Pacific Islanders bold steps with No Limits
Asolvale Luma says Pacific Islanders should extend their skills beyond the stereotype to explore their potential and “take bolder steps”.
Luma and four fellow Pacific Island students from CPIT’s National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art have given up their term break to work with No Limits!, a performance group open to Pacific and Māori secondary school students that is making politicians, principals and parents listen to what these young people have to say.
The show they are helping to create, Through My Fathers Eyes, is at CPIT’s NASDA Theatre on 23 to 25 October and is coordinated under the No Limits! umbrella by the indefatigable Sela Faletolu from CPIT with Silivelio Fasi.
This time, No Limits! is exploring the cultural gap between the generation who chose to move to New Zealand and the children who were born here. “This is about a father's love for his son. The migration from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand wasn't all it promised as the 'land of milk and honey'. Tavita takes his rebellious New Zealand born son on a journey through the struggles of his past to create a better future. This is really a show about connecting this generation with the purpose, hope and vision of their parents and grandparents who came to New Zealand before them,” Faletolu says.
Along with mentoring the group, Luma also performs in the play. He says all Samoans will relate to the storyline as the young performers explore big themes like cultural heritage and identity.
Luma’s high school drama teacher was a NASDA graduate and being involved with No Limits just further convinced him to pursue a performance career. Now he hopes to inspire other Pacific students to follow his lead and extend their skills beyond the stereotype.
“I’d recommend NASDA to Pacific students. In Auckland you can join a PI group but you never have the chance to try someone else’s shoes because you’re in the stereotype. You want to explore different music and acting techniques to take bolder steps.
“NASDA is a good place to become a more diverse performer. Yes we can sing Samoan songs but we can also learn Shakespeare and learn different dance styles too.”
Luma has known No Limits founder Sela Faletolu all his life and has great respect for her passion for giving Pacific youth the opportunity to grow and learn through the medium of performance.
Previous No Limits production Speak your Truth (performed at the Court Theatre) and in school programme, Lead your Future explored the barriers to education for Pacific Islanders and how students could overcome these barriers to shape their own future. Both were moving experiences for parents, school teachers, principals and politicians who gained a new understanding of the challenges facing some of these students.
Through My Father’s Eyes by No Limits! is at CPIT’s NASDA Theatre 23 – 25 October, 7pm. 940 8317 or
Watch the videos:
No Limits! 2013 show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ziga8au_ByY
Rehearsal for 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQ7CYmH2yA
Read more about No Limits! previous productions: