Aloalii Tapu  |  TA'ALILI


18, 19, 20 March 8pm

■ post performance talk


Aloalii Tapu was born in Otara and the 2016 winner of the prestigious German Der Faust Award in dance returns to Te Ata with Ta'alili, the arts company he co-founded with Tori Manley-Tapu in 2020. They bring with them their extraordinary team of collaborators and artists in this new work Faces of Nature, adapted to a bare warehouse setting.


Directed by Aloalii Tapu

Choreographed and Performed by Ooshcon Masseurs, Jahra Wasasala, Tavai Fa'asavalu, Joshua Faleatua, Faith Schuster and Aloalii Tapu

Set and Costume by Tori Manley-Tapu

Music by Eden Mulholland

Made with the support of Creative New Zealand




We co-exist. We search for what binds us together; for what gives us the delight in being with others. And the offerings of insight we give those who walk alongside us. The young are attached to the faces of the growing technological presence while the world ages and dissolves. We search for the moments of Being a member of Aotearoa before we are the other things. We share our experiences of living the modern Kiwi image; the turmoils and triumphs of living in a Euro-centric country. The dancers are highlighted as heroes and anti-heroes in society, thus the ideas of duality were relevant to the research and development of Faces of Nature.


"Return to an origin that is undefined

A paradise of old in chaos

A desire for intimacy within a world that is shifting while it is forming

They scythed the worlds for a restart where time grows within language and face.


A tempest of worlds envisioned by the people.

The lamp to the body becomes the eyes only.

The group of individuals choose and form the present --

configure community and nature to not repeat its dying self.

The group removes origin

to be alone together within the frailty and instability of that beneath us,

an aftermath settles

The joys of youth and elation of building worlds to stand on —

to lay beneath.


Worlds shift again while forming

removing the home where they are no longer villains nor heroes.

They are the faces of what is natural

they strip the caregiver role

the desires for independence within village and city

And burn the disassembled constructs of supreme governance

They drown its hold

Where it can no longer define them."

TA'ALILI - Aloalii Tapu & Tori Manley-Tapu




Aloalii is an artist from Otara, New Zealand. From a young age, he has been involved with the character development of young people and has been a mentor and academic coach for youth in South Auckland. And now spends his time chasing his toddler around the garden.

Since 2015, alongside his wife and collaborator, Tori Manley-Tapu, Aloalii has been building strong communities in art, design and dance under their company Ta’alili. He developed his dance workshops "Lofty Release” and “Unlocking Rhythm" and has been facilitating them in New Zealand and Europe.

In November 2016 he was awarded the Der Faust Award in the “Best Dancer” category in 2016 for his solo performance in Urban Soul Cafe, which is considered the highest honour in German Theatre. In 2017, Aloalii toured Urban Soul Cafe in theatres and festivals around Germany.

Reviewers from New Zealand, Germany and France have commented on Aloalii's charm, presence, and sincerity.




Photography : Jinki Cambronero