MANY years ago, from the simple idea that USP needed a space for personal expression through dance, music, art and performance, the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies was born.
This centre was the result of much lobbying by its founding father and renowned Pacific writer Epeli Hau'ofa, who passed away a few years ago.
To honour the man who brought to life to one of the most vibrant parts of the university's campus, OCACPS artistic director Peter Espiritu yesterday launched the inaugural Epeli Hau'ofa International Dance Festival.
The festival, which will take place at USP, will feature dancers and performers from all over the world — New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, New Caledonia and the US.
"By bringing all these dancers together, we hope to increase the awareness of the festival and why we have it, and also to allow them to interact and learn through arts and culture and dance," Mr Espiritu said in an interview yesterday.
"This is my third term here as artistic director and I think it's high time we honour Epeli Hau'ofa and make this not just a dance festival, but an international dance festival."
There will be seven countries and eight organisations coming to the country for the festival and performances will begin next week.