Māori and Pacific Dance tutors

Andy Gogo Tilo, BAppA (Performing Arts)
Manono-Tai, Luatuānu’u, Savaia-Tai, Lefaga, Hamilton, Wellington
Lecturer, Contemporary Dance

Andy is a graduate of the Whitireia degree programme. On completion of his studies, Andy danced with the internationally renowned Black Grace Dance company lead by Neil Ieremia.

As the choreographer and principal dancer for Le Moana 2015, Andy created 1918 which premiered in Wellington and was then remounted for follow-up seasons at the Mangere Arts Centre in Auckland and at the National University of Sāmoa. 1918 was most recently presented in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as part of Le Moana’s Australian tour and at the San Diego International Fringe Festival, receiving rave reviews, winning the critic’s choice award and also the top box office award for the Spreckles Theater. Andy also features as Rocko in Le Moana’s production of Purple Onion and was a lead dancer in the Fatu Na Toto collaboration with the Melbourne Samoan Choir during Le Moana’s Australian tour.

Taofi Mose-Tuiloma

Samoa Performing Arts tutor
Bachelor of Applied Arts

Taofi Mose-Tuiloma, siva Samoa tutor, Whitireia Performing Arts. With a two-year stint in 2013 and 2014, she has returned to continue the legacy of some of the best in New Zealand. Although she holds a degree majoring in dance, Taofi has a wing span that stretches out into the world of stage and screen and musical theatre. She landed her first major role in the feature film, 'Gary of the Pacific' by The Downlow Concept that hit the cinemas in early 2017. She was selected for a support role in the tv series 'Wellington Paranormal' which aired on New Zealand’s channel 2 late 2018, and scored a commercial that is currently on air for the Choice not Chance campaign. She will once again feature in the film 'Savage' directed by Sam Kelly, coming out early 2020.

Taofi graduated with an Advanced diploma in 2005, and upgraded to a Bachelor's of Applied Arts in 2007. Taught by some of the best in the business, Gaylene Sciascia ONZM, pioneer of New Zealand contemporary dance and Tuaine Robati ONZM, senior lecturer and artistic director of the performing arts programme. Taofi has been given golden opportunities to learn from pacific comedian Goretti Wickman and Anapela Polataivao, better known as Pani and Pani in theater works such as ‘Sinarella’ the musical, in collaboration with Auckland theatre company. She performed alongside fashionista Linda Lepou, singer Rosita Vai and the late Pua Magasiva. Two years prior to Sinarella, Taofi landed a support role in ‘The Factory’ the first Pacific musical in New Zealand directed by Kila Kokonut Krew.

In 2018, Taofi toured Upolu and Savaii of Samoa, taking Le Moana dance company's theatre show "1918" for its 100th commemoration of the Spanish Influenza, a deadly disease that wiped out one-fifth of its population. She undertook the main role of mother Samoa with a script that was entirely in the Samoan language.

Her motto as a tutor, is to always practice what she preaches. Working in an industry that is cut throat, she strives to always challenge herself by taking on roles that are unfamiliar to her so she can be an influence to the students who are seriously looking at a future in the performance world.

Taofi is looking forward to working in the next series, feature, theater work, and is looking at devising more works of her own.

Meka Nehemia
Cook Islands Tutor
Bachelor of Applied Arts (Performing Arts) Whitireia

Meka graduated from performing arts in 2012. Since graduating, Meka has been an accompanist for performing arts often assisting lead accompanist Isitolo Alesana. 

He was part of the cast of Pacific Melting Pot created by international contemporary dance choreographer Régine Chopinot from 2011-2013. In 2012, Meka was cast in Jim Moriarty’s theatre work Dog and Bone. The next year in 2013, he was the leading role in Le Moana’s show Fatu Na Toto directed by Tupe Lualua. Meka then joined Jandals Inc. and performed in shows such as Romeo & Tusi and Samoa 101. 

Meka is excited to share his passion for Cook Islands dance with anyone who is keen and willing to learn and is looking forward to sharing and inspiring current and future talent through Whitireia Performing Arts.

Krystal Clarke
Māori Performing Arts tutor
Bachelor of Applied Arts (Performing Arts) Whitireia

Krystal’s passion for Māori Performing Arts began when she was at primary and continued through high school, where she had her first professional Kapa Haka experience. For this year’s Te Matatini, her role was ‘Kaihaka’ for Ngā Taonga mai Tawhiti and she was fortunate enough to have earned a spot to represent Te Whanganui-a-Tara at the 2019 Nationals.

At Whitireia she teaches Māori Performing Arts including basic technique and history classes around waiata, haka, takahi, wiri, toroparawae, poi, mau rakau to name a few. She also teaches tikanga. This includes learning about powhiri processes, which Atua are present in certain domains, research and presentations on specific Māori events in Aotearoa which have helped shape the Māori Performing Arts, the origins and categories behind each item in a Kapa Haka bracket.

Her passion lies in the development and growth of each one of her students, not only the Arts industry but in any area of the workforce.  She has the ability to understand every part of every movement and break it down in a way that all types of learners can understand.

She thinks Whitireia is a unique place to study, giving students the opportunity to collaborate with multiple disciplines, providing students with opportunities that they would not usually have in their own line of work. Third year students can network with one another to develop their major projects (Body of Work) producing enriched work.

Krystal’s students learn that performing arts is more than just song and dance. It becomes a lifestyle for serious artists.

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