May 9, 2012


Warm Pacific Greetings. 

Pacific Dance New Zealand is pleased to announce the Pacific Dance Artist In Residence for 2012Sesilia Pusiaki Tatuila.  

This Pacific Dance Artists’ Residency is in its third year and is a community dance project presented by Pacific Dance NZ, Dance Aotearoa NZ, Auckland Council and Creative NZ. Past artists include Justin Haiu (2010) and Keneti Muaiava (2011).

This year Sesilia will work in the South Auckland community for 10 weeks starting on 14 May.

The purpose of this residency is for the local community to be able to access the skill base of an established dance artist who will deliver a dance programme specific to their needs. This year Sesilia will use the residency to promote the maintenance of traditional Tongan dance, to “preserve (the) culture and heritage” of the New Zealand based Tongan community.

The residency will focus on the learning of a repertoire of traditional Tongan dances for men and women. In particular Sesilia will focus on the Me’etupaki, Otuhaka and Faha’iula dances as well as the transmission of broader dance skills to Auckland based youth. Sesilia’s background as a descendant of the Lapaha Punake (master artist) pedigree can also be traced back to her great grandfather Vili Pusiaki, composer/choreographer to the late Queen Salote of Tonga.

Pacific Dance NZ director Iosefa Enari has seen the residency grow over the past three years and is encouraged by this year’s artist’s proposal of work. “I’m really pleased to see this residency evolve and develop as part of the Auckland dance calendar,” states Enari. “It is vital that dance programmes for the community are in sync with the needs of that community. This year’s artist continues the tradition of providing Pacific dance that caters for everyone, which is what we (Pacific Dance NZ) are about.”

The residency will be delivered at the Metro Theatre in Mangere East over 10 weeks and culminate in a public presentation on Saturday 21 July. Sesilia will be given a designated dance studio (at Metro Theatre) to teach weekly classes. Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well as Saturday afternoons.

Registrations are now open to the public. Anyone who wishes to participate in this exciting residency will need to register their attendance to or call Pacific Dance NZ on phone 09 3760060. 

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