'Isope 'Akau'ola
Performer

‘Isope ‘Akau’ola is an emerging dance artist who hails from the villages of ‘Utulau and Lotofoa in the beautiful kingdom of Tonga but he was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau. He found his love of performing through Pacific dance and theatre, and in his last years of secondary school developed a passion for movement and dance. From then, ‘Isope entered full time dance training at Unitec and graduated with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts in 2022.

During his studies, ‘Isope has been incredibly fortunate and privileged to work amongst and collaborate with amazing practitioners and organisations including Claire O’Neil, Tamsyn Russell, Aloalii Tapu, Eddie Elliott, Ross McCormack, Katie Burton, Rose Philpott, Sau e Siva Creatives, Katrina George with Red Leap Theatre, and in his second year was granted a Faleship Residency with Tautai Pacific Arts Trust.

In his final year of his studies, ‘Isope performed in the premiere of Eddie Elliott’s full length work Waiwhakaata: Reflections in the Water for the Auckland Arts Festival, and then was invited to join the cast of Jo Lloyd’s What They Said with The New Zealand Dance Company. ‘Isope is so excited to continue developing his practice as he moves forward with NZDC.

‘Isope believes that dancing is one of the most extraordinary things and to be able to share it with others is a massive blessing.