A Theatrical Voyage Into the Brave and Beautiful Life of Disabled Artist Lusi Faiva

By: Feb. 20, 2024
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Exploring identity, family, and desire, AIGA is a show that ebbs, flows, dips forward into the wicked and tilts back toward the heavenly as we traverse through the experience of Lusi's beautiful and complex life story. Using music, movement and dramedy AIGA chronologically captures Lusi’s life from youth into adulthood, from 1960's Samoa, to the warrior that we bear witness to today.

Three years in the making this work brings to reality Lusi’s dream of becoming an actress. Whilst her performance career is extensive she has now, under the new Disability-led direction of Touch Compass been able to work outside of the dance model to fully and authentically express herself as an artist. Honouring the concept of crip time and crip s p a c e, the company have given her the access to work within a model best suited to her and her teams needs delivering powerful and meaningful arts development.

AIGA is a devised work that has not only drawn on the life history of Lusi but the experinces of co-collaborators and performers including Iana Grace Pauga, Forest V Kapo (Te Atiawa - Ngāti Raukawa) and Alex Medland (Kai Tahu) and support writer and performer Fiona Collins. This collective creative ensemble of women, non-binary, disabled, non-disabled, Pasifika and Māori identities gives this work its proud identity.

The big dreams and heart-felt reflections of award-winning disabled performing artist, Lusi Faiva take to the stage for the world premiere of AIGA at Te Pou Theatre from 20-24 March, as part of Te Ahurei Toi o Tāmaki Auckland Arts Festival.

A gifted artist of Samoan and European heritage, Lusi Faiva boasts a remarkable 30-year journey as an acclaimed dancer and founding member of Touch Compass. From stellar performances in major shows to her poignant autobiographical piece, Lusi's Eden, in 2001, she's left an indelible mark. Beyond the stage, her dedication includes support dancing in community classes and representing Touch Compass at international conferences. Recognitions include the Highly Commended award in 2019, the Spirit of Attitude award in 2020, the Toa Artistic Achievement award in 2020, and the Artistic Achievement award in 2021. Her accolades showcase a career enriched with passion, dedication, and artistic brilliance.

With an exceptional creative team including Lindah Lepou, Rowan Pierce, Isadora Lao and Rīhari Te Are, the essence of AIGA lies in storytelling—a compelling tale that elicits laughter, tears, contemplation, and profound emotions - a narrative that demands to be heard.

Touch Compass is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading professional arts organisation whose work is disability-led. Championing the five pillars of disability consciousness/leadership the company delivers high-quality performances, inclusive education, and arts activations.

Creative Team

Creator and Lead Perfomer: Lusi Faiva; Director: Moana Ete; Producer: Jordan Walker; Lighting Design: Isadora Lao; Spatial & AV Design: Rowan Pierce; Costume Design: Lindah Lepou; Performers: Iana Grace, Forest V Kapo, Fiona Collins with a special digital appearance by  Jake Arona; Support Writer: Fiona Collins; Movement Consultant: Malia Johnston & Matt Gibbons.

AIGA plays

Wednesday 20 March – Saturday 23 March , 7:30pm

Sunday 24 March at 2pm

Te Pou Theatre, Henderson

Book at Te Pou Theatre