Pacific loses inspirational artist


THE Pacific lost an eminent figure in the creative arts, culture and fashion with the death of Samoa’s Seiuli Allan Alo Vaai (pictured). More commonly known as Allan Alo, this brilliant dancer and choreographer lost a long battle with cancer which ended in New Zealand late last month.

Despite the cancer, Alo had perhaps his most successful year in 2016, establishing the inaugural Samoa Fashion Week which placed his country’s arts and fashion firmly on the global map. The event is expected to become the launching pad for upcoming designers, artists and gave birth to a new class of aspiring Samoan models.

Like Alo, it will quite possibly become a living inspiration not only for Samoans but also the thousands of talented Pacific islanders who seek opportunities in this area. Diagnosed with Stage Four lung and brain cancer, Alo braved on, defiant and determined to realise his dream to create a space to nurture, encourage and develop the talents of Pacific people of all ages.

It is a dream which started perhaps at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Bay Campus in Suva, Fiji, where he was co-founder of the Oceania Dance Theatre.

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