Team Oceania On Way to New York

Fijian singers and dancers will perform at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the Ocean Conference from June 5 to 9. The United Nations invited artists from the
31 May 2017 11:00
Team Oceania On Way to New York
From left:Tulevu Tora, Paulini Bautani, Ratu Ilaitia Claymon Baleinaivalu,Katalina Fotofili,Pasifika Voices Director Igelese Ete and Artistic Director of the Oceania Dance theatre Peter Rockford Espiritu on April 30, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Fijian singers and dancers will perform at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the Ocean Conference from June 5 to 9.

The United Nations invited artists from the University of the South Pacific’s Oceania Dance Theatre and Pasifika Voices to perform at the high-level Ocean Conference which is co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden.

Four world class artists from the Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies at USP – Katalina Fotofili and Ratulevu Tora from the Oceania Dance Theatre and Paulini Bautani and Ratu Ilaitia Baleinaivalu from Pasifika Voices will perform dances and songs representing all of Oceania.

The plan is also for the Oceania Centre’s, Artistic Director – Peter Rockford Espiritu and Head of Performing Arts – Igelese Ete to travel with the artists.

At present the directors are still looking for support to underwrite their travel and basic needs expenses to ensure that the group has the best support possible for the group to be set up for success.

And anyone who has the resources to help them get to New York, or any level of support would be greatly appreciated by the talented team.

The two can be contacted on:

Peter Rockford Espiritu – Artistic Director – Mobile (679) 9069 017

Igelese Ete – Head of Performing Arts – Mobile (679) 8653 589

Ms Bautani, a soft spoken and very talented singer, yesterday said she was honoured and humbled to be able to perform at the UN Ocean Conference.

“The choir decided that I would be most deserving for this opportunity and I am really thankful to them for the support the entire choir has provided.

“This has been a humbling opportunity. I am excited yet nervous at the same time.”

The invitation has come from the Chair of the United Nations Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) group, Marlene Moses, Ambassador of Nauru, to perform at the PSIDS event at the Ocean Conference.

With funding from Germany and Canada, the PSIDS group have taken this opportunity to showcase the performing arts of Fiji and Oceania for a global audience.

The team will perform at a PSIDs reception held at the United Nations headquarters on June 6, which will be attended by the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres and many heads of state.

While in New York, the Oceania Centre artists will also perform at another reception hosted by Germany on June 5, and at a special event hosted on June 7 by the University of Bergen in co-operation with the USP and Norway’s United Nations Mission.


About: The Pasifika Voices Ensemble is an artist in residency program run by the Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific’s Facility of Arts Law and Education.

The Ensemble is a collection of 12-18 members of the renowned Pasifika Voices Choir, formally known as the Malaga Singers.

The Choir was established and led by the current director Igelese Ete in 2007 after the successful season of his original Pacific Musical Production ‘Malaga – The Journey’.

The Oceania Dance Theatre is the professional dance company of the University of the South Pacific based at the Laucala campus.

Today the company consists of 20 dancers whose training commitment is five days a week, focusing on dance technique, Pilates’-based mat work, terminology, flexibility and cross genre dance styles based on Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Aerial Silk and Straps, Bollywood and traditional Oceania, i.e. Hula and meke. ODT also uses multi-cultural fusion that is reflective of the rich ethnic mix prevalent in Fiji.

An emphasis is given to culture and tradition as a strong foundation to build upon.

Entertainment is also an important element in ODT’s varied and large repertoire for we are internationally know. The Artistic Director Peter Rockford Espiritu comes from Honolulu, Hawaii and brings to the table a substantial amount of professional dance experience.

His training as a dancer includes scholarships to study and perform at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, the Aspen Dance Festival, Colorado Dance Festival and at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City.

He is still the Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theatre for the past 20 years in Hawaii, has toured the world and choreographed and trained dancers in Japan for the past 15 years.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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