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PDF 2019 | 5 mins with Ankaramy Fepuleai

South Auckland artist, Ankaramy Fepuleai, creates contemporary work with influences of Hip Hop and Pacific elements. His latest work, LALO, takes you through the process of forgiveness in the Samoan custom ‘Ifoga’ – Humiliation in return of Forgiveness, accept it or not. We chat to him ahead of his shows at this year’s Pacific Dance Festival.

What inspired your performance?
LALO is a piece for my own cultural growth. Being an Australian born Samoan raised in South Auckland, we don’t hear much of the traditional customs and practices that still occur in Samoa today. Through Talanoa with my parents, I found out about Ifoga and their experiences being in the presence of it. Being in New Zealand, these customs are rarely practiced here so I took it upon myself to do more in-depth research about the practice. LALO presents my understanding of ‘Ifoga’ from living amongst the Samoan diaspora.

How many hours a day/s a week do you practice your art?
I am a Third Year Dance Studies student at the University of Auckland, so I am constantly in my practice.

What’s your creative process?
My creative process is heavily based on collaboration with dancers, space, time and location. Everything and anything that is present in the space such as the dancers, my friends who sit on the side during rehearsal, to questioning how dark or bright the room is; all these elements contribute to my creative process.

How would you sell the Pacific Dance Festival to someone who isn’t from the islands?
The Pacific Dance Festival is a platform for our Pasifika people and our stories to be told through the art.

Which events will we find you at this festival? Do you have any recommendations?
Find LALO at this year’s MOANA showcase featured in the Pacific Dance Festival 2019 from June 11th to 12th. Also my good friend Ufitia Sagapolutele has an amazing piece called ‘Trip’ featuring some sick Wahine Toa – Funaki Taulanga, Lyncia Muller, Chas Samoa and Natalia Ioane which is in the Triple Bill show on the 14th June.

What’s coming up for you after this festival?
Will still be in the process of finishing my degree in Dance Studies and I will be heading over to Hong Kong and Macau in July with MANU directed by Xavier Breed for this year’s International Youth Dance Festival 2019.

Ankaramy Fepuleai is the choreographer of LALO, performed in the Moana showcase on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 June at the Mangere Arts Centre, 7pm, as part of the Pacific Dance Festival 2019. Tickets are available from Eventfinda.