Wednesday, March 13, 2013

[pima.nius] Moana, Making Waves on the Auckland Dance Scene

12:02 PM |

Moana a Pacific Dance Showcase

A New Dance Wave Hits Our Shores

Running at the tail end of the Auckland Arts Festival but not part of
its official programme is a gem of a show making waves in the dance
performance scene. "Moana, a Pacific Dance Showcase," a presentation
of Pacific contemporary fusion dance by Pacific Dance New Zealand
running at TAPAC from Wednesday 20th March – Saturday 23rd March.

"It's a real mixed-bag of dance from four young choreographers who all
have quite different styles, backgrounds and issues that they're
dealing with. But, together it makes for a really great ensemble
experience that will leave you lifted." Explains show producer Sefa

And, what an ensemble it is. With works by up-and-coming Auckland
based choreographers Justin Haiu (New Zealand Dance Company), Tupua
Tigafua (New Zealand Dance Company), Charlene Tedrow (Ura Tabu Pacific
Dance) and Nita Latu (University of Auckland Dance Studies), Moana is
a vision of Auckland and possibly New Zealand's future direction of
contemporary dance. "Pacific inspired but definitely from this place,
Auckland. Moana is a reflection of what it means to be a Pacific
Islander living in Auckland's urban environment and still retaining
what it means to be a Pacific Islander. Something we all sort of got
to take on board – living here," continues Enari.

Moana in this sense is certainly a showcase of how contemporary
Pacific dance has developed over the last few years, a showcasing of
works representing a diverse diaspora. It also fits nicely as part of
ATEED's (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development) new
"Pacific As" suite of events designed to highlight and celebrate
Auckland's unique Pacific Island culture, heritage and identity.

"With the reasonably high percentage of Aucklanders of Pacific Island
descent and a growing number being born here, many of the issues
covered in Moana will be relevant. But, it will also be interesting
for other Aucklanders and non-Aucklanders alike to be able to key into
what our choreographers are talking about and realize many of these
issues are actually universal or shared by quite a number of
communities all over the world," elucidates Enari

The works in "Moana, a Pacific Dance Showcase" talk about identity,
urbanisation, spirituality, fantasy, illusion, joy, despair and in the
end – hope.

Justin Haiu's 'Call to Wallis' is a work primarily about identity and
the search for his Wallis (Uvea) & Futunan ancestry. But it is also
urban in its reflection of his life growing up in New Zealand and this
is reflected with elements of street dance throughout the piece.

Charlene Tedrow's work on the other hand is totally immersed in the
mythical realm of the islands and draws upon traditions, myths &
legends to paint a picture of the world of the aitu (spirits) in her
work "Spiritus Aitu."

Tupua Tigafua follows on within the world of the mythical or fantastic
in his work "We Shall See Sel on the Sea Shore." Presenting a
fantasia-like world based on the drawings and writings of Shel
Silverstein's "Giving Tree" (1964). Tigafua's work is much more about
playing with forms and notions within the modern-contemporary dance
paradigm (and possibly easier for a foreign audience to understand).

Nita Latu's work "The Broken Ties," by contrast is grounded in the
hash realities of a Pacific island youth growing up in a world of
inequalities, peer pressures, dashed-dreams and the proposition of
ending it all. This work is presented in a fusion of street and
contemporary dance and moves from this despair and questioning of life
to a realisation of hope and pride in oneself - a realisation Latu
emphasises should be the natural disposition of this youth.

As an ensemble work, Moana brings together a mix of dance, which is
not always accessible in the Auckland scene. And, could be that little
spark audiences maybe looking for at this time of year.

As Enari says, "These are wonderful works on their own but together
they also create not only a world of their own but an experience which
any audience will take much away from. This is an experience I believe
many overseas audiences will also be able to key into as well as our
own local audiences."

Moana, a Pacific Dance Showcase is on at TAPAC from Wednesday 20th
March to Saturday 23rd March. Shows start at 7:30pm and at the cost of
$25 a ticket is certain to be value for money for any dance enthusiast
or performance aficionado.

Bookings can be made at TAPAC-

Box office:, ph: (09) 845 02 95 ext.2

Media enquiries to Aaron Taouma Ph: (09) 376 00 60

Moana, a Pacific Dance Showcase is supported by:
Pacific Dance NZ, TAPAC, Arts Alive (Auckland Council), Pacific As & Black Grace

pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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