Peter Rockford Espiritu is the Executive and Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theater is lifetime hula practitioner and progeny of the Ka’imikaua, Luahine/Puku’i/Hoakalei (‘olapa) and Holokai (‘auana) lines, with ‘ūniki papa kaula for oli (chant) with kumu (master) Dr. Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele. Mr. Espiritu’s western form training includes: The School of American Ballet in New York City, modern dance with Betty Jones, founding member of the José Limón Company, scholarships to the American Dance Festival (Duke University) and Colorado Dance Festival in Boulder with foundational roots from DANCEWORKS (Honolulu) Simeon Den & Marie Takazawa, Honolulu City Dance Centre, Nolan Dingman (Ballet).
Mr. Espiritu, is a 2022 Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performances - Native Launchpad Fellow and a Dance|USA Fellowship to Artists recipient. He was one of four global choreographers who were awarded a fully funded 3-week residency at The BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada for the InterCultural International Choreographers Creation Lab, a groundbreaking residency for the creation of new work, facilitated, directed and dramaturgy by Alejandro Ronceria.
He served as Artistic Director for the Western Arts Alliance’s Indigenous Roadshow residency in Homer, Alaska in 2019; at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies at the University of South Pacific in Fiji as Artistic Director of the Oceania Centre for Culture & the Arts 2011-2017 founded by Professor Epeli Hau’ofa; and seven years 2004-2011 as Artistic Director of (ECHO), Education for Cultural and Historical Organizations. Mr. Espiritu co-choreographed the Starlit Hui Show at the Disney Aulani Resort in 2011. He has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Irvine Foundation and Dance America and served for over a decade as a Commissioner for Culture & the Arts representing (Dance) for the City and County of Honolulu, spanning four mayoral administrations.
Mr. Espiritu, has spent over 35 years directing, choreographing, and teaching globally as a master teacher with a recent focus on dramaturgy for the premiere to the world tour of MINOWÍN in Canada for Vancouver based indigenous company Dancers of Damelahamid. Full evening length works of note: Hanau Ka Moku: An Island is Born (2002); NAUPAKA: A Hawaiian Opera (2006); POLIAHU: Goddess of Mauna Kea (2009); MOANA: The Rising of the Sea (2015).