Monday, March 7, 2011

[pima.nius] Pacific Dance Fono 2011

3:14 PM |

Pacific Dance Fono - Casting the Net in 2011. 

Pacific Dance Fono 2011

The Pacific Dance Fono is an annual event delivered in partnership with Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ). The first Fono was held in 2006 as a forum for Pacific dance practitioners to gather, network and discuss dance issues unique to Pacific people in New Zealand.
Wed, March 9, 1:00pm – 6:30pm GMT+13:00
Fale Pasifika, Centre for Pacific Studies, Auckland University
Aaron Taouma
pima nius

The Pacific Dance Fono 2011 is the fifth dance fono and this year marks the first time the Fono has occurred in March during the Pasifika Festival. It is also the first time it will be held in the beautiful Fale Pasifika at the Centre for Pacific Studies at Auckland University.

The theme for this year is: Casting the Net, which points to the group nature of fishing in the Pacific Islands. Here, we are likened to a village casting our nets into the ether and seeing what returns; an idea, a common knowledge, or simply inspiration.

This year sees an exciting line-up of practitioners speaking in three panels throughout the day and our guest international keynote speakers Keola Nakanishi (founder of the Mana Maoli Collective in Hawai'i) and kumu hula Mehana'okala Hind share with us a little about what Mana Maoli does and their perspective of dance and cultural preservation in the modern Hawai'ian context.

The Mana Maoli Collective is currently traveling and performing in Aotearoa and have an ensemble cast of musicians and dancers bringing the sounds and vibes of Hawai'i to Aotearoa. Performing at the Pasifika Festival and Womad, Mana Maoli offers the Pacific Dance Fono a slice and taste of Hawai'ian hula as well as sharing the theoretical and philosophical basis behind their organisation and an indigenous perspective not always in align with Western or modern contexts.   

Founded in 1999, Mana Maoli Collective is a collective of educators, artists, musicians, cultural practitioners, community organizers, and families, who share a common vision of, and action toward, community empowerment.

The dance fono will also be opened by prominent composer and researcher Te AhukaramÅ Charles Royal (B.Mus(Hons), M.Phil, PhD; who will represent the University of Auckland while presenting a Maori viewpoint on the "creative potential of indigenous knowledge" in the modern world.

We then close our fono with both a performance by Mana Maoli Collective and the final close by Centre for Pacific Studies director Walter Fraser.

A little about our Panels on the day:

Panel 1: The International Experience (2:00pm – 3:00pm)

A group of internationally recognised and successful choreographers/dance company directors share their experiences on the international stage. Facilitated by Makerita Urale (Creative New Zealand), we hear from theatre director Nina Nawalowalo (The Conch)Moss Paterson (Atamira Dance Collective) and Tupe Lualua (Whitirea Polytechnic).  

Panel 2: Sustaining Heritage Pacific Dance (3:30pm – 4:30pm)

A group of heritage dance artists/practitioners gather to discuss their experience in trying to sustain a heritage dance art culture here in Aotearoa and the issues around future sustainability of these art forms. Facilitated by Tania Kopytko (Executive Director of DANZ), we hear from Niuean tufuga (master craftsman) Sene Falakoa (Tau Fuata Niue), Samoan tufuga Keneti Muaiava (Vision Cultural Movement) and Cook Islands dancer/choreographer John Kiria (Te Anuanua Performimg Arts Troupe).

Panel 3: Emerging voices in Pacific dance (4:30pm – 5:30pm)

In our last panel of the day, a group of emerging dance artists take the floor. We hear about their experiences and talk of the issues involved in "making it" from their perspective. Facilitated by Iosefa Enari (Director of PDNZ), we hear from dancer/choreographer John Purcell Puleitu (GHOST Street Contemporary Dance Company)Olivia Taouma (Lima Dance Theatre) and Victor Vitaliano (Tatau dance group).

Below is our programme for the day:

12.45pm           Gather for Powhiri

1.00pm             Official welcome – Prof Dr Charles Royal

1.20pm             Keynote Speakers: Keola Nakanishi and Mehana Hind. Mana Maoli  Collective, Hawaii, USA.

2.00pm             Panel 1 – The International Experience

Panellists: Nina Nawalowalo, Moss Paterson, Tupe Lualua

3.00pm             Afternoon Tea/ Performance

                        University of Auckland Samoan Students Association

3.15pm             Panel 2 – Sustaining Heritage Pacific dance

                        Panellists: Sene Falakoa, Keneti MuaiavaJohn Kiria

4.15pm             Panel 3 – Emerging voices in Pacific dance

Panellists: John Purcell Puleitu, Olivia Taouma, Victor Vitaliano.

5.15pm             Networking /Performance

                        University of Auckland Fijian Students Association

5.45pm             Performance - Mana Maoli Collective.

6.10pm  Official closing: Walter Fraser, director of Pacific Studies, Auckland University.

For media enquiries contact - Aaron Taouma 021 284 0150 or Filoi Vaila'au 021 0711777. Email:


pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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