A Samoan born choreographer awarded a New Zealand arts residency hopes to inspire others to use the arts to challenge people's perceptions about Pacific people
Lemi Ponifasio, who is the founder and director of MAU, the contemporary dance and theatre company in New Zealand, has been awarded this year's Creative New Zealand three month residency in partnership with the National University of Samoa.
He says after travelling the globe, it will be the first time he'll return to lecture, run workshops and develop a dance and theatre programme back in Samoa.
He hopes to encourage locals to question how others view their lives and culture in the context of a changing modern world.
"A lot of my work is in the Pacific, although I mainly perform in Europe and in North America but I wanted a more formal way of working in Samoa. Because I have never worked in Samoa so this is an opportunity, and I've decided to do it."
Lemi Ponifasio begins the Samoan arts residency in August.