Mangere Arts Centre, Auckland

15/06/2016 - 16/06/2016

Production Details

The Pacific Dance Festival 2016 is a presentation of works by Pacific Dance NZ. These pieces are existing work by Pacific artists created in the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab (2009 – 2015). Featured artists are – Justin Haiu, Tupua Tigafua, Leki Bourke, Hadleigh Pouesi, Jahra Wasasala, Nikki Upoko, Katerina Fatupaito with special guest performance by Julia Mage’au Gray.

To top off the week, Le Moana Dance will present Fatu na Toto (devised & directed by Tupe Lualua), before it heads to San Diego and the International Fringe Festival. Catch it while you can.

Monday & Tuesday 
Tamatoa Nights – featuring our male artists

Wednesday & Thursday 
Wahinetoa Nights – featuring our female artists

Friday & Saturday – capping it off with the extravaganza that is Fatu na Toto.

Tickets for the Polypac pack includes tickets for each of the three different shows on various nights at your decresion: 
– Tamatoa Nights – featuring our male artists 
– Wahinetoa Nights – featuring our female artists 
– Extravaganza that is Fatu na Toto.

Running alongside the dance festival will also be an exhibition of Pacific dance costumes not to be missed. Get in and book today.

  • Waged: $25.00
  • Unwaged: $20.00
  • Groups 6 or more: $18.00
  • Child under 12: $10.00
  • Polypac (for three shows): $60.00
  • BUY TIX (289 849) – Ticket Outlets

Pasifika contemporary dance , Dance ,

1 hour

Celebrating Pasifika women's choreography

Review by Marianne Schultz 23rd Jun 2016

The director of Pacific Dance New Zealand, Iosefa Enari, and his team are to be commended for pulling together three separate programmes over 6 days.  Audiences in Auckland, the city with the world’s largest population of Polynesian peoples, should be grateful for his ongoing commitment to nurturing a new generation of New Zealand choreographers of Pacific ancestry. The works in Wahine Toa provide a window into twenty-first century life for women in the South Pacific who chose dance, song, words and gestures to convey their own Pacific identities. 

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Rich and absorbing personal narratives

Review by Dione Joseph 17th Jun 2016

The Pacific Dance Festival at Mangere Arts Centre is the latest addition to our calendar of new dance events, and for the audiences who manage to catch a snippet of the week-long festivities, there is much to love.

Programme 2 of 3 scheduled across the week is Wahinetoa and provides a celebration of strong Pasifika female choreographers. The work is diverse, showcasing myth and legend, urban rituals and spoken word poetry, and provides a rich and absorbing series of personal and cultural narratives of the Pacific.

The evening begins with a work by Julia Mage’au Gray. Wearing my Map is a short, powerful and visceral juxtaposition of Papua New Guinean tradition and the modernity found in the biggest Polynesian city in the world. Gray’s work creates a space that calls us to recognise our 8 million neighbours in our ocean’s backyard and the strong Melanesian presence right here in New Zealand. Using stunning abstract AV projection that morphs into hardened images of the city, dancers Julia Gray, Elaine Pokarop, Toria Maladina and Aisa Pokarop use a range of slow Butoh-esque movements, traditional dance and song to weave a striking opening to the evening’s programme.

The Call by Nikki Upoko follows (with Upoko herself and Natalie Toevai performing together) to create a unique musical conversation. Traditional Cook Island dance and Sia’s Swinging from the Chandelier generate a dialogue on what is, what always has been, and what will be in our swirling worlds of finding and re-defining ourselves.

Jahra Wasasala’s work from the recent 2015 Choreolab 2015 is the central work of the evening. Blood/d/runk is articulate, eloquent and multi-faceted. There are potentially three different works in this one piece (which all deserve to be given their own space) but this iteration offers a poignant and personal exploration of women, with voice, and is supported by a host of other female witnesses. It’s an incredibly strong work but does need to be shorter. The rhythms and cadences are well measured and the pace, for the most part, works well – all signs point it to developing into a full-fledged work.

The concluding work Burnt Skin by Katerina Fatupaito is the perfect way to close the evening. The physical dexterity of dancers Riki Nofo’akifolau, Metusela Toso and Antonio Malachi is riveting to watch. The colour palette is a picture of brown, beige, and black, with white circles drawn across the stage. This particular work also boasts a rich and layered soundscape credited to Siaosi Telea, Pene Junior Ueta and Katerina Fatupaito.

These works have immense potential and with further support and dramaturgical development, they will tour and add to our growing canon of contemporary dance. 


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