Feature Image

Pacific Dance Announces the 2016 Pacific Dnace NZ Choreographic Lab 

Monday, 19th September, 2016

Pacific Dance NZ is proud to announce the participants in the 2016 Pacififc Dance Choreographic Lab.

They are: Joash Fahitua, Filoi Vaila'au and Selina Alefosio

The three selected choreographers will work on their respective dance pieces over September and October ready for a public showing on Saturday 5th November 2016 at 4.30pm at Whitireia City Campus in Wellington.

For the first time the Choreolab has been split between Auckland and Wellington - Filoi and Selina being from Wellington, while Joash is based in Auckland.

You can keep up to date with what's happening in the lab by checking out our Facebook page regularly.


Joash Fahitua


‘Muamua’ meaning FIRST, is an introduction piece by Joash Fahitua a former Black Grace Dancer (2012 - 2015), taking his first steps in a role as a choreographer. Performed by Leighton Rangi (Bachelors Degree in Dance at University of Auckland, Identity dance Crew) and Kaya Campi (Bachelor in Dance Studies and currently completing her Masters year at the University of Auckland). Music by Christopher Toma Amosa (Music Director:David Dallas and the Day Light Robbery, has worked for Che fu, Home brew, Fire & Ice and multiple of other NZ artists). This work fuses contemporary dance and krump, a street style of movement. The ideas expressed in the piece include the idea of new life, a new beginning, a journey, the end of one and the start of another, merging the old with the new. This is a physical representation of an idea like a new-born that will develop and grow. Joash has drawn on aspects of his cultural heritage, practices and stories passed down by family as well as his own experiences as a New Zealand born Samoan dancer. “O lau tala Muamua lea na tusia” - this is my first story written.

Filoi Vaila'au

I'e Toga: A Samoan Women's Legacy

An i'e toga is one of the most important items of cultural value in Samoa. Attend many a Samoan ceremony or event and you will find these finely woven mats presented as gifts. Filoi Vaila'au, well known in the Pacific dance scene as an administrator and project manager for Pacific Dance NZ (2010 - 2014) has returned to the organisation to develop and present this work exploring the movements and actions of the women who present these fine mats. Using siva Samoa as a dance form, Vaila'au explores the themes of 'respect, 'power' and 'honour' and the role of these women (usually older and holding special position) in these ceremonies.


Selina Alefosio


Selina has been the artistic director of 'O Mata Dance Group' (Tokelauan dance) for the past ten years. Her work 'Whatupaepae' explores the ideas around the concept of whatupaepae, which is described as women who share out food gathered by men in traditional Tokelauan culture. Alefosio explores the role of these women (as much more than described), taken from the inspiration of three generations of her own family as a NZ born Tokelauan. This for her is a celebration of these wonderful women who have inspired her to connect with her Tokelauan roots and carry on their traditions within Aotearoa.


For more information or media enquiries about the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab, contact 09 376 00 60 or auckland@pacificdance.co.nz