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Pacific Islands Cultural Dance Workshop Led by Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts

13 & 14 April 2024

In the Centre for Creativity


Dance Workshop | Join us in the Centre for Creativity for an insightful and uplifting cultural dance workshop with Matavai Cultural Arts.

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey

Pacific culture through dance and music

Learn about Pacific Islands of history, cultural knowledge, dance technique and choreography in this cultural dance workshop led by Matavai Cultural Arts. Matavai promotes the teaching of positive fundamental aspects of Pacific culture through dance, music, language and creative arts. Both the staff and student community of Matavai work towards creating healthy, spiritual connections that transcends the physical barriers of ocean divides between our islands and emotional divides due to historic oppression and displacement. Re-connecting the Australian-Pacific community with their history and ancestors is a key goal of Matavai, which is achieved through the passing down of ancient traditions and art forms.

Presented by Sydney Opera House and Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts

Saturday 13 April 10.30am-12.30pm - Māori Performing Arts or Kapa Haka

To understand the spirit and energy of certain Pacific cultural artforms we introduce the first workshop which is Māori Performing Arts with Tiana Tiakiwai as lead tutor. Participants will learn a ‘Waiata a ringa’ or traditional Māori action song. 

Saturday 13 April 2-4pm - Fijian Meke

Fijian Meke with Grace and Ilikena Karikaritu who hail from the Rewa province in Fiji. Grace and Ilikena will be teaching traditional Meke or Fijian dance; talking about traditional cultural values and how these are tied into their dancing and songs. 

Sunday 14 April 10.30am-12.30pm - Samoan Siva Afi 

Fred Schwenke will be leading the group in a artform from Samoa called Siva Afi – translated it means ‘dancing with fire’. Participants will not be dancing with fire knives as is traditionally performed, however they will learn how to spin practise sticks. Many of our legends in the Pacific speak of heroes and heroines that help to empower, ignite confidence and awaken the warrior within.

Sunday 14 April 2-4pm - Hawaiian Hula 

Hawaiian hula will be taught by Jason Paulo. Participants will learn a chant and a beautiful hula auana or contemporary Hula that tells a story. In Hawaii the dance and chant is a spiritual expression – hula auana is a chance to embrace the grace, beauty and strength of Hawaii. 

Meet the artists

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts

Established in 2013, Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts became the first centre of its kind in Sydney, Australia. Matavai works towards promoting unity, cultural sharing and connection to culture through the education of all ages in Pacific cultural arts. As a strong community presence, Matavai also advocates for issues that affect our Pacific community both in Australia and overseas. These issues include climate change, loss of cultural knowledge, education opportunities and community youth. As a melting pot of cultural knowledge, Matavai works to consistently provide the community with the highest quality of cultural programs that are educational, authentic, fun and affordable.

Other information

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