Pacific Dance New Zealand director Iosefa Enari is in Samoa to deliver a presentation on ‘Pacific Dance practices in Aotearoa N.Z.' at the Pacific Arts Association conference to be held at the N.U.S. campus on Friday 30 November.
The conference theme ‘Making the invisible visible’ will look at Pacific arts in many different forms.
“Pacific people are very visible in our largest Pacific populated city of Auckland” states Enari.
“But what has not been so visible is our arts practices and the ways in which we as Pacific people have contributed to the tapestry of culture in the New Zealand arts landscape.
I am delighted to be here in Samoa to share with our local and international artists the work in New Zealand to both maintain Pacific dance traditions as well as to provide means for innovative evolution” states Enari.
In 2015 the arts contributed over $1 billion to G.P.D. making arts an artistic and economic force in the New Zealand economy.
“I see the Pacific arts as a contributor to that success” Enari adds.
Enari’s presentation looks at how he founded Pacific Dance New Zealand in 2009 and its humble journey to become one of only a few Pacific arts organisations in New Zealand to have evolved into a major player in the New Zealand dance sector.
Pacific Dance New Zealand delivers annual programmes such as the Choreographic Labs, Artist in Residencies, education programmes, community engagement and more recently the Pacific Dance Festival which celebrates all forms of Pacific dance from heritage to contemporary.
The organization is based in Auckland but the programmes are delivered at a national level.
They are funded through the Creative New Zealand who report to parliament and the Minister of Arts. Pacific Dance New Zealand has commissioned over 30 new dance works over its eight years growth.
“Our growth has been a direct result of strong artistic decisions as well as sensible business support to align the market place and the dance outputs or products” states Enari.
“Our works have been created in New Zealand but have been performed in Australia, USA, Europe and or course in the Pacific. We have managed to support this growth and in doing so, given focus to new dance companies, new opportunities while maintaining our old traditions and distinct Pacific identity.”
Enari trained as a professional dancer at U.N.I.T.E.C. dance department in Auckland and holds a Masters degree in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland.