Aloalii Tapu’s dance theatre work Goodbye Naughton closed out week one of Pacific Dance Festival 2018 with a cheering audience. The performance paid tribute to the friends and family who have helped him to reach this point in his life, and his old friends Chris Taito and Uati Tui enriched a number of scenes.
Known locally as #SonofOtara, Tapu is a lean tall man with utter control of every small muscle. He is much in demand as a dance artist, here and in Berlin, his second base. He is also valued here as an educator and mentor for local youth.
Tapu’s dancing included an array of the astonishing virtuoso sequences of dense micro-movements which are very much his signature style, a fusion of hiphop, cultural and contemporary dance. These sequences were intercut with stories and songs marking his life journey from childhood and school days to manhood and marriage, and the challenges he has faced along the way, each incident illustrated by representative movement material.
Despite the undeniable excellence of Tapu’s dancing, it was the openness and honesty with which he shared the highs and lows of his life that earned him the love and respect of the audience.