To support, nurture and create a safe space for professional dancers based in Hawaii to flourish. educate, mentor, and train young dancers in Pōhuli, Tauʻs original movement technique. Focus on Pacific Island and Indigenous consciousness and values to anchor western art influences, responsibly moving culture and the arts in our Global Village.
Tau Dance Theater (TDT) is the only professional dance company founded by a native Hawaiian based in Honolulu. Established in 1996 by Artistic Director Peter Rockford Espiritu, TDT has produced original epic works to critical acclaim. NAUPAKA: A Hawaiian Opera was mentioned in the New York Times and is listed in the Encyclopedia of Hawaiian Music & Musicians II. Poli’ahu: Goddess of Maunakea toured statewide and was featured at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Hanau Ka Moku: An Island is Born toured statewide and with its final bow at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Davis. In 2020, TDT was the only dance company to produce a live streamed performance (INDIGENUITY) from a major theatre venue, (Hawaiʻi Theater) in the state of Hawaiʻi. In September 2021, TDT toured to South Dakota as ʻFeatured Guest Artsistʻ at the Crazy Horse Memorial, a national monument that draws over a million visitors annually.
In 2021, TDT celebrated its 25th Anniversary by presenting the first ever locally produced ‘dance concert’ on primetime network television highlighting the talents of professional Hawaii based dancers.
In 2002, the TAU Y2 youth program was launched, answering community need for young dancers to be trained in the original Pōhuli technique fusing Hula, Ballet and Modern Dance. TAU Y2 is an incubator to educate these young dancers, setting the stage for them to one day become company members and perform the works of TDT. The program has produced its own productions statewide, sharing the stage with local luminaries such as Raiatea Helm, Melveen Leed, Jay Larrin, Kūpaoa and Pōmaikaʻi Lyman. TAU Y2 continus to offer scholarships for native Hawaiian, at-risk, underserved and students and families in need.