Fale-ship: ‘ISOPE ‘AKAU’OLA



‘Isope ‘Akau’ola is an emerging talent offering a distinctly Tongan perspective to choreography and performing arts. The sincere nature of ‘Isope’s work reflects his Fale-ship experience. Sharing a bubble with his loved ones created an environment of collaboration, reflection and learning.

“Mālō e lelei ko hoku hingoa ko ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola and I hail from the villages of Lotofoa and ‘Utulau in the beautiful kingdom of Tonga but I was born and raised in Tamaki Makaurau. My residency is currently taking place in Mt Roskill/Puketāpapa. I am currently in my second year, studying towards my Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts majoring in Contemporary Dance. My passion for dance originated from a love of Pasifika dance and theatre. As a child of the Pacific diaspora, I have found parallels within my own identity and the art that I want to create. I also aspire to develop a practice for myself as a New Zealand-born Tongan artist.” 


‘Manatu ki ‘Api’

Thoughtful, fresh and evoking loto-māfana, ‘Isope reflects on the value of tauhi vā (nurturing relationships) and holding space through choreography and moving-image. Inspired by the visual language of music videos, ‘Isope’s work shares the perspectives of his mother, a proud Tongan from Mt Roskill and himself, a child of the Pacific diaspora. Interweaving visual symbolism and gestural motifs, ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ asks ‘What is home? What can I call home? and What remains of home within us?’

‘Isope presents his final work: ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ (Remember Your Home) 
Featuring: Fisioko ‘Akau’ola, Mj Pelarion, Pepetua ‘Akau’ola, ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola 

“I have lived in the same state home in Mt Roskill for my whole life. Mt Roskill is currently going through a huge redevelopment phase where state homes are being demolished in favour of new houses and the people who live in them, majority being Pacific and Maori, are and have been evicted. For children of the Pacific diaspora we are constantly in search of home. We are not from here but we walk this land. When home is being demolished and you are forced to move out or when home is seas away, what is home? What can we call home? and What remains of home within us?” 


Music/Sound Credits: 
Angi e Matangi – Holonga Kava Club 
Multi-stage fitness test (MSFT) 

Check out ‘Isope’s highlight video as he reflects on his Tautai Fale-ship Residency!  

‘Isope shares his experience of creating during lockdown. He was able to collaborate with his bubble to produce his final work ‘Manatu ki ‘Api’ filmed at his home and neighborhood of Mt Roskill. The idea of ‘hope’ is present throughout his work and a relevant concept to the world we live in today and the uncertainty that surrounds us.  

“I would love for people to take away a sense of hope. I think hope is such a beautiful thing to have and to hold on to. I think there’s hope for the community and there’s hope for people like me, and there’s hope for the world that I’m imagining or the world that we are imagining together.”  

– ‘Isope ‘Akau’ola

Video by @NoSix

For further information please email us 
Tautai.org #tautai4lyfe

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