The stage is set for 2023 Pacific Dance Festival!

After three years of absence from the Auckland theatre scene, the Chair and Board of Trustees of the Pacific Islands Dance Fono Trust are proud to announce the annual Pacific Dance Festival has returned to our stages. 

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 highly anticipated Moana Showcase that will be featuring 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 1st June at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Central Auckland with the NZ Premiere of Manu Malo direct from Hamburg, Germany by Ta’alili featuring a star-studded cast. 

“I am thrilled that our performers are coming from Germany, Samoa, Brisbane, Sydney and Fiji. I am also humbled we are engaging with some of New Zealand’s top performance venues, Q Theatre, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland Arts Gallery and the Auckland War Memorial Museum to name a few.” - Iosefa Enari, Pacific Dance New Zealand director.

Eclectic international offerings this will season feature:

  • KARUL Projects from across the Tasman which 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 are here as guests of the festival.
  • 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. 

‘Ua vela le fala’ (Samoan translation: ‘the mat is hot’)


Keep your eyes peeled for the full programme release here



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Last updated: 19 March 2023