Internationally-recognised Samoan contemporary dancer Aloalii Tapu will be back onstage next week for the first time in a year.
Tapu, who was awarded the Der Faust Award in Germany for Best Dance Performance in 2016, is preparing to return to the stage with the Okareka Dance Company in a new show called Wired.
Aloalii Tapu. Photo/ Wordpress.
The dancer, whose roots are in Otara, says his dancing career came from humble beginnings at church.
"This whole contemporary thing started at church and I'll never forget my roots," he says. "One of my late leaders and mentors, Laine Sagala, she was our creative leader at church and she pushed me to excellent limits and I tried my best in all that I did."
"A lot of my friends were doing hip-hop at the time when I chose to do contemporary dance. I just felt at the time that I wanted to do something different," he says. "We couldn't all be good at hip hop... so I just took the ball and ran with it."
"It's a lot to do with story-telling and that's what I love and issues that I can address that sometimes with hip hop, it's difficult to do."
Wired, which showcases contemporary dance and acrobatics with Maori influences, begins next week at Auckland's Q Theatre.
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