Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Te Aranui O Tahiti 2008

Have you ever wondered what exactly the judges are looking for when they watch soloists and groups? Te Aranui O Tahiti 2008 took that very question and conducted a series of workshops for soloists and groups. Dancers from Merahi O Tehani, Tamali'i, Ka Ua Tuahine, Na Hoku of Canada and Nemenzo participated in the workshops. Guests Coco Hotahota and Roiti Sylva conducted the class, breaking down basic steps necessary in a solo dance competition routine. Correct execution, spelling and terminology of each of the steps was emphasized. As the drummers were creating the atmosphere, each student presented a freestyle solo. An evaluation score sheet covering all the workshop dance steps and critiques was given to each student. An open discussion session with the guests concluded the class workshop.

It's rare that dancers are given the opportunity to work one-on-one on the details with the very judges that they perform in front of at other competitions throughout the year.

Always a crowd pleaser, the event also featured group presentations. Te Orama, 'Ote'a 'Api, Tiare O Te Ao and Nemenzo impressed with 'Ote'a and Aparima. Coco commented regarded the weekend activities as "tres beau". Te Aranui O Te Ao (TAOT) 2009 will take place April 25 and 26, 2009 at the San Francisco State University Gym. Mark your calendars and check our site for updates. For more information, visit the official site.

Fano Maohi Heiva postponed

Well, it's a bit late and we apologize for not getting this information out sooner. We've been busy trying to keep up with orders and introducing our new Tehani Pareo to the public. We're trying to get back on track and have some updates. The first update is news of the postponement of the Fano Maohi Heiva. The event is to now take place August 15-16, 2008. Originally, it was to take place last weekend but organizers decided recently to combine their two events into one. Their other event is a Tonga Tau'o'lunga Dance Festival. That event will take place a day before on August 14th.

We'll keep tabs on this event and try to get more details as it gets closer to the event date.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Heiva Nui 2008 - Provo, Utah

Just announced - Heiva Nui, a Tahitian dance competition in Provo, Utah will take place June 20-21, 2008 at Tahitian Noni International. The annual event now in its fifth year is part of a festival sponsored by Tradewindz Voyage Incorporated.

Activities include a scholarship pageant, dance group and solo competitions. For more information, registration and tickets, please visit their website - - email them at or call (801) 380-1298.

Hawaiian Merrie Monarch Festival features Te Vai Ura Nui exhibition

The recent victory of Charles and Cathy Temanaha's Te Vai Ura Nui Tahitian dance group has opened up an opportunity for the group to perform at Hawaii's premier Hula competition in Hilo, Hawaii - The Merrie Monarch Festival. This wasn't the first time that the group performed at the festival, but it's been four years since their last performance there.

The group repeated their award-winning performance from last month's Heiva i Honolulu. Choreographed by the Temanaha's, it is a love story called "Manino and Fanovai." It tells of an ancient Tahitian tale where the men are fishing while the women wait on the shore. When the men return with the speared fish, the women greet and surround them as if to make a living net.

As they return, a brave young fisherman catches the eye of a young maiden. He makes his desire known but her father doesn't approve. The father believes that the young man will not be able to provide for his daughter. Yet, the couples love continues to grown and is seen as they perform a couples' dance together. The young man's friends show their support by performing rigorous haka and the girls show their approval as well by performing a slow and graceful aparima. It all comes to a happy ending as the couple is married and all celebrate the new couples' life together.

With so much passion for their performance and desire to tell a story, it's no wonder Te Vai Ura Nui came away with top honors at the competition last month.

To perform at Hawaii's Merrie Monarch Festival is seen as a great privilege. The festival's main activities run Thursday (Miss Aloha Hula), Friday (Hula Kahiko) and Saturday (Hula Au'wana) April 3-5, 2008.

Manutahi Orlando impresses at Tamari'i Tahiti Fete

This past weekend saw the Tamari'i Tahiti Fete of Orlando take center stage in the Tahitian dance community. Family, competitors and guests gathered at Oak Ridge High School Gymnasium to watch this growing solo competition.

Tamari'i Tahiti Fete of Orlando saw an impressive showing from Manutahi Orlando. The group is a branch of the main group based on Oahu in Hawaii headed by Pola Teriipaia. Locally it is headed by Mahea Apo.

The competition was opened up to all ages this year. Visit the official website for more details and information about the event.

2008 Solo Ori Winners
Ages 3-5
1. Leilani Swider of Manutahi Orlando
2. Laniloa Mau'ia of Manutahi Orlando
3. Alyssa Murpy of Halau 'O Manulani

Ages 6-8
1. Elaina Nevarez of Na Opiopio I Orlando
2. Amya Diaz of Halau 'O Manulani

Ages 9-12
1. Natalie Oloa, Independent
2. Cheyenne Sky Romanillos, Independent
3. Melinda Nevarez of Na Opiopio I Orlando

Ages 13-16
1. Chiana Jim of Manutahi Orlando
2. Marshae Bray Mamea of Siva 'A Manu
3. Giovanni Brown of Manutahi Orlando

Ages 17-22
1. Grace Cabusi of Manutahi Orlando
2. Marlena Samuels of Siva 'A Manu
3. Tasi Galeai of Touch of Paradise

Ages 23 and up
1. Celena Kaleonahenahe Faronda of Halau Kahealani

1. Tony Paialii of Touch of Paradise

Samoan Category
1. Priscilla Tauti of Halau Kahealani


2008 Special Awards
Overall Junior Soloist
Elaina Nevarez of Na Opiopio I Orlando

Overall Senior Soloist
Tony Paialii of Touch of Paradise

Best Costume
Tiane Maluhia Kong of Manutahi Orlando

Overall Perpetual Group
Manutahi Orlando (Mahea Apo)