Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland

17/06/2017 - 17/06/2017

Pacific Dance Festival 2017

Production Details

Pacific Dance Festival 2017 15-24 June at Mangere Arts Centre

Pacific Dance Festival 2017 runs 15–24 June at Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland, and has expanded over two weeks, presenting a programme that embraces contemporary Pacific dance in the most populous Polynesian city in the world.

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, TiaKeeping the FaithLe Mau and Aumaga as part of their commitment to nurture and support the stories of young Pasifika people.

Tickets are now on sale at

Dancers: Chantelle Huch, Byron Faaui, Chris Ofonoa, Soana Aleva, Kimberley Evans, Lelani Elliott, Emma Huch, Moanekah Va'ai, Mia Aporo, Ashley Medcalfe, Angelo Harema, Hadleigh Pouesi

Musiciansd: Junior Soqeta, Geoff soqueta, Eemrson Mailo, Hadleigh Pouesi, Kimberley Evans, Albert Fale, Metitilani Alo, Vau Antonio, Sakalia Vaetolo

Street theatre , Physical , Hiphop , Dance , Contemporary dance ,

1 hour

Dynamic storytelling and polished dancing

Review by Raewyn Whyte 19th Jun 2017

In Nu’u, a new dance work by Freshman’s Dance Crew crafted from personal experiences, a bittersweet urban love story explores the impact of opportunities which beckon young Pacific people to New Zealand.

Through a carefully crafted hybrid of siva Samoa, haka, street dance and contemporary dance, plus some rugby warmup routines, Nu’u tells the story of an Apia high school rugby star who is recruited to play for Counties Manukau. With the support of his village, he leaves home to play in New Zealand, leaving behind his disconsolate girlfriend.

Read the review



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