Xavier Breed

Xavier is a Pacific dance artist, hailing from the villages of Lotofaga (Aleipata), Matatufu, Falelatai and Falefā in Sāmoa. Xavier has recently graduated with a Master of Dance Studies with a focus on cultural understanding through dance in the context of international diplomacy. Xavier is currently the Pacific Policy Advisor at Universities NZ Te Pōkai Tara and is a contemporary dance tutor at the NZ School of Dance in Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington). Alongside being a trustee on the NZ Dance Company board, Xavier is also an advisory board member on the Asia NZ Foundation leadership network advisory board and has been a member of the Asia NZ Foundation Leadership Network since 2018.

Some of his key achievements in 2019 was being selected for the prestigious Yenching Global Symposium in Beijing, China, leading his project-based dance collective MANU, made up of over 40 members to represent Oceania at the Macau International Dance Festival in Macau, China and the Asia Pacific Dance Festival in Hawai’i, being awarded the ‘Asia NZ Foundation 25 to watch - for Media, arts, culture and sports’ and being invited by the Egyptian government to take his choreography ‘Pou’ and a group of 11 Pacific and Māori dancers to represent Oceania at the World Youth Theatre in Egypt in December 2019. Xavier’s educational and artistic journey holds strong links to Asia; being awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia twice - to train for a semester as an undergraduate modern dance student at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea and undertake his Master’s research in Taipei and Taitung, Taiwan. Xavier was also accepted to train and study in the Master’s programme choreographic stream for a semester at the world-renowned department of dance at the Taipei National University of the Arts.

“O le ala i le pule, o le tautua” - A Sāmoan proverb meaning that the pathway to leadership is through service. Xavier is honoured to be serving on the NZ Dance Company Board of Trustees alongside other leaders from across Aotearoa - for the company staff and members, for the community and for the future of the arts in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

(Photo by John McDermott; taken for Night Light)