My creativity is nurtured by the stories of my Polynesian ancestry and rich family history, by creation myths that are all but forgotten or unknown in most parts of the world, but for the remnants of oral traditions that remain on tiny atolls in the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, and the stories revived through dance in cultural renaissance activities.
I have twenty five years of experience
as a choreographer, directing and producing dance companies and cultural events. I specialize in non-western performance, with a primary focus on Tahitian and Mexican cultural traditions. I studied Asia/Pacific performance traditions at the University of California , and Mexican Performance Traditions at the University of Chihuahua, Mexico (Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua).
My work has been presented in the US and Mexico
in venues ranging from university and community theatres, to cultural and international festivals and national historical events. My grounding in Pacific Island traditions has led me to study other cultures in depth, as well, such as Mexican Folkloric Traditions – and the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Celtic histories of the other side of my ancestry (I am Euro-Polynesian).
Original Choreographic Works
1. Immanence – Privileged Instants in Space-Time with artistic direction by Nicola Marae Allain and original musical score by Mikaël Mulholland. This conceptual piece combines modern dance and movement with contemporary Tahitian dance and immersive digital storytelling. The stories focus on the creation myths from the Atea cycles in ancient Tahitian mythology — the emergence of Space at the beginning of Time. The Immanence project was sponsored by the National Museum of Dance School of the Arts, SUNY Empire State College and Saratoga ArtsFest. Premiered at the National Museum of Dance. Saratoga Arts Fest, June 9th, 2012, with encore performance on June 10, 2012.
2. Deep Blue. Tahitian Ote’a (Drum Dance) for 9 female and 3 male dancers, based on the legend of Ta’aroa, the Tahitian Creation God, premiered on May 8, 2002 in the AISD Auditorium, Alpine, Texas.
3. Ote’a Atea. Contemporary Tahitian Drum Dance for 8, 12, or 16 female dancers, based on the oppositions of night, day, sun and moon. Premiered in 2001
4. Ocean Moon. Tahitian Drum Dance for large group with two variations for female soloists, based on the Tahitian legend of Hina who entered the moon. Premiered in 1999 at Sul Ross State University.
5. Otamu. Men’s spear dance. Choreographed and premiered at Sul Ross State University, 1999.
6. A Solo For Sarah. Ori Tahiti (Tahitian Dance) solo for young girl, based on the rhythms of Tamari’i Tahiti (Child of Tahiti). Performed by Sarah Sibley, 1999, 2000 and 2001
7. Paea. Traditional Tahitian Drum dance. Two versions of Paea exist; one, choreographed for 4 in 1996, and premiered at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, Texas. The second version was created in 1998 for 4, 8, or 12 female dancers, and premiered at the Storytelling Festival 1998, Sul Ross State University.
8. Amazing Grace. Tahitian Aparima (Hand Dance) for large group based on the history of the hymn Amazing grace. Choreographed in 1998, premiered at Sul Ross State University.
9. Bora Bora. Traditional Tahitian Aparima followed by a Tahitian Ote’a for large group. This is one of my signature pieces…a study in succinct patterns, color and synchronized movement, within the bounds of traditional forms. Choreographed in 1996, premiered at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, TX.
10. Vahine Tahiti. Traditional Tahitian Drum Dance for large group with variations for a male and female soloist, a pas de deux, and a men’s dance. Drum dance, choreographed in 1996, and premiered at the Starlight Theater in Terlingua, TX. Variation, choreographed in 1997, and premiered at Sul Ross State University. Men’s drum dance, choreographed in 1998, and premiered at Sul Ross State University.
11. Two Tahitian Creation Myths: a Contemporary Tahitian Dance Enactment, a full 50 minutes of original choreography with a cast of nine dancers and five musicians. Master’s Thesis Performance, presented at the outdoor amphitheater, as part of the World Music Series, produced by the Program of Ethnomusicology and the Multicultural Center, Department of Music, University of California, Santa Barbara 1994
12. Moe’s Song. I wrote, directed, and choreographed, a stage adaptation of a “The Legend of the Breadfruit”, a Tahitian fertility myth combining drama, Tahitian dance, and live Tahitian drumming. Performed by BFA majors from the acting program at the Studio Theatre University of California, Santa Barbara in the Department of Theater, 1993.