-winning Nesian-hip-hop fusion dance at the recent Auckland Fringe Festival by Hadleigh Pouesi and Freshmans Crew.
- ‘Moana’ Tuesday 11 June and Wednesday 12 June 2019 7-9pm, returns with a diverse line-up featuring ‘Lalo’ by Ankaramy Fepuleai, ’Stolen Stories’ by FAF SWAG artist Manoa Teaiwa, ‘Ave Ese’ by Tofifailauga Misa, Lyncia Muller and the New Zealand School of Dance.
- A triple-bill show Friday 14 June 2019, 8-9pm featuring Tia Sagapolutele, Laifa Ta’alaandAue DanceCompany.
- ‘Siva Mai’ Sunday 23 June, 5 pm an expression of modern Samoan identity through music and dance by composer Opeloge Ah Sam.
- ‘Kapu Akari’ Saturday 22 June 2019 – 8-9pm by Aue Dance Company, a fusion of two award-winning dance works ‘Opaque’ and ‘Reka’.
The festival will give dance enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in free public workshops featuring Le Taupou Manaia at the Grey Lynn Community Centre and Tahiti ia Ora at Te Oro Arts Centre in Glen Innes.
The opportunity to get inside the creative process and taste the works on display in the festival will be had at the Auckland Art Gallery with free open rehearsals during the course of the month.
The Artist in Residence programme has been a feature on the Pacific dance calendar for the past nine years. Now, as part of the festival, it offers senior dance artists the chance to work with the local communities and this year Auckland is in for a treat. We are thrilled to announce this year’s artists are Fijian based dance troupe Rako Pasefika. Fresh from Blues Fest Byron Bay, creative associate; Samuela Konusi Taukave will be joined by company dancers Emily Marie and Iane Tavo. The residency will commence in May as part of the New Zealand Rotuman Language Week and run through the June festival.
In its 10thYear the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab provides New Zealand based Pacific dance artists and choreographers the opportunity to develop an original dance work. During the festival, the choreographer is Tupe Lualua of Porirua, Wellington who will workshop her new work with Auckland based female dancers.
Following the popular Pacific Dance on Screen at the 2018 festival, this year in association with the Auckland Art Gallery, another fabulous collection of original Pacific dance films will be on show at the Auckland Art Gallery on Sunday 23rdJune.
A range of dance and professional development talks will also take place in locations around Auckland, so keep a look-out for one near you.
Auckland continues to lead the global Pacific arts scene and the Pacific Dance Festival is a real-life opportunity to experience innovatively unique expressions and themes through dance.
The Pacific Dance Festival for 2019 has something for everyone and will be an interactive and indeed a thought-provoking showcase for the Auckland June winter.
Pacific Dance Festival 2019
Expressions of Interest are due Friday, 11th January 2019
Pacific Dance NZ is now calling for Expressions of Interest from choreographers and dancers, filmmakers, and costume makers for the 2019 Pacific Dance Festival held in Auckland and Wellington in June 2019.
1. A description of your work including, production requirements.
2. Your most recent CV.
3. Support material i.e. links or footage of the proposed work.
4. We also invite filmmakers to submit for the screening program.
* Dance works must be performance ready
* Performance season is June 2019
Please send your EOI to Cilla at:
Pacific Dance Festival 2018 on The Way
The Pacific Dance Festival is Aotearoa’s only contemporary and heritage Pacific dance festival of its type and 2018 marks the third year of the festival.
Held primarily at the Mangere Arts Centre the festival began life as a presentation vehicle for the representation of works from the Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory as a means to offer audiences (and dancers and choreographers in the works) the opportunity to experienced these works after further development from their initial laboratory development and display.
Since then the festival has grown to accommodate a broader range of dance and artists representing a plethora of styles and artistic expression reflecting the expansive nature of Pacific dance generally within Aotearoa and around the globe.
Apart from dance, the festival offers audiences the opportunity to also experience a Pacific Dance Costuming Exhibition co-curated by new vision artist Rosanna Raymond and festival director Sefa Enari and co-presented by the Auckland Museum and Pacific Dance New Zealand.
Festival and Exhbition Launch – Saturday 2nd June 10am
The Pacific Dance Festival #PACDANCEFEST2018 and Pacific Dance Costuming Exhibition will officially launch at Mangere Arts Centre on Saturday 2nd June at 10am.
Pacific Dance New Zealand welcomes the Pacific dance community, Auckland and Aotearoa’s arts communities and the general public to attend the launch and start your #PacificDanceMonth with a bang.
The programme for the festival will be released soon but special events will only be released on the day of the launch – so please look out for these.
Pacific Dance Festival 2018: Call for Expressions of Interest
Pacific Dance NZ now invites dancers and choreographers to submit Expressions of Interest for the 2018 Pacific Dance Festival.
The festival is now in its third year and 2018 looks to be the biggest yet.
Check the festival tab above to find out more about past Pac Dance Fest year’s.
The Pacific Dance Festival 2018 will be held at the Mangere Arts Centre in Mangere, Auckland, between the 13th June – 25th June 2018.
If you wish to submit an expression of interest in being part of the festival please see below:
EOI open for submission – 16 October 2017
EOI due date – 5th January 2018 at 3pm
Inform artists – January 2018
Performance Season – June 2018
1.A brief CV highlighting your performance or arts achievements
2.A brief description of your work, including why you would like to stage it at the Pacific Dance Festival 2018
3.An indication of the number of dancers involved and or any other staging requirements.
4.Support material i.e. links or footage of the proposed work.
* Dance works must be performance ready
Please send your EOI’s to Cilla at firstname.lastname@example.org call 09 376 00 60.
Tama Toa and Wahine Toa shows: 10-15 minutes in length,
Double Bills: at least 25 – 30 minutes in length each,
Full length shows: at least an hour in length,
Shows need to be performance ready (i.e. we don’t cover rehearsal times),
We will accept demonstrations, community workshops or works in progress showings during the festival, i.e. a series of public dance workshops or heritage dance presentations.
Shows can be heritage to contemporary in style and form but must have a major Pacific dance starting point or theme.
We will provide letters of support for funding i.e. CNZ Quick response,
Performances will take place in Auckland (mostly at Mangere Arts Centre – NgÄÂÂÂ Tohu o Uenuku but not necessarily only this venue) during the period June 2018,
Send through any links of the work or we can organise a time to come out to rehearsals once EOIs have been submitted.
*Works from the wider Pacific region welcome and support letters may be provided. Please contact us to discuss possible arrangements.
Click on the links below to view some highlights of the 2017 Pacific Dance Festival c/o www.TheCoconet.tv
Pacific Dance Festival 2017 runs 15–24 June at Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland, with four different programmes running over two weeks this year, presenting an event that embraces contemporary Pacific dance in the most populous Polynesian city in the world.
“The annual Pacific Dance Festival showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says festival director Iosefa Enari, “giving audiences an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance Pasifika choreographers are creating throughout New Zealand. We hope to also include works from Pacific dance companies beyond new Zealand when possible.”
The first week of the festival will present Wahine Toa over two nights, a collection of four works by female choreographers in a celebration of the strength and diversity of Pasifika women: Tai Akaki by Tepaeru–Ariki Lulu French, Ave by Ufitia Sagapolute, West Meet South by Losalia Milika Pusiaki, and Found Words by Julia Mage’au Gray.
The week will conclude with the debut performance of the highly anticipated Nu’u by Freshmans Crew on Saturday 17th June, fusing together Pacific, Maori, Urban and Contemporary dance styles in a story exploring three characters and their experiences growing up in New Zealand. Nu’u will debut at the Pacific Dance Festival before travelling overseas, with interest from as far abroad as Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Utah already being expressed.
Week two will feature the men of the programme in action, presenting Tamatoa and consisting of five original works: Muamua and Keeping the Faith by Joash Fahitua, Fa’aafa by Pati Tyrell, Mea Tau by Elijah Kennar, and Tu Move by the New Zealand School of Dance.
Closing the festival is a huge double bill performance of Aumaga by Le Moana and Le Mau by Jasmine Leota, showing on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June. Aumaga explores the spaces inhabited by the ‘untitled’ men of Samoan villages, their day to day activities, and their service to family and culture. Inspired by the ‘Mau Movement’ of the 1920’s, Le Mau fuses traditional Samoan song and dance with movement from Tonga, Tokelau, and other dance genres, fused together by a core of live music played on traditional instruments and sharing universal tones of the strength and resiliency of Pacific people.
In addition to the evening performances, the Festival is inviting schools in South Auckland to attend free matinees of four of the works, Tia, Keeping the Faith, Le Mau and Aumaga as part of their commitment to nurture and support the stories of young Pasifika people.
All shows are at 8pm at Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Corner Orly Avenue & Bader Drive, Mangere, Auckland
Tickets are now on sale at 0800 289 849 or online at:
The first Pacific Dance Festival in 2016 brought together an array of choreographers who had previously devised new works with mentoring from the Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory between 2009 and 2015, providing an opportunity to show how these works had continued their development since the Choreolab period.
The 2016 artists included:
Justin Haiu (2009 ChoreoLab)
Tupua Tigafua (2012 ChoreoLab)
Nikki Upoko (2013 Choreolab)
Katerina Fatupaito (2014 Choreolab)
Leki Bourke (2014 Choreolab)
Hadleigh Pouesi (2015 Choreolab)
Jahra Wasasala (2015 Choreolab)
A special guest performance by Julia Mage’au Gray of Sunameke Dance (first mentor to the lab choreographers in 2009) brought an international flavour to the festival, incorporating Papua New Guinean dance and video narrative in her contemporary Melanesian dance work titled ‘Wearing My Map’, and a special performance of ‘Fatu naToto’, the greatly successful show by Wellington-based Le Moana and Tupe Lualua (Pacific Dance Artist in Residence 2013) was presented before traveling to the San Diego International Fringe Fest where it was very warmly received.
The Festival was presented at Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Corner Orly Avenue & Bader Drive, Mangere, Auckland
Monday & Tuesday 13 & 14 June 2016
Tamatoa Nights – featuring our male artists
Wednesday & Thursday 15 & 16 June 2016
Wahinetoa Nights – featuring our female artists
Friday & Saturday 17 & 18 June 2016
Capping it off with the extravaganza that is Fatu na Toto.
Running alongside the dance festival was an exhibition of Pacific dance costumes.