Sau E Siva Creatives celebrating 10 years and Manamea - With Leki Jackson-Bourke

We spoke to Leki Jackson-Bourke from Sau E Siva Creatives about the company’s 10 year anniversary and their recent sold out season of Manamea at Q. Check out the interview and some awesome shots from the dress rehearsal below.

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Tell us about Sau E Siva – who and what is the company all about?
Sau E Siva Creatives is a South-Auckland based Pacific Dance Theatre Collective. We are a passionate collective of Pasefika artists that weave multiple disciplines, diverse audiences and large-scale ensembles. We aim to deliver high quality, original work and the core of their work springs from the cultural heritage art form of Siva Sāmoa (Samoan Dance).

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Manamea aligned with the 10 year anniversary of Sau E Siva! How does it feel to reflect on the company’s growth and where you are to today? 
We are so pleased with where we have ended up as a company. Mistakes and wrong turns have worked in our favour and over the years we've seen our audiences grow and grow.

The best thing about it, is that after ten years we're all still close friends. We started in the garages of South Auckland and we're still going strong. 

Some of the other shows that Sau E Siva has brought to Q have been reimagining’s of popular musicals. Tell us about the shift from these productions to Manamea, your own story that you brought to life?
We know our lane quite well. We can do the musicals, we can do the family shows, we can do myths and legends. But for our 10 year anniversary we wanted something special and we knew we had to devise something from the heart. Manamea really was that show - heart, sacrifice, struggle and pain. It was a risky process, we started from nothing but we never doubted our team and we knew we would work well under pressure. Totally worth it. 

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The show was amazing and looked so polished with such a massive cast on stage together. Tell us a bit about the rehearsal process, how do you ensure that such a large show with so many moving parts/people comes together?
We ran an audition process and this allowed us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our cast. Everything was bespoke and tailored to them. We worked around their availability, we factored in dancers who had knee injuries etc.

As rehearsals progressed, we selected certain performers for certain numbers and we nominated a few dance captains from within the cast to grow leadership and self agency. It really was a team effort and a collaborative process with each department. 

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Lastly, you’ve brought several shows to Q before, could you talk a little bit about that relationship and the venue?
Q was the perfect home for our 10 year show. We wanted to do something different and we always talked about the beauty of Rangatira in traverse. We decided to push through with traverse staging as this was the original staging of our first production 10 years ago. We worked collaboratively with Sarah and the wonderful team at Q who supported us every single step of the way. 

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All Images by Trey Josiah Photography