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).
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.