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Pacific Dance Festival 2017 runs 15–24 June at Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland, with four different programmes running over two weeks this year,  presenting an event that embraces contemporary Pacific dance in the most populous Polynesian city in the world.

"The annual Pacific Dance Festival showcases some of the country’s most exciting contemporary Pacific dance choreographers,” says festival director Iosefa Enari, "giving audiences an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the incredible diversity of performance Pasifika choreographers are creating throughout New Zealand. We hope to also include works from Pacific dance companies beyond new Zealand when possible."

The first week of the festival will present Wahine Toa over two nights, a collection of four works by female choreographers in a celebration of the strength and diversity of Pasifika women: Tai Akaki by Tepaeru–Ariki Lulu French, Ave by Ufitia Sagapolute, West Meet South by Losalia Milika Pusiaki, and Found Words by Julia Mage'au Gray.

The week will conclude with the debut performance of the highly anticipated Nu’u by Freshmans Crew on Saturday 17th June, fusing together Pacific, Maori, Urban and Contemporary dance styles in a story exploring three characters and their experiences growing up in New Zealand. Nu’u will debut at the Pacific Dance Festival before travelling overseas, with interest from as far abroad as Hawaii, Los Angeles, and Utah already being expressed.

Week two will feature the men of the programme in action, presenting Tamatoa and consisting of five original works: Muamua and Keeping the Faith by Joash Fahitua, Fa’aafa by Pati Tyrell, Mea Tau by Elijah Kennar, and Tu Move by the New Zealand School of Dance.

Closing the festival is a huge double bill performance of Aumaga by Le Moana and Le Mau by Jasmine Leota, showing on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June. Aumaga explores the spaces inhabited by the ‘untitled’ men of Samoan villages, their day to day activities, and their service to family and culture.  Inspired by the ‘Mau Movement’ of  the  1920’s, Le  Mau fuses  traditional  Samoan  song  and  dance  with  movement  from Tonga,   Tokelau,   and   other   dance   genres, fused together by a core of live music played on traditional  instruments and sharing universal tones of the strength and resiliency of Pacific people.

In addition to the evening performances, the Festival is inviting schools in South Auckland to attend free matinees of four of the works, TiaKeeping the FaithLe Mau and Aumaga as part of their commitment to nurture and support the stories of young Pasifika people.

All shows are at 8pm at Mangere Arts Centre - Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Corner Orly Avenue & Bader Drive, Mangere, Auckland

Tickets are now on sale at 0800 289 849 or online at:

 https://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2017/pacific-dance-festival-2017/auckland/mangere