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Pacific Dance New Zealand Announces Choreolab Lineup 

Pacific Dance New Zealand (PDNZ) is proud to announce the selection of three exciting choreographers in the 2015 Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab. They are – Hadleigh Pouesi, Jahra 'Rager' Wasasala and Albert 'Bux' Fale.

The choreographers will be given space and time to work on new Pacific dance works concluding in a showing at Corban Estate Arts Centre in late-October. They will also receive mentoring from Tupe Lualua (Director of Le Moana) and award winning spoken word artist Teuila Grace Taylor.

The 2015 selection was made by a selection panel including Dr. Marianne Schultz (DANZ), Olivia Taouma (Auckland Council) and Justin Haiu (Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust).

The annual Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab is in its seventh year and the three selected choreographers will join an alumni of some well-known names in the New Zealand dance arena such as Justin Haiu, Charlene Tedrow, Aruna Po-Ching, Tupua Tigafua, Nita Latu, Leki Bourke and Katerina Fatupaito.

Hadleigh Pouesi (Freshman's Dance Crew)
Hadleigh has been a name in Aotearoa's hip hop dance scene for a number of years. Starting in the genre at high school, in 2007 Hadleigh started his own crew – Sweet & Sour – which took out Aotearoa's first ever gold medal at the HHI World Championships in 2008. Hadleigh has been involved in a number of award winning crews since, most notably Fresh Movement Dance Company, of which he is the founding director.

For the choreographic lab Hadleigh wishes to explore more diversity in his dance expression by developing his Pacific dance repertoire. He has been working on a full-length show called 'The Station' and through the Choreographic lab hopes to develop the interplay between traditional Pacific movements to incorporate into this larger work.

The sub-piece for the choreographic lab has a working title 'Workin Day and Night' and explores the concept of migration – the migration of his Samoan side from the islands to New Zealand during the 1960's and the more recent migration of his Maori side from New Zealand to Australia. It also has reference to the original great migration of Maori from the islands a millennia ago.

Jahra 'Rager' Wasasala
Jahra is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and spoken word artist. She is a graduate of Unitec's Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, and since graduating in 2012/2013 has made her mark on the Auckland dance and spoken word scene; her latest show Mother/Jaw attracting much acclaim and winning five awards at the Auckland Fringe Festival 2015 (securing her a season at the Herald Theatre in 2016).

The working title for Jahra's choreographic lab work is – 'Blood/d/runk' – an exploration of the tensions between mediums such as spoken word and dance, the role of women in contemporary dance, the polarisation of body perception between Western/global ideologies and the relationship young Pacific women have with their bodies; and the mother nature affiliation between the female, Earth and rituals of connection. In this context women of colour reflect the state of the world.

Albert 'Bux' Fale
Albert has been a successful tutor of Samoan dance for high schools presenting for the ASB Polyfest dance competition over a number of years. He has branched out into other styles of dance since and has been involved in the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab before as a dancer. Now Albert has the opportunity to explore this dance/theatre setting as a choreographer.

Albert's piece for the choreographic lab is called 'Le Fa'avae', a familiar term for many Samoans as it means 'The Foundation' and is reminiscent of the Samoan proverb - “Lau o le Fiso, Lau o le Tolo, e ala e tasi ae mauga e Olo” meaning; “There are many Pathways that will lead to the same Foundation.”

This piece is an exploration of Samoan culture through dance. From siapo (tapa cloth) making, to traditional oratory presented as poetry, to ritual movements of the tufuga ta tatau (master tattooist), to concepts of cultural fusion, ritual and the influence of religion.


Pacific Dance New Zealand Choreolab Selected

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