Thursday, December 27, 2007

Manutahi Tahitian dance calendar

I've been meaning to post this to the blog but keep forgetting. I remember later but am nowhere near a computer or my note pad. I've been following the Manutahi Tahiti group website and emailing occasionally about their planned Heiva on Maui (by the way, no news on that).

However, they have offered a new 2008 Tahitian dance calendar. It's a fundraiser for their group that will fund a non-profit student scholarship. Photographs are by local photographer Andrew Bryant Simms. The price is $15. To purchase the calendars, call them at (808) 561-4342. Please let them know where you heard about it.

The calendar features vahine dancers from the group on location throughout the islands and fittingly has month names in both English and Tahitian.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New updates for 2008 Tahitian dance events

Mele Kalikimaka. As you take in the hustle & bustle, excitement, music and thoughts this holiday season, you might have noticed that we didn't update as often. It's been a busy season for our online store and it's kept us away for a bit. But now that Christmas has passed and our load is a little lighter, we're back to updating and bringing the latest info about the upcoming events. Tahitian events are gearing up for 2008.

New event updates include the Fano Maohi, Heiva i Reno, Heiva i Maui and the Tahiti Fete of Utah. With most events now updated with confirmed dates, 2008 is shaping up to be a banner year with more events and more opportunity for groups around the nation. With the amount of groups who are increasingly finding our directory/calendar, comes more convenience for groups to schedule their events and attract dancers to participate.

Fano Maohi marketing manager, Danny Tupua has recently advised us of the new 2008 date. Moving from July to April, this year's event is one of the first of the year. The Fano Maohi Heiva will run from April 25-26, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah at Granite Park High.

Utah's other Tahitian dance competition, Tahiti Fete of Utah, has also announced their 2008 date. The 4th annual event will take place October 16-18, 2008 in West Valley City. Details about the activities will be forthcoming. This past year, the event was free to the public.

Heiva i Reno will take place on August 1, 2008. The event will be 1 day. A second day (August 2) will feature Hawaiian Hula.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tahitian Dance calendar update

The year 2007 has showed tremendous growth in the Tahitian dance. Competition events are growing not only in numbers but also in strength and competitors. Coordination is continually improving and eventually we hope to see a world competition. Dancer quality and creativity is also always improving.

This year saw 12 major competition events and 2008 will see at least that many. More than half have confirmed dates and/or locations. Confirmed events will take place in Hawaii, California, Nevada, Utah, Florida, Tahiti and Japan. Many young dance groups who have not competed in the major events are maturing and planning to participate in the near future.

As all this activity is continually growing we are working to make as much of that information available. Here is an updated calendar of Tahitian dance events. Check our website or blog for updates and as always, check the official event websites for more details if available.

March 13-15, 2008
Heiva i Honolulu Honolulu, HI

March 14-16, 2008
Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete Merced, CA

March 29, 2008
Tamari'i Tahiti Fete Orlando, FL

May 22-25, 2008
Kauai Polynesian Festival Lihue, HI

May 24-25, 2008
Tahiti Taurua Nui i Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV

July 4-7, 2008
Tahiti Fete of San Jose San Jose, CA

July 25-26, 2008
Hura Tahiti Cerritos, CA

July 2008
Te Mahana Hiro'a o Tahiti Laie, HI

July 2008
Fano Maohi Salt Lake City, UT

July 2008
Heiva i Tahiti Papeete, Tahiti

July 2008
Heiva International i Tahiti Papeete, Tahiti

August 2-3, 2008
Heiva i Kauai Kapaa, HI

August 30-31, 2008
Tahiti Heiva - Japan Tokyo, Japan

August 31, 2008
Heiva i Japan Tokyo, Japan

August 2008
Heiva i Reno Reno, NV

August 2008
Heiva i Maui Wailuku, HI

September 2008
Tarena Tahiti Daly City, CA

September 2008
Pacific Islander Festival San Diego, CA

October 2008
Tahiti Fete of Hilo Hilo, HI

October 2008
Tahiti Fete of Utah West Valley City, UT

2008
Manutahi Tahiti Honolulu, HI

All dates and locations are subject to change according to each individual event director.

Friday, November 09, 2007

2008 Tahiti Nui Heiva I Japan

One of the most exciting and rapidly expanding Tahitian dance event is the Heiva I Japan. With local dance groups eagerly joining up to compete, organizers Kenzo Tanaka and Ayumi Sugiyama recently announced the dates for the 3rd Annual Heiva I Japan. Activities will take place August 31, 2008 in Tokyo at the Meilpark Hall Hotel.

As a sister event to Heiva I Honolulu, it builds upon a growing interest in Japan for Tahitian dance. Now in its third year, the event has become an exciting addition to the Tahitian dance competition family.

Ticket information, applications and deadline information are available on the official website. Competition categories include solo and group Ori Tahiti, Ahupurotu, Aparima, Otea and Tamarii (children) and Tupuna (senior). Ori Tahiti soloist Meimi Horiuchi (pictured top left) of the dance group Tiare Heipua and overall soloist Momoko Hoshihara (pictured below left) of Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara will be among other competitors ready to defend their titles. The activities include exhibition performances. Check back often for updates. We're also providing a computer translated version of the Japanese website for those who cannot read Japanese.

For a complete look at all major Tahitian dance events, visit our website, Black Pearl Designs, for the complete list of Heiva and Tahiti Fete.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2008 Hura Tahiti

Cerritos, California will once again transform into a Tahitian cultural paradise July 25-26, 2008 for the 4th Annual Hura Tahiti competition. Dance groups througout California, Hawaii, and the mainland will participate in group, solo and drumming competitions. Event organizer, Alex Tekurio announced "there will be 2 groups from Tahiti that will participate in our Hura Tahiti and we will have 2 categories for groups – professional and amateur."

More details, applications, and ticket information will be posted as it becomes available.

For a complete list of up-to-date information on Heiva & Tahiti Fete and Tahitian dance groups throughout the nation, visit our website.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

2008 Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas

Tamaeva Arii, Inc. recently announced that the 2008 Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas will be offering a thrilling weekend of dance competition in the Entertainment Capital of the World - Las Vegas! Participating dance groups will be competing in group, solo, drumming, couples, and himene (singing) categories.

The fifth annual Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 24th & 25th, 2008 (Memorial Day weekend) at the COX Pavilion at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Monday, November 05, 2007

2008 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete

Event organizer Becky Manandic has announced that the 2008 Merced Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete will take place March 14-16, 2008. The Merced County Fairgrounds will again serve as the location for the competition and activities.

This event is distinguished as the longest existing Tahitian Dance and Cultural Festival held outside of French Polynesia. As such it also serves as one of the first major competitions of the year.

Organizers are working on finalizing applications and event program. Visit the official site for updates and information needed to participate and purchase tickets.

For more information and a schedule of all Tahitian Dance events throughout the country, visit our website - Black Pearl Designs.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

2007 Heiva I Reno group results

The group competition results for the 2007 Heiva I Reno have been hard to find but we finally were able to locate a source who had most of the information.

Group Competition
Ta'ata Pa'ari Overall
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Ta'ata Pa'ari Otea
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
3. Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua of Merced, CA

Jr. Otea
1. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
2. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
3. Motu'aina of Danville, CA

Ta'ata Pa'ari Aparima
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
3. Motu'aina of Danville, CA

Jr. Aparima
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
3. Motu'aina of Danville, CA

Couples
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
3. E Honu Iti E of Tracy, CA

Contemporary Drumming
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Traditional Drumming
1. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA

Language
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Costume
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Music
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Theme
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Leadership
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Participating Groups
E Honu Iti E of Tracy, CA
Hiva Nui of Stockton, CA
Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
Makamae Melia O Polynesia of Elk Grove, CA
Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
Motu'aina of Danville, CA
Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
Na Hoku Mai Kanoelani of Stockton, CA
Ote'a Api of Reno, NV
Te Mau Ta'ata Anuanua of Merced, CA

Friday, November 02, 2007

Heiva I Honolulu 2008 date update

Tahiti Nui International has adjusted the dates for the 2008 event in Waikiki. The Heiva I Honolulu was previously scheduled for March 19-21, 2008 but because of conflicting schedules, it was decided to move it to March 13-15, 2008. The Waikiki Shell will still be the hosting location. Event officials are working on cooperative movements with travel industry representatives to accommodate participating groups and guests. More information to come as it becomes available.

Heiva I Honolulu will be the first major dance competition of the 2008 season. Watch for new information and new look to their website coming soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2007 Tahiti Fete of Utah results

The last major heiva for 2007 took place last weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Tahiti Fete of Utah marked a close to the 2007 event schedule. 10 dance groups from Hawaii, California, Colorado and Utah participated. In the end, Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA came away with the overall group trophy.

Group Competition:

Overall Group
Tina's Ports of Paradise – Oxnard, CA

Advanced
1. Tina's Ports of Paradise – Oxnard, CA
2. Tehamata – Laie, HI

Intermediate
1. Peu Porinetia – Salt Lake City, UT
2. Malialole – Salt Lake City, UT

CD (recorded music/drumming)
1. Kanamu Productions South Jordan, UT


Drumming Competition:

1. The Voice of Polynesia Orem, UT
2. Tina's Ports of Paradise – Oxnard, CA


Solo Competition:

Exhibition (Ages 1-4)
Malialole Hafoka
Tiamauri Haiola
Tialofa Alofipo
Socrates Alofipo
Sampson Alofipo
Malcaylah Tupua
Fetulagi Leiataua

VAHINE 5-7
1. Teuila Alofipo
2. Alize Amosa
3. Ciara Schumaker

TANE 5-7
1. Fagupo Hafoka
2. Kalux Manuo
3. Sione Angilau

VAHINE 8-10
1. Pepa Malieitulua
2. Alexis Tamamasui
3. Noa Sofele

TANE 8-10
1. Daniel Tuitama – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA

VAHINE 11-13
1. Pumbaa Levu
2. Lynette Kichiro
3. Leilua Malieitulua

TANE 11-13
1. Thomas Tuitama – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA
2. Inoke Rimal

VAHINE 14-15
1. Mariah Malieitulua
2. Kilisitina Vainuku – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA
3. Kulia Wilson

TANE 14-15
1. Chase Schumaker
2. Richee Vakapuna

VAHINE 16-18
1. Cherise Fano
2. Tiana Schumaker
3. Kahi Uperesa

TANE 16-18
1. Julius Aiono

VAHINE 19-25
1. Lorraine Koo
2. Lessa Fonua
3. Ana Andal

TANE 19-25
1. Edgar Limon – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA
2. Andrew Tuitama – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA

VAHINE 26 and up
1. Tofu Alofipo
2. Liana AhQuin
3. Salamasina Vainuku – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA

TANE 26 and up
1. Tony Vainuku – Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA


Participating Groups
Fano Maohi of Salt Lake City, UT
Kanamu Productions of South Jordan, UT
Peu Porinetia of Salt Lake City, UT
Tina's Ports of Paradise of Oxnard, CA
Kei Alaha of Diamond Bar, CA
Tamali'i of Hayward, CA
Hitia O Te Ra of Garden Grove, CA
Paific Pride & Island Hearts of Colorado Springs, CO
Tehamata of Laie, HI
The Voice of Polynesia of Orem, UT


Judging Panel
Papi Teri'ipaia – Master Judge
Lucy Fonoimoana
Merehau Kamai
Danny Tupua
Jay Medeiros
Remy Tekurio
Luana Philipon
Roiti Sylva
Patricia Wilson
Claudine Peters

For more information and photos of the event, check the official
Tahiti Fete of Utah website.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Heiva I Honolulu 2008 date announcement

Black Pearl Designs is privileged to announce the event dates for Tahiti Nui International's Heiva I Honolulu 2008. The event will take place March 19-21, 2008 (Event organizers moved event dates to March 13-15, 2008, consult official site or view our updated calendar for the latest information. Dates and details are subject to change according to individual event organizations) at the Waikiki Shell. Event co-director, Rose Perreira, announced the dates after returning from Japan from Heiva I Honolulu's sister event - Heiva I Japan. TNI also produces the Heiva I Tahiti International in Papeete, Tahiti.

Details and information will be forthcoming. Check the official site for upcoming updates, applications, travel & accommodation packages and vendor information.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007 Tahiti Fete of Hilo solo results

Results for the 2007 Tahiti Fete of Hilo solo competition are now available. This marks the seventh year that this event has taken place. 1000 tickets were sold for Saturdays event at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Approximately 150 solo dancers and several groups from throughout the islands competed. Group competition started on Saturday and concluded on Sunday. When official group results are announced we will post. We want to congratulate all dancers and groups that participated.

Of the group results, we know that Te Hamata of Laie, HI placed 2nd for both Otea and Aparima and 3rd for Ahuroa and Music. Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI placed 1st for Overall Group and Otea. Mauruuru to Poehere for the onsite info.

Here's also a flickr photo gallery of the 2007 event:


VAHINE 5-8

1. Ku'uleinani de Guzman – Te Ariki Nui of Honolulu, HI
2. Ku'uleihi'ilani Mederios – Te 'E'a o Te Turama of Honolulu, HI
3. Chloe Cezar – Tiare Ura O Tahiti of Hau'ula, HI

TANE 9-12

1. J.D. Melchor – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
2. Ian Almeida – Independent

VAHINE 9-12

1. Chelsey Madrona – Te Vai Ura Nui of Honolulu, HI
2. Maeleen Hopean – Tiare Ura O Tahiti of Hau'ula, HI
3. Mariah Tanaka – Te Ariki Nui of Honolulu, HI

TANE 13-15

1. Mosiah Manuma – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI

VAHINE 13-15

1. Chelsea Clement – Te 'E'a o Te Turama of Honolulu, HI
2. Charzelle McAngus – Manutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
3. Cory-Ann Kahalewai Pedro – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI

VAHINE 16-18

1. Dayna Higa – Manutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
2. Jaime Bush – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
3. Jazmin Segui – Te Ariki Nui of Honolulu, HI

TANE 19-24

1. Brandon Keawe McArthur – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI

VAHINE 19-24

1. Agnes Matila – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
2. Meghan Bridges-Steffan – Te Ariki Nui of Honolulu, HI
3. Ashley Holck – Mehetia Productions of Kaneohe, HI

TANE 25-34

1. Mervyn Lilo – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
2. Edward Pula – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
3. Jonathan Ulibas – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI

VAHINE 25-34

1. Tiffany DelaCruz – To'a Here
2. Lauli'a Ah Wong – Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
3. Keaukaha Carveiro – Polynesian Paradise of Santa Fe Springs, CA

TANE 35-49

1. Guiller Evangelista – Ari'i Hau Moana of Kahului, HI

VAHINE 35-49

1. Maikekula Keawekane – Polynesian Paradise of Santa Fe Springs, CA
2. Arleen Marcelo – Otea Api of Fremont, CA
3. Brenda Malick – Puahi's Polynesian Dancers of Temecula, CA

TANE 50+

1. Keoki Kaikana – Keola Pono No Na Kupuna of Hilo, HI

VAHINE 50+

1. Rita Santana – Manutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
2. Pi'ilani Rodrigues – Keola Pono No Na Kupuna of Hilo, HI
3. Hilda Rodriguez – Independent

Participating Groups:

Ari'i Hau Moana of Kahului, HI
Keola Pono No Na Kupuna of Hilo, HIManutahi Tahiti of Wahiawa, HI
Ma'ohi Nui of Honolulu, HI
Mehetia Productions of Kaneohe, HI
Otea Api of Fremont, CA
Puahi's Polynesian Dancers of Temecula, CA
Te Ariki Nui of Honolulu, HI
Te 'E'a o Te Turama of Honolulu, HI
Te Hamata of Laie, HI
Te Tiare Patitifa of Wailuku, HI
Te Vai Ura Nui of Honolulu, HI
Tiare Ura O Tahiti of Hau'ula, HI
To'a Here

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tahiti Fete of Hilo information

The Tahiti Fete of Hilo will be taking place this weekend, October 6-7, 2007. Activities will take place at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm both days. Tickets are $12 per day (adults), $9 for seniors and children 2-12. Two day passes are available for $20 (adults) and $16 for seniors and children.

2006 photos on flickr

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Results for the 2007 Heiva I Japan

The 2nd Annual Heiva I Japan took place this past weekend featuring groups from throughout Japan. Event organizers Kenzo Tanaka and Ayumi Sugiyama of Treasure Island Corporation along with Rose Perreira of Tahiti Nui International brought together an event that is quickly becoming a premier Tahitian heiva. Word of mouth and a growing interest of Tahitian dance in Japan have contributed to the success of the event. The success has prompted more plans for next years event.

Treasure Island Corporation also produces a number of other high profile events promoting the hula including the King Kamehameha Hula Competition (Japan), the Makana Aloha Festival, the Maui Festival and the Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition (Japan).

Results of the 2007 competition:

Ori Tahiti (Solo)
Junior Ori (4-12 yrs)
1. Meimi Horiuchi (Tiare Heipua)
2. Tomomi Iguchi (Tokariga/Kalokemelemele Hula Studio)
3. Miyu Mitsuhashi (Tiare Heipua)
4. Shouko Tokuda (Tokariga/Kalokemelemele Hula Studio)

Junior Ori (13-17 yrs)
1. Hanae Ogura (Studio Malama)

Senior Ori (18-28 yrs)
1. Ayumi Asano (Tokariga/Kalokemelemele Hula Studio)
2. Kanako Furuya (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)
3. Maki Yoshimoto (Studio Malama)
4. Atsuko Usui (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)

Senior Ori (29-39 yrs)
1. Momoko Hoshihara (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)
2. Miki Yamada (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)
3. Asami Miura (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)
4. Ako Kubora (Studio Malama)

Senior Ori Tane (29-39 yrs)
1. Takeshi Miyajima (Studio Malama)

Senior Ori (40 yrs over)
1. (tie) Ku'uleinani Hashimoto (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)
1. (tie) Hideko Fukushima (Studio Malama)

Ori Tahiti Overall
Momoko Hoshihara (Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara)

Group
Tupuna Ahupurotu
1. Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara

Ahupurotu
1. Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara
2. Tiare Heipua

Ote'a
1. Tokariga/Kelokemelemele Hula Studio

Keiki Aparima
1. Tokariga/Kalokemelemele Hula Studio
2. Hula Halau Kahula o Hawaii

Aparima
1. Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara
2. Tokariga/Kalokemelemele Hula Studio

Participating dance groups:
Hula Halau Kahula o Hawaii
Studio Malama
Te Pupu 'Ori Mehanaokara
Tiare Heipua
Tokariga /Kalokemelemele Hula Studio

Friday, September 28, 2007

2007 Maori Whakataetae Festival

Though not a Tahitian festival, the Maori Whakataetae Festival is of notable interest. Many of the dancers preparing for the competition are also members of Tahitian dance groups around the North Shore of Oahu. The annual festival is hosted by the Polynesian Cultural Center and will occur October 13. This will mark the 8th year that the event has taken place.

For more information, watch for updates on the event website.

2007 PIFA San Diego photo gallery

The 13th Annual Pacific Islander Festival featured a crowning of a new Miss PIFA 2007, new scholarships and traditional dance performances by many groups from throughout the area. San Diego's Ski Beach in Mission Bay was the venue for activities. Participating groups included Heali'is Polynesian Revue, Kaleo Onalani, Na Pua Ilima O Kehaulani, Samoan Community Council Dancers, Motu Nehenehe, LeiIsa, Kutturan Chamoru Performers, Imahen Taotao Tano and the Tongan Methodist Church.

The nonprofit event is organized annually by the Pacific Islander Festival Association. It is a volunteer based organization made up of members of the San Diego community. They work to help perpetuate the cultures of Polynesia and South Pacific areas including Melanesia and Micronesia.

The new reigning Miss PIFA 2007 is Kristen Paruginog. Kristen is currently attending San Diego State University. She is a young woman who is very personable, goal-oriented and knows what she wants to do in life. With the title also comes a scholarship totalling $3000. The title of Miss PIFA Princess 2007 went to Ricarda LaQuesha Maria “Kekoa” Hawkins, a vibrant member of the local Chamorro community. Kekoa has a passion for design, her family and culture and shows such grace with her presence. Her scholarships award totaled $1850.

The PIFA Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego Scholarship Pageant provides a forum that allows young women to find and embrace who they are, participate in the community and become role models for other young women.

Photos of the event are forthcoming on the PIFA official site gallery. Check back for updates.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

International Heiva photos

Here's a new gallery of photos from the International Heiva held this past July. The event was organized by Tahiti Nui International who also puts on the annual Heiva I Honolulu. Event organizers Raymond Mariteragi and Rose Perreira created this new event to take place in Tahiti to showcase and expose groups and dancers from the USA and other areas, to the cultural origins of Ori Tahiti. This event took place in the same venues as the original Heiva I Tahiti.

Plans are already being considered for an event for next year.

New Flickr Gallery

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tarena Tahiti 2008 results

By guest writer Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen

Just as an overview, the Tarena Tahiti competition is in 2 parts, Part One (Parade of Costumes) and Part Two (Ori Tahiti). For the Costume portion, contestants may choose any costume from formal to informal keeping it in line with the Tahitian theme. The second part is the dance portion and the dancers are evaluated for their total package, costume, creativity, stage presence and skill.

The Best Costume is chosen from the Parade of Costumes and the Ori Tahiti is based on Both the Parade of Costumes and their dance solo.

There is no eliminination process in this competition, rather everyone has their time on stage to present their program. There are (3) calendar editions (1) Tamarii ages 5-12 yrs, (2) Junior ages 13-17 yrs and (3) Adult ages 18 yrs and up).

There are 12 winners for each calendar with the highest score as 1st Place and cover for their age division.

The next award is for Best Costume for Tane & Vahine.

The Overall Tane & Vahine winner is chosen based on the highest combined score amongst all the contestants.

There are many opportunities for dancers to win and be recognized. Tarena Tahiti has been an annual event since 2002. Each year the contestants get more skillful and creative and this year was no exception. Our website will be updated with the winners and beautiful display of costumes. The calendars serve as a memorable piece for all to enjoy throughout the year and the years to come.

Overall Winner
TANE
Sonny Shwe Nemenzo of Daly City, CA

VAHINE
Kaleialahoaonialani Tanaka – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA

Best Costume
TANE
Trevor Barata – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA

VAHINE
Kristine Brown – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA

Tamarii Division
VAHINE
1. Devanna Ma'ae – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA (Cover)
2. Katelyn Salvador – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA
3. Alyssa Petersen Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
4. Ciara Thompson Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
5. Lia Thompson Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
6. Myka Palentinos Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
7. Sydney Huddleston Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
8. Jalailah Lelani Ray – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
9. Jaelen Torres Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
10. Kei'lani Timo – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
11. Melia Timo – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
12. Tia Samn – Independent

TANE
1. Anthony Petersen Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
2. Joshua Garcia – Te Poe O Patitifa of Stockton, CA
3. Joshua Torres Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
4. Gabriel Garner – Tiare O Te Ao of Hercules, CA

Junior Division
VAHINE
1. Kaleialalohaonalani Tanaka – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA (Cover)
2. Angelique Bannag Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
3. Kalene Tanaka – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA
4. Keiti Schofield – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA
5. Serena Tumakay-Dailey Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
6. Jacqueleen Martinez – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
7. Justine Morvice – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
8. Perri Sumbang – Te Orama of Daly City, CA
9. Maya Gutierrez – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
10. Jade Gutierrez – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
11. Melanee Tano – Makamae Melia O'Polynesia of Elk Grove, CA
12. Diamond Pedersen – Hui Tama Nui of San Francisco, CA

TANE
1. Trevor Barata – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
2. Shaun Camarao Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
3. Zak Rayos del Sol – Makamae Melia O'Polynesia of Elk Grove, CA

Adult Division
VAHINE
1. Michelle Baker Nemenzo of Daly City, CA (Cover)
2. Kristine Brown – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
3. Kirsten Roxas – Te Poe O Patitifa of Stockton, CA
4. Amy Jeanne Kim – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
5. Dora Kim – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
6. Desiree Woodward-Lee Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
7. Natalie Flores – Teoraroa 'Ote'a of Hayward, CA
8. Brittany Bielma – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
9. Julianne Manansala Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
10. Crystal Zapata Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
11. Leolano Gallardo – Nonosina of Anaheim, CA
12. Ruby Riego – Makamae Melia O'Polynesia of Elk Grove, CA

TANE
1. Sonny Shwe Nemenzo of Daly City, CA

Participating Groups
Hui Tama Nui
Makamae Melia O'Polynesia
Nemenzo
Nonosina
Te Orama
Te Poe O Patitifa
Teoraroa 'Ote'a
Tiare O Te Ao

Judging Panel
Roiti Sylva
Remy Tekurio
Catherine Blankenship
Cindy Cowell

For more information and photos of the event, check the official Tarena Tahiti website.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tamari'i Tahiti Fete 2008 - Orlando, Florida

Event organizers Isitolo Oloa and Evelyn Oloa have advised us of some details about the 3rd Annual Tamarii Tahiti Fete. The competition is to be held at Oak Ridge High School Gymnasium on March 29, 2008. This year, competition will be open to all ages. 2007 overall soloist Laarni Fronda (left) will be defending her title among a wider range of ages and competitors.

Visit the official Tamarii Tahiti Fete of Orlando website for details and information about participating and becoming vendors and sponsors.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Otea 'Api Tahitian dance workshops

If you live in the Fremont, California area, you're in luck. There is an upcoming series of Tahitian dance and drumming workshops being put on by the group Otea 'Api. First up is a basic women's Tahitian dance workshop this Sunday, August 26, 2007 from 10 am to noon. Registration is closed online but you might want to give them a call (510) 657-HULA or email them to see if they can fit you in. Workshop fee is $50.

An advanced co-ed Tahitian dance workshop (at least 6 months minimum experience/knowledge of Tahitian dance recommended) and basic Tahitian drumming workshop are also being offered as well. Classes are open to 13 years and up. For more information and registering, visit their website.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tarena Tahiti 2008 update

Get ready for more shaking. San Francisco State University is the site of Tarena Tahiti 2008. The event will be held on Sept. 15, 2007 and will feature a full day of festivities starting at 9:00 am. Tarena Tahiti is known for it's vibrant solo dance and costume competition.

Advance tickets are available for $20. At the door, tickets are $25. For more information or to purchase, go to the website, call 415-425-1662 or email Tarena_Tahiti@yahoo.com.

For more information on Tahitian dance events, go to our website for a directory featuring all the events and participating Tahitian dance groups throughout the nation.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Videos of Heiva I Maui

Here's a few videos of the 2007 Heiva I Maui competition


Heiva I Maui 2007 group results

Honolulu based Tahitian dance group Here Tama Nui led the way at the 10th annual Heiva I Maui. As the best overall group they took first place in several categories including Ahupurotu, Aparima, Otea and Drumming. Here Tama Nui has performed at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in the past. They've entertained thousands of guests arriving by cruise ship and locals stopping in for dining or shopping.

The event took place last weekend at the Maui War Memorial Gymnasium. Led by director Lolita Eugenio, the nonprofit event is sponsored by Maui Polynesian Tahiti Fete, County of Maui and the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

Event results are being provided by the event organizers. Group results are below. Solo results are being finalized and certified and will be available shortly.

Gracious Ladies
Ari'i Hau Moana of Kahului, Maui

Sr. Ahupurotu
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Ari'i Hau Moana of Kahului, Maui
3. 'Ote'a Kia Mana of Mililani, Oahu

Jr Aparima
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. 'Ote'a Kia Mana of Mililani, Oahu

Sr. Aparima
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Te Mau Merahi of Kihei, Maui

Drumming
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Te Vai Ura Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
3. 'Ote'a Kia Mana of Mililani, Oahu

Jr. 'Ote'a
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Kia Mana of Mililani, Oahu

Sr. 'Ote'a
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Ari'i Hau Moana of Kahului, Maui

Combined 'Ote'a
1. Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu
2. Te Mau Merahi of Kihei, Maui
3. Kia Mana of Mililani, Oahu

Overall Group Winner
Here Tama Nui of Honolulu, Oahu

Monday, August 13, 2007

Results for the 2007 Heiva I Reno

Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA showed why it is a leader in the Tahitian dance community. With strong performances in all categories, the group took 1st place in the overall group competition. All groups participating were able to shine including Nemenzo, Motu'aina, Manava Polynesia and E Honu Iti E.

The Heiva are in full swing with 6 more (not including this weekend's Heiva I Maui) scheduled for 2007. Heiva I Reno, hosted by the Reno Grand Sierra Resort, featured solo and group competition in the resorts' Silver Pavillion. The competition ran from August 3-4, 2007 and featured $2,500 for the dance group grand prize. Entrants competed in otea, aparima, drumming and featured a couples competition. Results for the group and couples categories are posted below. A new photo gallery is now available as well at Gyme Images. Solo results will be posted when they become available.

Couples Competition
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Nemenzo of Daly City, CA
3. E Honu Iti E of Tracy, CA

Group Competition
Ta'ata Pa'ari Overall
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Tamari'i/Jr. Aparima
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
3. Motu'aina of Danville, CA



Ta'ata Pa'ari Aparima
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. (tie) Motu'aina of Danville, CA
2. (tie) Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA

Tamari'i/Jr. Otea
1. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA
2. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
3. Motu'aina of Danville, CA

Ta'ata Pa'ari Otea
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA
2. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA

Traditional Drumming
1. Manava Polynesia of Fountain Valley, CA

Contemporary Drumming
1. Hui Tama Nui of Vallejo, CA

Hui Tama Nui also received honors for outstanding costuming, leadership, theme, music and use of the Tahitian language.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Heiva I Kauai competition results and 2008 announcement

Competition results for the Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana Tahiti 2007 have been finalized. The event was held this past weekend August 4-5. Crowds and vendors were treated to premier performances by visiting Oahu group Tamarii A Hiva. Solo standouts included Kauluwehiokekai Oliver (left) from Urahutia (Kauai), Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris of Ilima's Hula Studio (Kauai), Jay Spacek of Manutahi (Oahu), Niccolas Kaneakua of Ori Uuria (Kauai), and Sadie Ka’iulani Schilling of Tamatea Nui (Lanai).

Several groups from Oahu and the outer islands were not able to attend this year due to sold out flights to Kauai during the event. Event organizers are working with transportation issues with the airlines and the upcoming Hawaii Superferry for next years event.

And speaking of next year, Organizers Sally Jo and Tepairu Manea have announced that next years Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana will take place on ...August 2-3, 2008 at the Kapaa Beach Park. Check their official website for upcoming ticket information.

Even with all the other activities going on throughout the island, the event t-shirt sold out. Designed by event organizer Tepairu Manea, the shirt depicts the honu and pays homage to Tahitian and Hawaiian tapa motifs. Vendors at the event were also busy and sales were brisk.

Solo Competition


Vahine Age 4-6
1. Mahealani Farrell of Tamarii A Hiva, Oahu
2. Kiana Asuncion of Halau Hula o Leilani, Kauai

Tane Age 7-9
1. Jay Spacek of Manutahi, Oahu
2. Troy Spacek of Manutahi, Oahu
3. Kainoa Nobriga-Ferris of Ilima’s Hula Studio, Kauai

Vahine Age 7-9
1. Sadie Ka’iulani Schilling of Tamatea Nui, Lanai
2. Catherine Lessary of Tamarii A Hiva, Oahu
3. Sophia Rivera of Ilima’s Hula Studio, Kauai

Tane Age 10-12
1. Kamuela Nobriga-Ferris of Ilima’s Hula Studio, Kauai

Vahine Age 10-12
1. Malia Murphy of Tamarii A Hiva, Oahu
2. (tie) Esther Pasi of Tamarii A Hiva, Oahu
2. (tie) Tahra-Lee Kaui of Halau Hula o Leilani, Kauai
3. Teresa Huff of Halau Hula o Leilani, Kauai

Vahine Age 13-15
1. Chelsea Clement of Te Ea o te Turama, Oahu
2. Raychelle Spacek of Manutahi, Oahu
3. Alyssa Jeffries of Kaliko Boy Entertainment, Kauai

Vahine Age 16-18
1. Lani Figaroa of Ori Uuria, Kauai
2. Kawahinehaaheo Oliver of Urahutia, Kauai
3. Shayna Obrero – Zablan of Tamatea Nui, Lanai

Tane Age 19-25
1. Niccolas Kaneakua of Ori Uuria, Kauai
2. Dan Kala Oshiro of Kaliko Boy Entertainment, Kauai

Vahine Age 19-25
1 Kauluwehiokekeai Oiver of Urahutia, Kauai

Vahine Age 26-39
1 Iris Farrell of Tamarii a Hiva, Oahu


Overall Junior Tane - Jay Spacek of Manutahi, Oahu

Overall Junior Vahine - Malia Murphy of Tamarii A Hiva, Oahu

Overall Senior Tane - Niccolas Kaneakua of Ori Uuria, Kauai

Overall Senior Vahine - Lani Figaroa of Ori Uuria, Kauai

Group Competition

Ahuroa - Tamarii A Hiva

Aparima - Tamarii A Hiva

Otea - Tamarii A Hiva

Drumming - Tamarii A Hiva

Overall - Tamarii A Hiva

Monday, August 06, 2007

Heiva I Kauai competes with Na Pali Challenge

It was a busy weekend for Kauai. Two high profile events sold out flights to the Garden Island. The three major carriers, Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Airlines and Island Air all reported full capacity on flights to and from Kauai during the events. It's too bad that the Hawaii Superferry isn't operating yet. A great opportunity was missed to showcase Hawaii's newest interisland transport.

The Garden Island reports that many of the dancers participating in the Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana Tahiti were also participating in the paddling event as well. The paddling event is larger and possibly siphoned off attendance to Saturdays Heiva activites. “From what we heard, there were several groups who just couldn’t get flights here,” a vendor said. “On Saturday, one girl came running in just as they were announcing her competition because she had just come off a flight here.”

Several of the entertainers and groups that were planning to participate were not able to get to Kauai because of the sold out flights. One person who was able to book a flight was Carol Casil.
Casil, visiting from the Big Island, had two of her daughters with her, and was planning to visit the Heiva following the paddling championships. Casil was the founder of the Kauai Tahiti Fete and has been a longtime advocate of Tahitian dance and music competitions before moving to the Big Island.

This year’s Heiva was dedicated to the memory of David Kaneholani, a longtime supporter of the Heiva.

Tepairu Manea, director of Heiva I Kauai, was pleased with the participation and expressed his appreciation to staff, vendors, participants and audience.

More reporting at The Garden Island

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Heiva I Maui 2007 opening this week

The 10th Annual Tahitian Festival Heiva I Maui will be taking place this weekend from Friday August 10th to Sunday August 12, 2007. Director Lolita Eugenio, along with countless volunteers and ohana, has organized the non-profit event each year. This year will feature a tribute to Tavana.

Friday's activities begin at 6:00 pm with an opening ceremony, the tribute to Tavana, exhibitions and the Mr. & Ms. Heiva I Maui competition. Saturday the doors open at 10:00 am. Solo competition begins and runs through midday. Group competition will begin after the solo competition concludes. Results of both the solo and group competition will be announced at the end of activities. The group competition will include several styles of Tahitian dance or Ori Tahiti. Otea, aparima, ahupurotu and drumming categories will all be judged by a panel of Tahitian dance veterans.

Doors will also open Sunday at 10:00 am. with group competition continuing througout the day. The awards ceremony on Sunday will conclude the event.

Activities will be taking place at the Maui War Memorial Gymnasium. Doors open at 6:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am on Saturday & Sunday. General admission is $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Senior and children 6-11 yrs $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets are available at: Das Nutz (Maui Mall), Lahaina Music (West Maui Center), Maui Quilts (Azeka Shopping Center Makai), and Sew Special (Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center).

The event is sponsored by Maui Polynesian Tahiti Fete, County of Maui and the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Free Admission to Tahiti Fete of Utah 2007

3rd Annual Tahiti Fete of Utah 2007 will be held at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center (1355 West 3100 South) in West Valley City, Utah ADMISSION IS FREE!!!

The event organizers also announced that the dates of the competition will be Friday and Saturday, October 19th and 20th 2007.

Prominent Tahitian cultural specialist Iona "Papi" Teri'ipaia will be serving as head judge and groups from Utah, California and Hawaii are scheduled to participate.

The event is being sponsored by the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Utah Community Association for Pacific Islanders(UCAP) and Moki's Hawaiian Grill.

For more information, group and vendor applications, contact event organizers - Utah Community Association for Pacific Islanders. (801) 918-1052 or (801) 953-9877 or email:mtuitama@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana Tahiti announcements

Announcing the 6th annual Heiva I Kauai Iaorana Tahiti, August 4-5, 2007 at Kapaa Beach Park, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii. This event is a Tahitian dance competition with solo and group performances and traditional and contemporary Tahitian drumming. The event will also feature multi-cultural exhibition dancing, singing and crafts. Vendors will have an array of items from south and western Pacific islands for sale.

On Friday afternoon, August 3rd, solo dance competitors are to register and pick up their competition numbers between 4 and 6 pm.

Saturday morning, a special tribute to David Kaneholani Sr. will be presented by his family. Gates open at 9 am and solo competition begins at 10:30 am. Solo categories are Ote'a vahine and tane, for junior, senior and master (age 40+) divisions. Group categories include ‘Ote'a, Aparima, Ahuroa, and traditional Tahitian drumming. Group dancing will be on Sunday, August 5th. Sunday will end with solo, group and drumming award presentations.

Festival participants can enjoy a weekend of great Tahitian entertainment, browse through an array of Polynesian arts and crafts, observe and participate in creating Polynesian crafts, savor delicious local foods and win super prizes in the ticket raffle!

Admission is $5 a day at the door. Children age 6 and under are free.

To avoid traffic through Kapaa town, attendees are advised to park at the Kapaa Ball Park near the Armory and walk a short way to the Beach Park.

For more information call 808.822.9447.

Heiva I Kauai set to feature Hawaii Tahitian groups

Heiva I Kauai will take place this Saturday and Sunday at the Kapa'a Beach Park. Gates to the heiva open at 9 am and competition for the Tahitian dance will start at 10 am on both Saturday and Sunday. Events will be interspersed with performances from guest artists including Teva Nui of Huahine, Poa Here of Hilo, Tamarii A Hiwa of Laie, O‘ahu, and Tamatea Nui of Lanai.

Competition events include solo for Ote‘a vahine and tane for junior, senior and master divisions. Group competition categories include Ote‘a, Aparima, Ahuroa and drumming in both traditional and contemporary styles.

Admission to the heiva is $5 and patrons are able to enjoy the competition, exhibitions as well as shop in the craft area that will feature Kaua‘i crafts and vendors as well as a variety of items from south and western Pacific Islands.

In addition to the dance competition and exhibitions, special workshops on Tahitian drumming and dance will be available from 5 pm to 7 pm on Saturday, and 9 am to 11 am on Sunday.

The Kauai Garden Island News has more information about what makes this year so special. A touching dedication to a man who supported and nurtured the six year old event. Find out who this special person was.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Heiva I Tahiti 2007 results

This years competition came to a close this past Thursday at Place To'ata in Papeete. Among the spectators were French Polynesia President Gaston Tong and many government officials. A special tribute to past artisans of Tahitian dance and music and founders of the annual event was orchestrated by some of today's prominent dance instructors.

The Complete results of the songs and dances of Heiva I Tahiti 2007:

Song Categories

Himene ruau:
1st place - Tamarii Tipaerui
2nd place - Tomite Tiona No Pueu
3rd place - Tamariki Oparo

Ute paripari:
1st place - Te Ui no Pare Nui

Tarava Tuhaa Pae:
1st place - Tamariki Oparo
2nd place - Autimatea
3rd place - Tamarii Tumuhau Avera-Rurutu

Tarava Raromatai:
1st place - Te Ui no Pare Nui
2nd place - Tamarii Tipaerui
3rd place - O Faa' a

Tarava Tahiti:
1st place - Tamarii Mataiea
2nd place - Tamarii Papara
3rd place - You Ui Api No Arue









Dance categories


Ute arearea:
1st place - Te Ui no Pare Nui

Best Raatira Tiatia:
Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu of the group Toa Reva

Best author and composer :
Valerie Gobrait (author of the topic of the groups Hitireva and Nohoarii)

Best dancer:
Tavaitoa Kinnander-Tehaatai of Hitireva

Best dancer:
Tuahiti Vernaudon of Hitireva

Best orchestra inheritance and creation:
Heikura Nui

Best vegetable costume:
Te Ui no Pare Nui

Best traditional costume:
Heikura Nui

Special award:
The Temarama association, whose goal is to initiate the young people of the districts to the culture, and who entered at Heiva I Tahiti for the 16th consecutive time

Category "Creation" dances:
1st place - Nonahere
2nd place - Toa Reva

Category "Inheritance" dances:
1st place - Heikura Nui
2nd place - Tamarii Tumuhau Avera-Rurutu
3rd place - Tamarii Tipaerui
4th place - Teva I Tai
5th place - Hitireva

More photos at Tahiti Presse

Friday, July 27, 2007

Heiva International

The Minister for the Culture and the Craft industry, Natacha Taurua, announced the opening of Heiva International this past week. She was accompanied by the Health minister, Jules Ienfa, and the president of the CESC, Patrick Galenon. The gathering at Sygogne Beach included 12 groups from the US mainland, Hawaii and Japan. Monday's opening ceremonies included a traditional kava ceremony and performances of song and dance by local groups. Minister Taurua thanked event organizers for the opportunity to share the Tahitian culture with so many outside of Tahiti. The event comes at the closing of Heiva I Tahiti 2007, which celebrated its 125th anniversary.

Tuesday saw participants taking part in a traditional ceremony at the Nuutere marae in Vairao. It was an opportunity to take in the rich cultural history and origin of Tahitian dance. Exhibition performances by visiting dance groups took place later that evening in a vibrant revue.

The event was organized by the Tahiti Nui International organization based in Hawaii. Tahiti Nui International has produced the Heiva I Honolulu competitions for the past 7 years. This years event was postponed due to organizers putting all their efforts into this event.

Participating groups include:
Nonosina (Los Angeles - California); Nemenzo (San Francisco - California); Tamalii (San Francisco - California); Te Poe O Patitifa (Stockton - California); Kananu (Salt Lake City - Utah); Here Tama Nui (Honolulu - Hawaii).
Japan: Tiare Heipua (Ishikawa); Mehana O Kala (Tokyo); Kalokemelemele (Tokyo).

Exhibition groups:
Hitia'a o te ra (Los Angeles) ; Tahiti Toa (Honolulu) ; Te Vai Ura Nui (Honolulu)

The solo competition took place Thursday at "Te Fare Tauhiti Nui" (House of culture, in PAPEETE). Finalists will perform Friday at To'ata Place PAPEETE. "The dancers of this event are carrying out a dream coming to Tahiti", expressed Raymond Mariteragi, of Tahiti Nui International.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

2007 Fano Maohi - Journey of Courage

Contributed by guest writer Leonard Lords

Fano Maohi 2007 is over and the groups were very competitive. Some of the groups who won are Hitia O Te Ra, Malialole, Da Island Way, Tehamata, and Tamariki Ariki. However one group out did themselves and since I'm friends with them I was very proud! A group from Las Vegas known as Ninth Island Productions stole the show. I've seen them practicing and thought they were fun but I was thinking they might be in trouble because of the strong field of competitors. However, when they came in to perform their aparima they were simply outstanding!!! The professional groups as well as the group from Tahiti were speechless. The crowd cheered and you could see tears in the eyes of the audience. Needless to say they took first place in the aparima category.

After the aparima they performed the Ute (song being sung with a small band). They left the audience singing along and tapping their feet. As they performed, the whole traveling group from Tahiti began singing along and clapping to the beat. When the song ended the crowd again exploded in cheer many gave them a standing ovation.

Ninth Island Productions was the overall champion of the event. At the hotel they became quick friends with the group from Tahiti. It was a magical moment as personality took over even though they could not speak the same language. They hung out together joking and having a great time. They discovered the people of Tahiti are as beautiful as the Islands and music. At the Fano Maohi pizza party the two groups sang together, took group shots with each group arm and arm, learned each others songs and exchanged Myspace addresses. It was a great time for all. I am sure when the troupe from Tahiti goes home to the Islands of Tahiti they will be talking about their fun new friends from Ninth Island Productions.

As for next year we already have troupes asking to be part of the event. Groups from Tahiti, Saipan, Micronesia, Yokohama Japan and other groups from California have expressed interest. Even more interest has been expressed by city officials for the 2008 event planning. Check back for more information as it becomes available.

Leonard Lords is a public relations spokesman for the event. He is not involved with judging the event.

Bora Bora Heiva photos and more...

The Heiva are in full swing (forgive the pun) in French Polynesia. Although we weren't able to make it down there, there are a few US groups who have made the trip. Nonosina, out of Anaheim, California is participating in the Heiva I Tahiti International in Papeete. Nonosina is one of the larger Tahitian dance groups based in the US.

Galleries are starting to show up on the web, most notably, flickr. Check out some of the photos from the Bora Bora Heiva, the International Heiva and a few of the others that are occurring throughout French Polynesia.

Galleries
» Nonosina
» Bora Bora Heiva
» Heiva I Tahiti » Papeete - Papeete II

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti - Laie, Hawaii Tahitian Dance Competition

Contributed by guest writer Christian Wilson

The 7th Annual "Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti" Tahitian Dance Competition was held at the Polynesian Cultural Center on July 6-7, 2007. Each year a traditional heiva is held in Papeete, Tahiti to celebrate the culture and traditions of dance and drumming. The PCC holds its annual Tahitian cultural celebration in honor of the celebration. The preliminary competition started at 7:30 pm in the Hale Aloha Theater with every single seat taken. If you arrived later, there was standing room only. There were over 175 contestants mostly from the Hawaiian Islands and some from the mainland as well. The quality of dancing, costuming and music seems to improve as each year goes by. Families and friends of the contestants seems to grow in number each year as well. There were several age categories for girls and boys between 2-18 years of age. All of the judges, Moanaura Teheiura, Jeanne Mou’a Larsen, Roiti Tahauri Sylva, and Etua Tahauri, were from Tahiti and have a total of over 100+ years Tahitian dance experience.

The second day of the competition took place in the Pacific Theater inside the Polynesian Cultural Center with over a thousand people in attendance. The event started with the top 5 finalists of each category competing for the top 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies. It took a while for all the finalists to be determined. After that, the overall best male and female dancers were selected. This process was extraordinarily long and had many awkward breaks that you would think would have been filled with other presentations. The delays could have been minimized if the musicians had an alternate place to set up their equipment while another group performed.

Saturday's events also included the group ote'a, aparima and ahuroa competitions. The ote'a is the best-known Tahitian style of dance because of the fast, rhythmic movements and swishing skirts. The aparima, literally translated as "kiss of the hands," is a slower dance that uses the hands to tell a story. The ahuroa, or "long dress" is a slower, graceful female dance which is performed with long colorful fitted dresses. Dancers were judged in each category based on their skill, grace and, for the ote'a, speed. "We started the event as a way to help preserve these aspects of Tahitian culture and heritage through the tamari'i, or children," said Raymond Marieteragi, director of cultural presentations for the Tahitian village at the PCC. "This really gives the children's pupu ra'atira ori Tahiti, or Tahitian dance instructors, an opportunity to highlight their young students as they compete and display their skills in the exciting art of 'Ori Tahiti' or Tahitian dance."

The costuming and choreography of all three groups was impressive. My only complaint being the stage set up for the musicians. With such a large stage and multiple areas to set up support and musicians, the "dead" air was very noticeable. Delays in events could be replaced by explanations of how judges determine the best choreography, authenticity of costuming, proper dancing elements, history of Heiva, drumming beats, what to look for in a good dancer. etc

Although there are only about 200 expatriate Tahitians that live in the State of Hawaii, you wouldn't be able to tell that from the overwhelming support that Tahitian dancers receive from fellow Polynesians living in Hawaii. Most Hawaiians treat Tahitians as cousins since their languages, customs and dancing styles are relatively similar and share the same heritage.

Nonosina Hawaii (Laie, HI) used a traditional lauhala leaf helmet in their otea in a very creative way that I had never seen before. It was interesting to see how the leaves flowed during the dancers' vigorous dance movements. The helmet looked similar to an Egyptian headress, but it is was very Tahitian at the same time.

I was very impressed with some of the younger dancers under 9-10 years old that have mastered complex motions that normally only adult professionals acquire only after years of practice. The dance competition gives the youth of the community not only some recognition for their dancing skills, but it also can give an opportunity to prospective employers such as the Polynesian Cultural Center to hire new dancers.

Entertainment companies such as Cirque du Soleil routinely visit PCC's annual Fire Knife Competition to scout for new talented dancers. Some of the dancers they have hired have done very well for themselves. I have known many Tahitian dancers who danced as elementary and high school students who easily passed dancing auditions because of the practice they had in Tahitian or Polynesian dance troupes. Once they passed their auditions, they were able to work as they went to college and their employment helped them pay for most or all of their college education. Their dancing experience can open other doors for opportunities as well. Many talent agencies are interested in Polynesian dancers and having that skill can make a difference.

It is exciting to see the growing interest in Tahitian dance from people from all over the world such as Japan, the mainland, South America and Europe. As interest in Tahitian dance grows, more people will be motivated to visit Tahiti so they can learn more about them.

Competition rating (4 out of 5 stars)
Organization rating (3 out of 5 stars)
Dancer energy rating (5 out of 5 stars)
Community support rating (5 out of 5 stars)

Though organization and management could vastly improve, the dancers themselves, with their enthusiasm and vibrant costuming made the event an enjoyable occasion.

Event Press Release
Event Photo Gallery

Trivia note: Original design of the event website was designed by Black Pearl Designs

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tarena Tahiti gearing up for competition

Tarena Tahiti, the Tahitian heiva based in Daly City has announced its confirmed date of September 15, 2007. The event will take place at San Francisco State University. Organizers are excited to see the interest it is gaining from the internet. More information to come as it becomes available.

This event is known for its colorful and sometimes exotic costumes. The event features a solo competition for both men and women. In the past many have been chosen to be featured in a calendar produced by the event. For tickets and participation inquiries, contact Elizabeth Nemenzo Bertumen.

And if you are looking for ideas for Tahitian costumes, take a look at the extensive gallery on the Tarena Tahiti website.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New location for Fano Maohi Heiva in Salt Lake City

A new location has been announced for the Fano Maohi Tahitian dance competition. Due to scheduling conflicts the event has been moved to Central High School (501 East 3900 South, Salt Lake City). Event organizers are working to adjust to the new location and are advising dance groups and ticket holders of the change in venue. Last year's event was at the Salt Lake Community College. Look for more information on this event as it becomes available.

A few photos of the 125th Heiva I Tahiti

Here's some photos we've been able to locate about the 125th Heiva I Tahiti. The Heiva dance competition is taking place in Papeete at Place To'ata throughout July. The annual event is the most important and largest Tahitian cultural event in the world.

Flickr Gallery

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Heiva I Tahiti photos and news

The Heiva I Tahiti is in full swing. Tahiti Presse has a collection of photos that show some of the highlights including performances from Rapa Nui, the Society Islands, Tuamotus and other outer islands.

Here is a translated version of the reporting and link to the photos.

Monday, July 09, 2007

What are the Tahiti Fete and Heiva judges looking for? Part I

What are the judges looking for in a Tahiti Fete performance? With many of the competitions happening now or in the next month or so, this is a question that dancers and dance groups might be thinking about right about now.

There are the basics and then there are details that can make the difference in being awarded a placement and impressing not only the judges but also the crowd or performing without heart. We look at it this way - if you've been able to learn a new move, perfect a motion, created a new choreographed selection, learned a new Tahitian word or song, bent a little lower while doing the tamure, paoti or other basic steps, then you've helped to perpetuate and make each Tahitian dance event that more better. After all, if there weren't any groups to perform, there wouldn't be any events.

That being said, here's a reminder for all those Ori Tahiti dancers out there about what the judges are typically looking for in a performance:

1. The Entrance: The initial appearance of the dancer(s) on the performance area and the first impression created as the performer(s) begin the presentation. Basically, your performance begins before your performance. Watch your posture. If confidence can be shared among the group and shown to the judges, you're half way there in impressing them. The entrance should say to the judges that you are there to win, have fun and enjoy the opportunity to perform.

2. Personal Appearance: The physical presentation of the performer(s) including grooming and cleanliness. Make-up, if used, should only be applied to subtly enhance the natural beauty of the dancer(s). Basically, if you show up with a make-over from MAC complete with glittery lipstick and make-up that just won't quit, you might want to reconsider toning it down a bit. If you show up with costumes that don't match or are worn in an array of unrelated styles, you should look into making things match or complement each other.

3. Costume: The completeness of the the attire worn by the dancer(s) during the performance. Costumes are judged according to the appropriateness for the dance performed, coordination of adornments, accessories and neatness. Generally speaking, judges frown on PLASTIC materials. Think about what Tahitians used to use to adorn themselves. If you're not in the tropics, then see if you can substitute with local ferns, leaves or flowers. You can also send away for the greenery but it can get expensive. Feathers are always an option, fishing nets, dried leaves and flowers can be used in some of the most striking costumes as well. One last thing about costumes – make sure everything is secure. Judges (not to mention the stage crew) like to see that you took the care to secure your costume.

4. Feet: Position of the feet and the ease with which the dancer(s) moves relative to the choreography and styling of the dance performed. Doing the dance correctly can often mean that you are needing to put less effort into the dance than if you dance it incorrectly. With correct feet positioning you can make the dance seem naturally and right.

5. Hips: The Vahine need rotation and accented movement of the hips. If you can make it a natural skill and make it look like a natural skill, the judges look to see the ease in which you peform this basic. And remember, it impresses the judges all the more if you are in a group and all the hips move in the same direction at the same time. This is a huge undertaking when you have fast movements but if the basics are strong, you should have an easier time coordinating. For the Tane, hips should remain relatively stationary without any exaggerated movement.

6. Arms/Hands: GRACE. The position and movement of the arms and hands relative to the nature and performance of the dance. Arm motions and hand gestures should be large and punctuated by quick changes and performed with feminine grace. Also, if a movement requires large motions, always remember to... extend, just like in Hawaiian hula. For the Tane, arm and hand gestures should be strong and masculine in a performance.

7. Facial Expression: The facial conveyance and meaningful depiction of feelings, thought, mood, or sentiment relative to the performance. If you have a celebration in your dance remember that it IS a celebration. It's a story that you are telling the world.

As you can see, there are a... few things to consider when competing in a Heiva or Tahiti Fete. Look for more criteria coming next week with the second half of the pointers and suggestions.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hei Tiare exhibition performance

On July 21, Tiare Trompette’s troupe will close the Heiva festivities with an exclusive performance, sponsored by Hinano.

400 male and female dancers, singers and musicians, a group that won two awards at the Heiva’s last edition, a troupe leader who is also among the best dancers… so many excellent reasons not to miss Hei Tahiti’s only show, which will close the Heiva with an exhibition performance on July 21.

Look for other unique and fun promotions that Hinano has put together for the worlds' largest and lavish Heiva.