Press Release – Pacific Dance
The Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory 2012 promises to showcase a broad slice of Auckland’s Pacific dance talent. Ranging from street and hip-hop to contemporary and classical Polynesian dance, the Pacific Dance Choreo Lab brings together talent …
The Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory 2012
Saturday,10th November, 7pm
Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu Uenuku
The Pacific Dance Choreographic Laboratory 2012 promises to showcase a broad slice of Auckland’s Pacific dance talent. Ranging from street and hip-hop to contemporary and classical Polynesian dance, the Pacific Dance Choreo Lab brings together talent from youth (Secondary) students, to Unitec Department of Performing and Screen Arts dance students, to more experienced professional dancers in a laboratory where experimentation is key.
This year, the fourth year of the Lab, 3 selected choreographers – Tupua Tigafua (Black Grace, Mau, New Zealand Dance Company), Nita Latu (3rd Year Bachelor of Dance Studies) and Dr Maile Giffin (Polynesian Entertainers) have embarked on a journey to discover and develop their various dance visions to create 3 very different and distinct dance works.
Tupua Tigafua (Samoan), coming from a contemporary dance background, has been working with four Unitec dance students to develop his work – ‘Shel We’. Although previously devised in ‘En Route’ earlier this year, Tupua wanted to develop this work into a larger piece. His inspiration comes from a book he found in his childhood, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (1964), who also wrote for ‘Sesame St’. Here, Tupua seeks to capture the humour and wit of Shel’s writing along with the simplicity of space shown in his drawings and to explore within this the Samoan concept of the ‘Va’ (the space between).
Nita Latu’s (Tongan) piece, ‘We are Who we Are’, on the other hand is firmly based in youth dance; street and hip-hop with elements of contemporary. Nita’s subject matter deals with the disturbing topic of youth suicide and she has worked with Secondary students, from schools around Waitakere, in order to seek a ‘true’ expression of the feelings of this age group while seeking not only to address the issue but to find ways to give hope in a world sometimes seemingly overwhelming. This piece promises to be a hard-hitting account and expression of the urban youth experience today.
Dr Maile Giffin (Hawai’ian) has stuck to classic Hawaiian expression in her piece – ‘Changes of our Land’ in which she explores the changing face of Hawai’i from the 1700’s into the modern day tourist Mecca it has become. Maile has worked with more experienced dancers (who have not done Hawai’ian dance before) to create a piece showing off the range of Hawai’ian movement from Kahiko (ancient forms) to Auana (modern forms). This piece promises to tell a story, large in its scope but also intimate in its delivery.
This year’s laboratory was mentored by Iosefa Enari, director of Pacific Dance New Zealand and the former convener of the ‘Pacific Music and Dance’ programme at the University of Auckland. Iosefa has also held posts at Te Wananga o Aotearoa as the curriculum leader of Pacific dance studies as well as BEST Training where he was instrumental in developing the Pacific Institute of Performing Arts (PIPA) programme.
Iosefa’s mentoring approach was based on ‘the business side of dance’ where Sefa focused this year’s choreographers not only on choreogrpahic values but also on the business of organisation, scheduling, budgeting and the business of moving into dance theatre production.
2012 has seen 20 dancers from around Auckland come together, over a short period of time, under the vision of these three up and coming Pacific dance choreographers and their mentor. This year’s laboratory showing on Saturday, 10th November, 7pm, Mangere Arts Centre, promises to showcase a slice of the tremendous talent coming out of one of the fastest growing arts sectors in the country – Pacific Dance. And, it’s free!! Not to be missed.
Check: www.pacificdance.co.nz for more…