Proud Porirua students stage Pacific journey
“MALAGA” in Samoan means “journey” – and that’s what more than 100 students from three Porirua colleges presented in a collaborative acting, opera, singing and dance performance at Te Rauparaha Arena.
Written and produced by Igelese Ete (a Lord of the Rings music composer) and choreographed by Trey Salanoa, Malaga, the Journey traverses from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand and settling into a new country.
Many in the sell-out audience were moved to tears at the beautiful montage of languages and performances staged by the students, from Aotea College, Bishop Viard College and Porirua College.
“The students really came together and have a lot to be proud of,” says Trey. “They really represented for Porirua.”
PICTURED: Clockwise from left, TJ Tanuvasa, Porirua College teacher Karl Payne, Ailua Tagiilima and (front) Julie Tapusoa.
Malaga was first performed by more than 200 school-leavers in Auckland in 2002 and after it got positive reviews, Aotea College teacher Marilyn Baigent approached principal Tim Davies-Colley to bring it to Porirua.
“I had heard how great Malaga was and thought it would be great to bring it here,” says Marilyn. “It really helps to empower our students.”
Tim Davies-Colley says he looked at the budget and thought: “How are we going to do this? But then, it was such a good idea that we just had to do it. It was a sell-out audience tonight.”
Porirua College teacher Karl Payne was blown away by the student performances, with his particular highlight a year-9 boy: “He was so shy and then to see him come to practice and then sing proud and with power – it really was a transformation.”
Ex-Porirua College student Ailua Tagiilima, who gave a graceful and powerful solo dance performance, says Malaga means journey and that is exactly what they all did.
It helped to stop people putting Porirua down.
“It was good for our youth to show people around New Zealand and the world that this is a good place to be.”
PICTURED below: from left, Talilima Fruean, choreographer Trey Salanoa, Daniel Tavita, Fa’afetai Viliamu.