By Ruci Farrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
This year's Pacific Dance Festival in Auckland offers a glimpse into the culture of a small Polynesian community struggling to retain its language and way of life.
Rako Pasefika is made up of a group of Fiji-based artists from Rotuma, performing Cloaks of Protection, a multimedia approach to the dance protocols unique to Rotuma.
Spokesman Sam Taukave says Rako Pasefika has evovled since it was first established 10 years ago.
"When we found out Rotuma was under the list of endangered cultures by the United Nations, that's when our focus changed," he says.
"For us it's more important that we carry on what we're doing as a community, to look up to our elders, documenting stories from talanoa sessions, passing on traditional movements and dance protocols."
The Pacific Dance Festival opens at the Māngere Arts Centre this weekend.
Now into its third year, the festival will run a month-long programme of events that will include performance workshops, a film screening and a Pacific dance costume competition.
Rako Pasefika. Photo/ Facebook.