ASB Waterfront Theatre, 138 Halsey St, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland

05/06/2024 - 06/06/2024

Pacific Dance Festival 2024

Production Details

Directed and choreographed by Vivian Hosking-Aue

AUĒ Dance Company & The House of VA

Experience “TOTO” by Vivian Hosking-Aue, AUĒ Dance Company & The House of VA. Explore blood’s symbolism across physical, personal, and spiritual realms, delving into Pacific culture’s connections and significance.

Step into the pulsating heart of Pacific culture with “TOTO” – a revolutionary fusion of dance and fashion that delves into the essence of blood, symbolising life, connection, and heritage. Presented by Vivian Hosking-Aue, AUĒ Dance Company & The House of VA, this electrifying show promises an unforgettable journey through contemporary Pacific dance, street moves, and the traditional Ura Kuki Airani style.

Directed and choreographed by the visionary Vivian Hosking-Aue, “TOTO” beckons audiences to explore the depths of cultural identity and spirituality. From the raw physicality of movement to the intimate realms of personal and ancestral significance, each performance unveils the intricate tapestry of Pacific traditions.

With a diverse cast of over 20 dynamic dancers, “TOTO” immerses spectators in a vibrant spectacle celebrating the richness of Pacific heritage. As Vivian Hosking-Aue invites guests to don white attire, the audience becomes an integral part of the transformative experience, symbolising purity, unity, and reverence for the journey ahead.

Prepare to be swept away by the rhythm of the islands, the energy of the streets, and the soul-stirring narratives woven into every choreographic masterpiece. “TOTO” is not merely a performance – it’s a celebration of life’s vitality and the enduring ties that bind us all. Join us on a journey of cultural resonance and artistic innovation that transcends boundaries and ignites the spirit.

Venue: ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Dates: 5 & 6 June
Times: 7.30PM
Prices: $25 – $35

Dance , Pasifika contemporary dance ,

50 minutes

A mixing bowl of cultural excellence

Review by Maddie Paget 06th Jun 2024

TOTO is a culturally-driven medley of performance artistry from House of VA, AUĒ Dance, and directed by Vivian Aue-Hoskings. A grand cast of several Pacifica descent communities come together in TOTO to share a multimodal experience of dance, performance, fashion, and digital art. The Pacific Arts Dance Festival Programme provides the audience with a short and snappy briefing of TOTO —the word itself translating to blood amongst many Pacifica languages. Further, blood was explained, within the programming outline, to be seen as symbolic of various meanings that are later poured out on the stage. Imminently there is a honed in precise focus towards connection and spirituality amongst Pacific culture – to be connected through one’s blood.

With much eagerness and curiosity, I strolled up the ASB Waterfront Theatre staircase with a programme clutched to my slide. The strength, femininity, and intensity of the female figure on the TOTO programme already sent shivers of excitement up my spine. “What am I about to see?” and “What will this TOTO reveal itself to be?” The staff swung the theatre doors open to the grandiose stage. My eyes wander over to five womanly figures in silky white slip dresses striking Grecian goddess-like poses. Perfectly coiffed hair, angular arms, and mysterious glass bottles add further embellishment to these real-life statues. 

The lights dim, and the luxurious black curtains lift – teasing my eyes in anticipation at its semi-slow pace. An eruption of red and white floods the stage. Elegance, opulence, and pridefulness rush amongst the performers with upbeat and hype-like music booming through the theatre. It was off the jump where an impact was made. The audience cheered and screamed watching commanding struts and sharpened eyelines embody the moving figures. Beautifully handcrafted constructed garments decorated each of the cast where traditional and modern cultured fashion ideas aesthetically wove themselves together in every outfit. Flicks and swerves of elegance continued to wash and swish through every nook and cranny of the performers and the crowd. 

Just when you thought you knew what to expect, your eyes would light up again to something new and different entering the space. Dancers grounded the floor- heaving, pushing, pulling themselves to exhausting yet incredible choreography. Digital film occasionally entered with vibrant colours and graphic imagery. A barrage of drums thundered from up above from musicians making me clutch the handrail excitedly. More and more fashion designs poured out – with not a single flaw in sight. And when you thought the power could not exceed such heights, a contrast of softening vocals and traditional Pacific dance calmed us all down. I could feel myself melting into my chair through the raw emotions cascading out in the performers. 

TOTO is a mixing bowl of cultural excellence where spirituality, love, and family emerged at its forefront. Blood is within all of us. Sometimes it can rush, curl and coddle. But other times it is the blood that allows us to bond with each other. Within our blood, it is the ones we hold closest and the ones that once, and still, held us. I await, with much eagerness, for the future projects under Vivian Aue-Hoskings, House of VA and AUĒ Dance. 

TOTO is on for its second and final showing at the ASB Waterfront Theatre on Thursday 6th of June 2024. 


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