Pacific Female Choreographers Kick Off Pacific Dance Festival In New Zealand

'Wahine Toa' celebrates strength, diversity of Pacific women

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 8, 2017) – Four Pacific female choreographers will contribute a piece each towards a show called Wahine Toa that will kick off the Pacific Dance Festival in New Zealand.

The show aims to celebrate the strength and diversity of Pacific women through dance.

Julia Mage'au Gray from Papua New Guinea will be doing a solo piece titled 'Found Words'.

Ms Gray said it's about Pasifika people learning about their history through the lenses of people who have taken that information and stored it mediums such as museums or online.

The dancer's 20 plus years of performance knowledge in her culture and seeing how accessible that knowledge is today helped inspire her piece.

"How a lot of our knowledge is written and recorded in Palagi systems and so what we find now after colonisation and outside influences in our cultures is a lot of that stuff has been taken away and so basically it's about how we look for that knowledge and when we find it, what we do with it, how we keep it in contact, I suppose, and make old, new old," Ms Gray said.

The show Wahine Toa is on the 15th and 16th of June and the festival will run till the 24th at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland.

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