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.