Considered a local legend in the New Zealand dance community, Shakaiah Perez is hosting her very own fundraising event this Saturday at Neck of the Woods. Titled BRUK OUT, the genre-blending event includes an incredible line up of local talent handpicked by Shakaiah herself. We caught up with her to talk about the idea behind BRUK OUT and her international pursuits.
BRUK OUT this Saturday at NOTW is a fundraiser event for your international endeavours, tell us where you're planning to go and what are you aiming to achieve?
In the next few months I will be travelling around Europe capturing the stories of many different artists by using the language of dance and filmography as a way of telling stories. The goal is to travel across the globe capturing stories that inspire and empower others in one way shape or form. By doing this I hope to use what I have learnt to later on start a creative arts therapy programme working with indigenous youth and reconnecting them with culture and the arts.
Last year you were part of The Banff Centre’s Indigenous Dance Residency in Canada, and now are heading back overseas. Do you think international travel and experience is crucial for NZ dancers?
There are so many opportunities and new adventures waiting out there for us to explore. Being a dancer in NZ I feel as though we are limited in terms of opportunities and dance as a full-time career is a lot harder to attain. I believe it is important to experience what the rest of the world has to offer and to pursue what it is that makes you most happy.
How does the international dance scene compare to the NZ dance scene?
Depending on whether you're planning to go down the commercial dance or artistic route there will be a lot of competition and a lot of trials one must face. I believe we are quite strong dancers here in Aotearoa and there is so much undiscovered talent that needs to be scooped up.
The line up for Saturday is killer good. What can we expect?
The line up this weekend is full of many amazing artists that range across the genres of Afrobeat (Africa), Dancehall (Jamaica), Reggaeton (South America) all the way to Hip Hop & R&B. The whole purpose of the event is to celebrate black culture and the beauty that exists within our music and way of life. The night will be filled with dope sounds and an energy like no other that will make you "Bruk Out"!