FIJI has launched, for the first time, an international dance festival in honour of one of the Pacific's most prominent writers and lovers of the arts, Epeli Hau'ofa.
The artistic director at the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Students, Peter Espiritu, said Mr Hau'ofa was a great man whom people did not know enough about.
"Epeli Hau'ofa was indeed wonderful and contributed so much to not only arts and culture in the Pacific, but to theatre and performance here at USP, so we hope to honour him," Mr Espiritu said.
"We're hoping to make this an event which happens every two years so that performers and dancers have time to get ready and so that we also have ample time to rehearse and get better."
Mr Espiritu said the majority of the dancers who were coming in from abroad would be visiting Fiji for the first time.
"This year will be the first time for most of the dancers to come to Fiji, so that's a really good sign and it also brings in revenue for the country too.
"I really feel like this festival can only benefit the country, especially the dancers, because in terms of the region — the dancers here with the level and excellence that they perform with, they are the best the nation has to offer in the way of dance, so I'm really looking forward to the festival."