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Event: Pacific Dance Festival June 2023

After three years of absence from Auckland’s theatre scene, the annual Pacific Dance Festival will finally return to our stages from 1 – 16 June. The 2023 festival programme represents the international partnerships which celebrate the diversity and richness that the Pacific brings to the dance and arts landscape of Aotearoa.
Filled with aroha/alofa/‘ofa (love) the team at Pacific Dance New Zealand have curated a programme of full length works, workshops, seminars, screenings, fashion shows, matinees and the much anticipated Moana Showcase that will be include the Annual Choreographic Lab showing of emerging Aotearoa based Pacific choreographers. International, local, emerging, established, contemporary and heritage artists from across Moana Nui a Kiwa bring to the mat their stories, their worlds, and their mana to suit and enrich the journeys of our diverse audiences. 

Pacific Dance NZ will hold its Festival opening on Wednesday 1 June at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in central Auckland with the NZ Premiere of MANU MALO direct from Hamburg, Germany by Aloali’i Tapu, featuring a star-studded cast during the 3-night season.

The eclectic international offerings this season feature:

  • KARUL Projects from across the Tasman which has a focus to increase First Nations’ voices, visibility, and stories through a master workshop and talanoa.
  • S.P.A.C.E (Samoa Performing Arts and Creative Excellence) from Apia with aerial workshops. The directors will be attending the festival and available for interview.
  • RAKO Award winning dance director and climate change warrior Letila Mitchell returns with her Suva based Rotuman troupe with a full length show and community workshop.
  • ‘TAU TAHI by Tongan dance master and academic Sisiuno Helu brings her full-length traditionally inspired contemporary dance show about Tongan legends with an outstanding cast of Sydney based dancers.

The MOANA showcase is shaping up to be another locally anticipated presentation which for the first time will be in Rangatira, Q Theatre. It will feature several works including those that have been developed at the 2023 Choreographic Lab and community collaborations.  

To acknowledge the strategic partnerships with various venues the following additions to the Festival programming include:

  • Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki will host Open Air Rehearsals (27 May, 3 and 10 Jun) and Dance-On-Screen on Sunday 11 June.
  • To Tamaki Paenga Hirea Auckland War Memorial Museum will host an evening show with fashion designer Beau Louis Takapu on Tuesday 12 June in the Te Ao Marama South Atrium

By popular demand the FREE community workshops with local heritage artists will also be offered during the festival.

The complete programme for the 2023 Pacific Dance Festival including the schedule will be announced in mid-March together with ticket sales. Visit pacificdance.co.nz/festivalfor updates.

Printed programmes will be available from mid-April from venues and other outlets around Auckland. Follow Pacific Dance on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Tik Tok for updates.

Ua vela le fala… your mat is ready for you to take your seat.

Tuesday 1 – Friday 16 June


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