19 Sep 2016

Tongan dancer keeps traditional dance alive

From , 5:00 am on 19 September 2016
Tuiahai Tuiafitu

Tuiahai Tuiafitu Photo: suppled

Tongan dancer and choreographer Tuiahai Tui'afitu is helping to keep his nation's traditional dance forms alive, against the onslaught of hip hop on the islands.

He's just been in New Zealand as the Pacific Dance Artist in Residence in Auckland, taking workshops and sharing his love of Tongan dance.

His grandfather was an authority on Tongan history, tradition and culture and encouraged his grandson to dance from an early age.

Lyn Freeman spoke to spoke to Hai, and to his aunt Sisiuno Helu, about preserving Tonga's traditional dance forms.