The Asia Pacific Dance Festival showcases the finest dances, dancers, and choreographers from Asia and the Pacific. Centered on a series of performances, the Festival includes such complementary activities as workshops, university course offerings, public lectures, forums, and community demonstrations. These activities foster diverse and dynamic types of interactions leading to opportunities for dialogue that increases cross-cultural understanding and respect for what we know and what we come to know.
Because the values and belief systems of people are embedded in their dances, dance is an ideal window through which to expand our understandings of others and to gain insights into our own worldview and those of others. Hence, the Festival recognizes similarity and diversity, and honors the past, the present, and the future by enhancing exposure to, and understanding of, many of the rich forms of dance from Asia and the Pacific.
The Festival is offered in the summer of every other year (in odd-numbered years) and is a co-production of the East-West Center Arts Program and the University of Hawaiʻi Outreach College. Additional support is provided by the University’s Theatre & Dance Department.
Performances are held at Kennedy Theatre on the campus of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Classes, workshops, and various outreach activities are held on campus, at the East-West Center, and in the community.
Each Festival is built around a central theme that unites the various activities. The culture of Hawaiʻi is presented at each Festival, together with representatives from Asia and a region of the Pacific other than Hawaiʻi. Because the Festival acknowledges the importance of both older, or so-called "traditional" practices, as well as the continually evolving nature of these practices, Festival audiences have the opportunity to experience the traditional as well as the contemporary.