One of the most spectacular living cultures of Tonga is the Tongan Tau’olunga. Tau’olunga is a dance that is performed by women and the ages of a Tongan Tau’olunga Dancer varies from 3 years of age to maturity. There are two types of tau’olunga; the most popular one is called ‘tau’olunga tokotaha’ (solo dance) this is very well known when it comes to family functions and celebrations as well as community gatherings. The second one is called the ‘tau’olunga tokolahi’ or female group dance which can be performed by two, to as many as there are girls to dance! The beauty of this dance is derived from the uniformity of the execution of the motions. The dance for the boys is called the mako (showing off their physique and masculinity) but at the same time tutor Viliami Siale Fifita teaches the boys the meaning of the dance and its importance to the Tongan society, as well as the importance to the tu’ulafale which is a dance to accompany the female dancer in order to uplift her value during her performance and allow the ‘mafana’ or the warm spirit to fly high amongst the spectators.
Losalio Milika Pusiaki and Viliami Siale Fifita of the Fe’unukoula Academy of Tongan Arts, Dance and Culture have been running classes since 1996. They have run the classes across Auckland, and due to the high demand locally, we’re thrilled to be able to now offer the classes in Mangere!
*FREE*TAU’OLUNGA FAKA-TONGAN CLASSES FOR GIRLS AND MAKO FOR BOYS
WHEN: Every Thursday Evening; 5.00 - 6.00pm for ages 4 to11 & 6.00- 7.00pm for ages 12 to 24 and above
WHERE: Mangere Central Community Hall, 241 Kirkbridge Rd.
TO JOIN IN: Contact Siale 0226819117 or Milika 0226577120
Follow and “share” the Facebook ‘event’ listing for these classes here.
ABOUT - LOSALIO MILIKA PUSIAKI
Losalio Milika Pusiaki - Lapaha, Tongatapu
Losalio Milika Pusiaki is the great grand-daughter of Vili Pusiaki and the grand-daughter of Tuila Pusiaki. She worked for Tonga's National Cultural Centre as a tour-guide, information officer, and commentator from 1991-1996.
Milika is a highly sought after teacher and advocate of traditional Tongan Music and Dance. She has a long line of accomplishments ranging from tutoring at the Auckland University Pacific Performing Arts; a judge of Tongan stage at ASB Polyfest, advocate for the Tonga Youth Trust, teaching NZ born children Tongan music and dances. She is also the producer of the National Tongan Radio Show and hosts the Pacific Arts report on 531Pi at the Pacific Media Network. She also a translator and interpreter for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.
This year she founded a South Meets West Productions with her daughter. South Meets West is committed to exploring how traditional Tongan dance practise fuses with contemporary dance and undertakes to develop the new youth leaders of Tongan music and arts.
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