Pacific Dance Festival celebrates Pacific culture this June

Pacific Dance Festival will open its doors this June for all of Auckland to celebrate Pacific culture and the important place it holds in Aotearoa’s diverse cultural landscape. Events are happening all over the city from the CBD to Glen Innes to Manukau City.



The festival offers an extensive four-week programme that includes a series of workshops, free activations, film screening, Pacific dance costume exhibition, alongside an incredible range of dance performances.


In addition to the ticketed performance programme, Pacific Dance Festival are facilitating free public events to prioritise open access to Pacific culture in Tamaki Makaurau.


A series of open rehearsals will activate the space at Auckland Art Gallery on Saturdays during the Festival, with performances from Aloalii Tapu & Friends, AUE Dance, and Hadleigh Pouesi & Freshmans Crew.


The Auckland Art Gallery will also play host to a free film screening, Pacific Dance On Screen.


Developing the talent of Pacific creatives off-stage is also a priority for the festival, with industry champion Dolina Weipeihana leading the 2019 Producers Workshop.


A choreographic laboratory with Tupe Lualua will run for the second and third week of the Festival at Te Oro to develop the new generation of Pacific choreographers. Tahiti Ia Ora and Le Taupou Manaia will be leading masterclasses for those interested in the traditional Pacific style of dance.


Dance is a strong component of Pacific culture and the festival is set to celebrate this unique and important culture in a space that has not given communities and those who are interested in pacific performing arts a chance to come together in celebration in 2019.


LEECHES [Friday 7th June, 2019] will headline the festival and its premiere at the ASB Waterfront Theatre will be a tour de force of Pacific contemporary dance.



Featuring lead choreography by Aloalii Tapu, the full-length work is created and performed by a collective of nine award-winning and internationally acclaimed dancers, featuring Braedyn Humphries, Connor ‘Ooshcon’ Masseurs, Jahra ’Rager’ Wasasala, Taniora Motutere, Sione Fataua, Elijah Kennar and Faith Schuster.


The work is underpinned by Tapu's own 'Lofty Release', a movement practice that has a virtuosic and intricate movement language, while the story follows the modern experience of being Kiwi and Pasifika in a Eurocentric country.


The festival programme continues with the following full-length showcases at Mangere Arts Centre:


Moana: Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 June 2019, 7-8pm


The staple short-works show returns with a diverse line-up featuring ‘Lalo’ by Ankaramy Fepuleai, ’Stolen Stories’ by FAF SWAG artist Manoa Teaiwa, ‘Ave Ese’ by Tofifailauga Misa, Lyncia Muller and the New Zealand School of Dance.


• Triple-bill: Friday 14 June 2019, 8-9pm


Debuts of three new works by Uftia Sagapolutele, Laifa Ta’ala and Aue Dance Company


Maui: Saturday 15 June 2019, 7-8pm


The award-winning Nesian-hip-hop fusion dance by Hadleigh Pouesi and Freshmans Crew returns for one night only after a hugely popular season at the Auckland Fringe Festival 2019


Siva Mai: Sunday 16 June, 5pm


Composer Opeloge Ah Sam offers an expression of modern Samoan identity through music and dance


Kapu Akari: Saturday 22 June 2019, 8-9pm

Aue Dance Company premieres their latest full-length piece, a fusion of their previous award-winning works Opaque and Reka


For more information and to book tickets go to