Wansolmoana Live: Tavake.
Wansolmoana Live: Tavake. Image: Joshua Crocombe
© Tavake

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Performance schedule
Date Time
Saturday 6 July 11am - 11.25am
Saturday 6 July 1pm - 1.25pm
Saturday 6 July 3pm- 3.25pm

All ages

Our new Pasifika Gallery, Wansolmoana (One Salt Ocean), comes alive with three performances by Tongan dance group, Tavake.

Celebrate the lived experiences and personal stories of Tongan people in these free community performances. Journey into the heart of Tongan culture through Tavake's dance, which connects people and stories.

Tavake, a Tongan dance group established in Sydney, revives old dances and music of Tonga from times before contact with the Western world. Through dance and music, witness the powerful insights of storytelling and discover the artistic creativity of Tongan language, culture, and ancestral customs.

Join us for extraordinary performances that embrace Tongan traditions, celebrating the legacy of the past while embracing the spirit of the present.


Tavake

Tavake is a Tongan dance group founded in Sydney.
Tavake is a Tongan dance group founded in Sydney. Image: Joshua Crocombe
© Tavake

Tavake is a Tongan dance group founded in Sydney by choreographer and musician, Sisi’uno Helu. Tavake aims to revive old dances and music of Tonga before any contact with the Western world.

The choreography is a combination of passed down knowledge, archive material and new interpretations accompanied by a mix of old recordings or live music. It has been the passion of the founder, Sisi’uno Helu, to continue to preserve the old and ancient sound of Tonga, while also sharing her knowledge of the importance of Tongan history.


Sisi'uno Helu

Sisi'uno Helu founder of Tavake dance group.
Sisi'uno Helu founder of Tavake dance group. Image: Supplied
© Sisi'uno Helu

Born and raised in the Kingdom of Tonga, Sisi'uno Helu studied classical music at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music before returning to Tonga to teach at the Atenisi Institute, a school founded by her father, Professor Futa Helu. Sisi’uno has toured and performed locally and internationally including Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Hawaii and the USA. 

In 2015 Sisi’uno and her fellow filmmakers established the Nuku’alofa Film Festival in Tonga, where Sisi'uno soon after co-produced the award-winning documentary Leitis in Waiting (2018 Audience Award at Festival of Commonwealth Film, Special Jury Prize, FIFO). Her storytelling and filmmaking journey has led to collaborations on various projects with UNESCO ICHCAP, Pacific Dance NZ, In-films, Australian Museum, Pacific Digital learning NZ, among many others. Sisi’uno's passion for storytelling preserves ancient Tongan stories.