PDF 2019 | 5 mins with Ufitia Sagapolutele

Dancer and choreographer, Ufitia Sagapolutele returns to the Pacific Dance Festival with hew new work, TRIP. Inspired by her personal journey and the daily emotions and experiences she’s faced.

What inspired your performance?
I would say this particular work ‘TRIP’ has been inspired by my personal journey and recognising the different emotions and experiences I have faced on a daily. I feel things are shifting in my life and I wanted to capture parts of it before I move on to the next stage in my life.

How many hours a day/s a week do you practice your art?
Every day whether it is choreographing, journalling, thinking, resting, conversing. I would say for an artist, there is always something that contributes to our work on a daily, whether it is intentional or not.

What’s your creative process?
It varies depending on what I am working on. I would say it typically would involve talanoa with my oldest brother Raymond who is an artist himself. I find speaking with him really helps give me clarity with what I want to create next. Sometimes I have so many ideas that it becomes overwhelming so when I converse with Raymond, ideas are narrowed down and I become more at ease.

When I am choreographing, I love to collaborate with my friends. When I have a creative block, sometimes it’s hard to move forward, but when you collaborate, people start to add in their ideas and the result is beautiful.

A lot of my ideas stem from personal experiences. I’ve always wanted my authenticity to come through in each work I present to the public. I then use journalling/creative writing to express how I am feeling and then reflect on what I have written. The words I have written down then become inspiration for when I am choreographing.

I am also inspired by various artists in different fields. Artists like Rosanna Raymond, Jahra Rager Wasasala, Raymond Sagapolutele, FKA Twigs, Pati Solomona Tyrell, Sevdaliza, Solange, and Tyler The Creator help broaden my perspective and challenge my way of thinking.

How would you sell the Pacific Dance Festival to someone who isn’t from the islands?
If you want to be amazed and speechless, then Pacific Dance Festival is the event for YOU. There are always such diverse works featured in the festival, which I find incredible. I also think this festival is such a great platform for emerging artists and there is always something for everyone.

Which events will we find you at this festival? Do you have any recommendations?
My work ‘TRIP’ has been created in collaboration with artists Chas Samoa, Lyncia Muller, Funaki Taulanga and Natalia Ioane. You can find our work in the Triple Bill show which will be on Friday 14th June 8pm at Mangere Arts Centre.

I would recommend seeing LEECHES by Aloalii Tapu and Friends. Every work that Aloalii creates is ALWAYS amazing, and when you see a cast full of iconic Oceanic people, you already know it is going to be amazing.

I also would recommend seeing MOANA. There are two artists in there who I think are artists to look out for – Ankaramy Fepuleai with LALO and Lyncia Muller with FONUA. I am really excited to see these works.

What’s coming up for you after this festival?
I will start rehearsals for Tupe Lualua’s work after my show, and then as soon as that is finished, I will go into rehearsals for my next work which will be presented overseas in August in collaboration with my brother/artist Raymond Sagapolutele.

Ufitia Sagapolutele has created a new work TRIP, performed in the Triple Bill on Friday 14 June at the Mangere Arts Centre, 8pm, as part of the Pacific Dance Festival 2019. Tickets are available from Eventfinda.