"If you think about how Aotearoa invaded Samoa over 100 years ago, we were eventually going to come back and fight the colonial power and it's through the arts that's happened" - Iosefa Enari, MNZM
Winner of the 2018 Creative Arts NZ Pasifika 'Special Recognition Award'
Iosefa Punefu Enari was recognized in the 2020 Queen's Honors list as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit For services to Pacific dance. Iosefa is a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and educator.
He is the founder and artistic director of Pacific Dance New Zealand (PDNZ), the national organisation established in 2010 for the development of New Zealand’s Pacific dance industry. He was also a founding member of Pacific Theatre in 1987. He trained as a professional dancer at LIMBS Dance Programme, UNITEC School of Performing Arts and holds a masters degree in Dance Studies from the University of Auckland.
Through PDNZ, he has been integral in organising a number of national events including the Pacific Dance Artist in Residence, the Pacific Dance Choreographic Lab, various symposiums, educational and community programmes, and the annual Pacific Dance Festival.
As a choreographer he created dance works for the World War One centenary commemoration at Auckland Museum in 2014 and the opening performance for the 2014 televised National Rugby Awards Ceremony. He has created works for art galleries, professional live theatre, television programmes and films. He has performed in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and throughout the Pacific.