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About the project

by Aloalii Tapu & Friends

Leeches follows nine award-winning and internationally acclaimed dancers and their experiences living the modern experience of being Kiwi and Pasifika; their turmoils and triumphs of living in a Euro-centric country.

This show …follows our experience living the modern experience of being Kiwi and Pasifika and our turmoil and triumphs of living in a Eurocentric country.” Aloali’i

The performers take on character roles of members of society to reflect and challenge how the modern Pasifika person is perceived by one another and New Zealanders. In light of recent rhetoric in the New Zealand media regarding the Pacific Islands being “leeches… only wanting money from us,” the performance questions whether the remarks are justified considering both current and historical relationships and events between New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.



Aloali’i Tapu,
Braedyn Togi,
Connor “OOSHCON” Masseurs,
Elijah Jennar,
Faith Schuster,
Jahra “Rager” Wasasala,
Sione Fataua,
Taniora Mtutere,
Tori Manley-Tapu
Photos – Jinki Cambronero
Sound – Eden Mulholland
Lighting – Jo Kilgour

Pacific Dance Festival, 7 June 2019, ASB Waterfront Theatre


“a heady mix of contemporary styles including street, house, hip hop and martial arts, among the movement sources but also gestures from classical dance, sequences of everyday domesticity and expressions of intense frustration. There was a deep somatic understanding of release and functional alignment drawn from contemporary dance, and a series of stunning duets which featured intense interpersonal communication at a sustained micro-distance without touching… most notably a sustained duet by Jahra Rager Wasasala and Connor Oooshcon Masseurs.” – Raewyn Whyte, NZ Herald

“LEECHES shares with its audience real stories about the relationships between Kiwis and Pasifika people in our current societal climate, and it achieves this with a unique choreographic vocabulary” – Nicole Wilkie, Theatreview

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