Entering fully into the limelight as Aotearoa’s national organization for Pacific dance artists, the Pacific dance festival hits the road in 2021 – expanding to four venues around Auckland in June and visiting arts festivals across the country with their world-class performances this year. Continuing their broad commitment to the platform of Pacific artists of all kinds, this year’s program offerings include a fashion extravaganza and a live Pacific jazz performance, as well as contemporary and traditional dance forms from the other side of the Pacific.
The Auckland-based core program in June is a combination of works scheduled under the canceled 2020 Festival and brand-new works developed by artists during the pandemic, reflecting the urgency and artists’ ability to reflect the world. that surrounds us. The Festival kicks off on May 18, hosted by the country’s premier dance venue – the ASB Waterfront Theater in central Auckland – before the spectacular theater plays host to two of the biggest dance events in Aotearoa after COVID.
The enchanting and playful intriguing Shel We? by an award-winning choreographer Tupua Tigafua finally arrives on the glorious stage of ASB Waterfront on June 1, showcasing Tigafua’s quirky style and brilliant metaphorical imagery in his poetry and live illustrations. Paying tribute to his parents, family and the environment that inspired him over the years, Shel We? features a stellar cast of exceptional dancers performing this work by one of the most ingenious storytellers of his generation.
One of the most famous works of Pacific dance theater returns to Auckland as part of the 2021 Festival program, with
MĀUI performing on its biggest stage to date at ASB Waterfront, with one evening performance on June 5 completing three school matinee performances. Created by Hadleigh Pouesi and
Fresh movement, MĀUI sold-out its premiere at Fringe Festival 2019 and Pacific Dance Festival 2019, featuring its captivating combination of dance, music and physical theater to tell stories loved across the Pacific by young and old alike.
The Festival adds two new locations in Auckland to the 2021 program, reaching the entire region with innovative and unique offerings. Takeover of the Auckland War Memorial Museum on June 15 AUĒ
and Vivian Hosking-Aue will present Te Pō – a dance and fashion showcase. A celebration of Pacific dwellers of all sizes and genders, this version of Vivian’s AUĒ LINE range of unique clothing is the pinnacle of Pacific couture fashion. The bright, daring and beautiful will be showcased in both fashion and dance, performed by AUĒ Dance Company with their famous style that blends traditional, street and contemporary practices.
The other new venue for 2021 – TAPAC – hosts an exciting new format interpreted by
Collective: Pacific Jazz. Brought together with the University of Auckland Music Program, The Collective is both a group and a community of Pacific music students recognized for their talents in competitions such as Tangata Beats and the Council’s Stand Up Stand Out. from Auckland. They perform in a jazz showcase by talented creative young people from the Pacific on June 6.
The bulk of the program will be presented at the birthplace of the Festival – the Mangere Arts Center, with four long shows. The headliner of offers at the MAC is the first performance of Faces of nature June 11, by a new artistic collective
Ta’alili led by a husband and wife dance duo
Aloalii Tapu and Tori Manley-Tapu. Working as a team of designers, choreographers, artists and performers, Ta’alili is world builders – encompassing film, dance, visual arts and set design, to build works that reflect and shape their dreams and perspectives of the world. .
The performance program is complemented by the
MOANA showcase of short works featuring emerging artists Lomina Araitia, Desiree Soo-Choon, Litara Ieremia-Allan, Ankaramy Fepuleai, Chas Samoa and The New Zealand School of Dance (June 8); explosive
HYPAMASS by Connor “Ooshcon” Masseurs who combines Krump and dance-theater in a personal journey of masculinity (June 17); and the
Double bill, created and performed by the artists of the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab 2019 –
Villa Junior Lemanu presenting his new work
Atali’i O Le CREZENT and
Raisedinland Iose presenting the reorganization of his work XY ONLY
Auckland’s program is complemented by a series of free workshops and the annual program Dance on screen curated selection of dance films.
Pacific Dance New Zealand director Iosefa Enari says “The Pacific Dance Festival 2021 features a larger group of performers, some of whom were bought out last year. Not only is our festival bigger, but we are delighted to announce our new partnerships with 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 regional centers and festivals is our commitment to expand our reach, develop our audience and give our artists more performance opportunities. “
Pacific Dance New Zealand is also hitting the road in 2021. Continuing its relationship with Wellington-based artists, PDNZ is delighted to premiere a full-length work at the Kia Mau Festival. An exploration of motherhood and mana wahine on June 16 and 17 TINA is the brand new work of a revolutionary collective
TULOU, created by Ufitia Sagapolutele, Faith Schuster, and Lyncia Müller. This work is presented in collaboration with Pacific Dance during the Festival dates. Pacific Dance New Zealand will also tour the Aronui Arts Festival in Rotorua, the Measina Festival in Wellington and the Te Tairawhiti Festival in Gisborne in 2021.