Peter Rockford Espiritu
Is the Founder – Executive & Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theater, the only professional western form dance company founded by an indigenous native Hawaiian based in Honolulu, established in 1996. Mr. Espiritu studied and danced traditional hula with Na Kumu (Masters) Hula, John Keanuenue Ka’imikaua (Moloka’i Ku’i/Halua Hula O Kukuna’okala), George Kananiokeakua Holokai (‘Auana), Cecilia Akim (‘olapa/Halau Hula Hoakalei), ‘uniki – papa oli Kaula – Dr. Pualani Kanaka’ole-Kanahele. Mr. Espiritu studied classical ballet at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City and received scholarships at the American Dance Festival at Duke University and the Colorado Dance Festival in Boulder. Mr. Espiritu served for 7 years as Artistic Director of ECHO – Education for Cultural and Historical Organizations, was co-choreographer for the Disney Aulani Resort Starlit Hui, taught, danced and choreographed for over 20 years in Japan and served for 6 years at the Oceania Centre for Arts Culture and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji where he Directed and Choreographed for such epic productions as VAKA: The Birth of a Seer’, DRUA: The Wave of Fire and MOANA: The Rising of the Sea, giving a voice to the indigenous of Oceania while addressing the disastrous effects of climate change, touring Europe to Norway attended by the Queen and Prime Minister at the opening of the Bergen Festival, Scotland, Copenhagen and Brussels attended by the Parliament of the European Union, ultimately producing MOANA RUA a short film.
Mr. Espiritu dances, teaches, choreographs, directs and serves as dramaturg for (TDT) as well as other dance and theater companies globally. Respectfully engaging indigenous ritual, ceremony and ancestral knowledge to reclaim and open space while incorporating native based, artistic cross-genre practices together with western form performing arts traditions, a hybrid incubator/safe space for responsible fusion is created. This space allows for free thinking and real time ancestral dialog, opening the door to endless possibilities for new artistic indigenous offerings.