Pacific Dance Festival 2017

The Pacific Dance Festival will launch a brand new programme, running 15–24 June at Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland, following a successful run in 2016.



Born out of the Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory, the festival provides an opportunity for Pacific choreographers to create, develop, and perform original dance works in a celebration of Pacific cultures.


This initiative by Pacific Dance New Zealand will now run over two weeks, presenting a programme that embraces contemporary Pacific dance in the most populous Polynesian city in the world.


“The festival is New Zealand’s only contemporary Pacific dance festival of its type and showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says festival director Iosefa Enari. 


“It is also a wonderful opportunity for audiences to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance out there.”


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


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


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, Tia, Keeping the Faith, Le Mau and Aumaga as part of their commitment to nurture and support the stories of young Pasifika people.


For more information about the Pacific Dance Festival 2017 go to:





Dates: Thursday 15 – Sat 24 June

Venue: Mangere Arts Centre

Tickets: Children - $12.00 per ticket

Unwaged and student $20.00 per ticket

Adult - $25.00 per ticket

Polypass (4 shows) - $75.00


Wahine Toa featuring Tai Akaki, Ave, West Meet South, and Found Words – Thursday 15th and Friday 16th June


Nu’u – Saturday 17th June


Tamatoa featuring Muamua, Keeping the Faith, Fa’aafa, Mea Tau, and Tu Move – Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd June


Double Bill: Aumaga and Le Mau – Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June