ARTIST DIRECTOR

Peter Rockford Espiritu is the Executive and Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theater, the only professional dance company founded by a Native Hawaiian based in Honolulu. A lifetime hula practitioner and progeny of the Ka’imikaua, Puku’i/Luahine/Hoakalei (‘olapa) and Holokai (‘auana) lines, with ‘ūniki papa kaula for oli (chant) with kumu (master) Dr. Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele.  Mr. Espiritu 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 Dance Centre, Nolan Dingman (Ballet).

 

Mr. Espiritu, served as Artistic Director of (ECHO), Education for Cultural and Historical Organizations; at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture & Pacific Studies at the University of South Pacific in Fiji; and the Western Arts Alliance’s Indigenous Roadshow residency. Mr. Espiritu co-choreographed the Starlit Hui Show at the Disney Aulani Resort and served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, The Irvine Foundation, Dance America and served for almost a decade as a Commissioner for Culture & the Arts for the City and County of Honolulu, spanning four administrations.

 

Mr. Espiritu, has spent over 30 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).

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