Pacific Dance: Savage, Sexy at Southside Arts Festival
By Aaron Taouma
2012's Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab was upbeat. A showcase of three aspirational works by choreographers exploring Pacific issues revealed a diaspora in the throes of change. Taking part in the three-week intensive laboratory were Sesilia Pusiaki Tatuila, Ojeya Cruz Banks and Tepaeru-Ariki Lulu French. The closing was a night of contemporary Pacific dance flavour, a full house and the opening of the Southside Arts Festival at the Mangere Arts Centre.
Savage, sexy, meaningful, touching and performed with grace and poise was the description Mangere’s local MP, Su’a William Sio, gave to Cook Islands born choreographer Tepaeru-Ariki Lulu French’s piece Pacific Muse.
This, along with the other works, struck a chord with those in the audience.
This year’s mentor to the Chorelab was Neil Ieremia. Iosefa Enari, Pacific Dance New Zealand’s director, describes the lab as “a beginning point . . . we give them this chance, but moving to the next level we need real pathways in which to step. Unless you have a dedicated dance company to move into it’s real hard out there. It’s a bit of a leap of faith sometimes”.
Read the full article (Iss. 26) Pacific Dance