Congratulations Keneti Muaiava!

8 06 2011

The final event in the 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit was the launch of the 2011 Pacific Dance Artist in Residence programme, delivered by Pacific Dance New Zealand with support from DANZ and Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Committee.

BIG congratulations to Keneti Muaiava, the recipient of this year’s residency!

MP Su’a William Sio, Filoi Vaila’au (Pacific Dance New Zealand) and Keneti Muaiava

Guest speaker, Mangere MP Su’a William Sio

Makerita Urale, Senior Programme Adviser – Pacific Arts Portfolio, Creative New Zealand

Makerita Urale (Creative New Zealand), MP Su’a William Sio, Keneti Muaiava and Susan Jordan (DANZ)

The PDNZ documentary team, Aaron Taouma + Popo Lilo

Ema Tavola (Auckland Council) and Mangere MP Su’a William Sio

Pacific Dance New Zealand in association with DANZ, Auckland Council and Creative New Zealand are calling for dancers to take part in the Pacific Dance Artist in Residence programme 2011.

This exciting eight-week dance residency is offered to an established New Zealand based dancer, dance choreographer or a director of Pacific Island descent with a proven track record of working in a community and or professional theatre context.

This year’s Pacific Dance Artist in Residence, Keneti Muaiava, is a master dancer specialising in Samoan dance. He is the co-founder for Vision Cultural Movement; an organisation that specialises in the maintenance of Samoan heritage arts & culture in Aotearoa.

The residency programme runs between Saturday 4June and Saturday 30 July 2011.

Keneti’s residency project is called “Past, Present and Future” and is centred around the teaching and development of three distinct Samoan dance styles whereby community dancers will have the opportunity to imbue themselves in the concepts and culture behind the movements while also exploring contextual elements making the dances both “authentic and relevant.”

This is a great opportunity for dancers from a variety of backgrounds to learn the Samoan dance styles of the Sasa, Fa’ataupati (slap dance) and ma’ulu’ulu (action dance) from a master teacher (tofuga) such as Keneti.

The residency will also allow for experimentation in the dance forms once the basic heritage form is learnt and will culminate in a final showing at the Metro Theatre on Saturday 30 July.

Dancers will partake in workshops for three days a week (three hours per day) but are not expected to have any prior knowledge of the dance forms, although this would help in the learning phases.

For registration and enquiries please email or phone Filoi Vaila’au on 09 370 0487.


“Kingdom of Lote” opens THIS WEEK!

16 05 2011

This week, the theatre component of the 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit opens for a 5-night season at Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku. KINGDOM OF LOTE is a brand new play written by Suli Moa and produced by Kila Kokonut Krew, Auckland’s premier Pacific entertainment company. This is Pacific theatre history making stuff! We have a chat with Producer, Stacey Leilua to find out more…

Tell us about Kingdom of Lote – how did it come about, what is your role and who else is involved?

Kingdom of Lote was created and developed through the Young Kila Writers 2010 Program.  Kila Kokonut Krew recognised the wealth of unrecognised talent and established the program with the goal of developing this talent and producing it into a full length, professional production that would present their unique stories to the community.

Over four months, three young Pasifika writers developed their original concepts into a third draft script which was then workshopped, dramaturged and directed by professional industry practitioners, and shown to an audience at Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku.  The response was exactly what the company and its writers were looking for – recognition, praise and encouragement to further develop the plays into full length works, to be staged as separate productions over 2011.

Kingdom of Lote is the second of these plays, invited to be staged as part of the annual Pacific Arts Summit.  I was one of the mentors of the Young Kila Writers Programme, and am producing the debut season of it for the Pacific Arts Summit.  I am joined by Vela Manusaute and Anapela Polataivao who are directing the play, and Suli Moa, the playwright who also acts in Kingdom of Lote alongside a very talented cast of actors, singers and dancers.

How important is it to present this work in South Auckland?

It’s important that this work is put on, full stop, it’s the first of its kind, being written by a Tongan, starring a full Tongan cast speaking English and Tongan dialogue and performing traditional Tongan song and Dance.  The fact that it is being staged in South Auckland gives the community added accessibility; there is not the long haul to the city, the hassle of traffic and parking etc.  Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku is in the heart of South Auckland.  I love the fact that there are carparks, markets and A-Way a stones-throw away from where we are putting on the show.

What can audiences look forward to in this unique work?

For Tongan audiences, it’s the chance to see their culture, their language, their stories played onstage.  For non-Tongans, the chance to get an insight into the richness of the Tongan culture.  The story has the perfect mix of comedic and dramatic moments, song, dance, everything! Come and find out!

It has been so exciting to see the Young Kila Writers programme evolve, what does the future hold for this exciting initiative?

Young Kila Writers was such an amazing project, it enabled us to create work for actors and playwrights, expose raw talent, and collectively grow as a company.  The third installment of the Young Kila plays, Fatu to Fatu by Tavai Faasavalu, is on at Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku in December.  The plan is to run another season of Young Kila Writers in 2012, and as for the work that has already been created, in terms of further developing the work, touring it, the sky’s the limit.

Vinaka vakalevu Stacey!

What: KINGDOM OF LOTE – A new play by Suli Moa
Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku, Corner of Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Mangere, South Auckland
When: 7.30pm, 17-21 May
$15 / $20
Enquiries + Bookings: Call Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku on 09 262 5789

Dancer of the Year 2011

11 05 2011

Supported by Toi o Manukau, Cook Islands-based visual artist, Ani O’Neill opened her solo exhibition, Dancer of the Year 2011 in Gallery 2 of Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku on Friday 6 May as part of the 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit. The exhibition, featuring objects and video, runs until 19 June.

Ani O’Neill travelled to South Auckland to participate as a tutor for Toi o Manukau’s annual youth exhibition project, Ka Pu Te Ruha, Ka Hao Te Rangatahi. For the first time, students from Tereora College in Rarotonga, where Ani teaches art, featured in the exhibition. Ka Pu Te Ruha, Ka Hao Te Rangatahi runs until 29 May in Gallery 1 of Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku.

Ema Tavola (Pacific Arts Coordinator, Arts and Culture South, Auckland Council), Donna Tupaea (Co-Curator for Ka Pu Te Ruha, Ka Hao te Rangitahi), Ani O’Neill and Nigel Borell (Kaiwhakahaere – Toi o Manukau / Maori Arts Advisor, Arts and Culture South, Auckland Council and Co-curator for Ka Pu Te Ruha, Ka Hao te Rangitahi)

Ani O’Neill with Jim Vivieaere

Shigeyuki Kihara, Rosanna Raymond and Lisa Reihana

Henry Taripo and Ani O’Neill

Ani O’Neill with guests

Exquisite catering by John Oyagawa, the official caterer of the 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit.

Linda T and Ani O’Neill

Pacific Sisters SOUTHSIDE: EyeKonik crew

Photography by Vinesh Kumaran, courtesy of Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku.

Tonight is going to be… Herstoric!!

7 05 2011

Tonight is a very special custom made Pacific Sisters event right here in South Auckland!!

Pacific Sisters SOUTHSIDE: EyeKonik is only $10 on the door and promises to be a truly herstoric event! Doors open at 6.30pm, show starts at 7pm. Very limited seating! Get in early or buy your tickets TODAY from Fresh Gallery Otara or Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku!

What: Pacific Sisters SOUTHSIDE: EyeKonik
Where: Mangere Arts Centre – Nga Tohu o Uenuku, Cnr Bader Drive + Orly Ave, Mangere Town Centre, South Auckland
When: Doors open at 6.30pm, show starts at 7pm, Saturday 7 May
Tickets: $10

Niu Sila’s celebrated all woman art collective the Pacific Sisters come together from all corners of the globe to reunite for a one night only, fresh and flash, South Auckland ‘Southside” performance.

15 years since they first formed, the sisters are reigniting their kaupapa of urban Pacific grass-roots collaboration to produce ‘Pacific Sisters’ EyeKonik, where fashion show meets performance art meets local artists’ showcase. Witness the ’21st Sentry Cyber Sista’ awaken the Po Ula…

The collective reminds their fans not to “Miss or Mister boat! – Get in with your best dressed for the legendary ‘freestyle frock action’ and after DARK funKtion.”

British Council and Toi o Manukau have enabled the core collective members to gather in New Zealand to present this unique one-night-only show.

This performance contains nudity. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Entry to the show is at the discretion of theatre staff.

Fabulous frocks! A bit of politics! Lots of tattoos + a flash of flesh!

5 05 2011

Suzanne Tamaki is a Wellington-based event producer and visual artist here in South Auckland for Pacific Sisters SOUTHSIDE: EyeKonik – a stand-out event in the Pacific Arts Summit programme. We have a chat with Suzanne about the history of the Pacific Sisters collective and this weekend’s show…

Tell us about yourself and your background…

I currently have a full-time position at Te Papa in Wellington as an Events Producer. I have my own label, Native Sista, and have worked as a freelance fashion show coordinator since 1991, which is when Pacific Sisters was formed.

What was the beginnings of Pacific Sisters?

In ’91, me and Selina Forsyth set up a warehouse in Nelson Street (Central Auckland) and had our first show, Te Hau Wairua Wahine at the Powerstation, and Rosanna Raymond was our MC. Ani O’Neill was still at Elam School of Fine Arts and was a model in the show. The show was so great and the energy was amazing. We did a couple more shows, we got on really well and decided to set up a collective, which is when Pacific Sisters formed. We combined all our energy and knowledge to create platforms for Maori and Pacific artists, performers, musicians, designers and gorgeous people.

The warehouse we set up was our base; we used to throw warehouse parties to help pay the rent. Artists like Te Kupu, Lei’d Lee, Dubhead and Tutuevera Evans would perform for us, and we’d have a cash bar, they were really great nights, lots of fun. But then we spent the money on fabric instead of rent and got kicked out, so then we moved into Rosanna’s warehouse!

When did the collective formally start working as the Pacific Sisters?

We did a lot of shows starting in 1992, quite a few in South Auckland. We did a few City shows, warehouse parties, we did stuff for Workshop and Wella Fashion – there was no Style Pasifika back then. Rosanna established a relationship with Auckland City Council to do a big Pacific fashion event, along with Feeonaa Wall, and Style Pasifika was born.

It was held in Chase Plaza and it was ah-mayzing, just packed. People started to really pay attention to Pacific fashion… they realised that it was edgy and relevant and lots of people wanted to be a part of it. It came from a place that was local, but more honest than anything on the international market. We were trying to show that we didn’t have to wear American labels, we could create our own.

So, tell us about this weekend’s event!

It has been a really fun and awesome catch up, bringing all our new styles that we’re all making, but still blending together really well. That dynamic is still there, and the fun… we’ve all matured so much, and bring a lot of really great skills back into the collaboration. We’re looking forward to being back on our stomping ground and showing something stunning! We’re still here and we still kick ass!!

What’s special about presenting this show in South Auckland?

I think that Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku is gorgeous, it’s such a lovely venue to work in. We’re rapped to be there. We’ve done shows where the backstage was a toilet with no lights, so this is glamour! There’s good support around the event, everyone wants to help. There’s a really genuine excitement and enthusiasm from the Mangere crew.

And what can audiences look forward to?

Fabulous frocks! A bit of politics! Lots of tattoos… a flash of flesh… New Zealand sounds, lots of kaupapa and… a few scary moments!! So be prepared if you’re bringing your kids!

Vinaka vakalevu Suzanne and the Sisters! Can’t wait!!

What: Pacific Sisters SOUTHSIDE: EyeKonik
Where: Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku
When: 7pm, Saturday 7 May
Tickets: $10 from Fresh Gallery Otara + Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku

Pacific Dance Residency LAUNCH!

1 04 2011

The 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit will host the launch of the second Pacific Dance Artist Residency, an exciting initiative of Pacific Dance New Zealand!

In 2010, Justin Haiu was selected as the inaugural Manukau Pacific Dance Artist in Residence. Working with the youth within the Manukau community for 8 weeks, Justin presented ‘ID-me’ at the Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku, which explored youth identity as Pacific Islanders living and growing-up in Aotearoa.

Justin says about his experience, “I attained more knowledge and insight from the different roles that bring modern Theatre together. Being in a position where I was able to try out and expand on some of the creative thoughts brought about. It was a good experience to work from scratch and see how the whole process would come together.”

The inaugural eight week long Manukau Pacific Dance Artist in Residence was also listed as a ‘significant dance event’ by Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) critic’s survey 2010.

Pacific Dance New Zealand in partnership with Auckland Council, DANZ and supported by Creative New Zealand, is now inviting submissions for the Auckland-based ‘Pacific Dance Artist in Residence 2011.’

This exciting new dance residency is offered to an established New Zealand based dancer, dance choreographer or a director of Pacific Island descent with a proven track record of working in a community and or professional theatre context.

The residency will be carried out in South Auckland for 8 weeks starting 4th June 2011.

The successful applicant will be given the opportunity to create a dance work with participants from the community culminating in a public showing at the Metro Theatre (Mangere East Hall) on the 31st July.

Applications close Friday 29th April, 3.00pm.

For more details about the Pacific Dance Artist in Residence, please click on the following link

For enquires, you can contact us on (09) 3700487 or email

Meet the new Artist in Residence and learn more about Pacific Dance New Zealand at the Official Launch celebrations!

When: Saturday 4 June
Time: 1-4pm
Where: Metro Theatre, 362 Massey Road, Mangere East

All welcome!